Why is Paint Failure Common on the South Shore?
Paint failure is a common thread throughout homes in New England, especially here on the South Shore. It can be from a multitude of factors from moisture issues to something as simple as wear and tear over time. On the South Shore we take pride in our cedar shingles and wood homes, very seldomly do you see a vinyl sided house and because of this, homes are mostly painted with a solid finish that will fail over time. Paint failure may seem like just an eyesore, but it is important to take care of it before any issues stem from having exposed or chipping paint.
Case Study: Rehab Project in Marshfield
Over the summer of 2019, a home located in the town of Marshfield was in need of some professional rehab. This home was sided with cedar shingles and treated with a solid stain but unfortunately the stain on the home had begun to fail, pulling off the shingles to bare wood in most cases. Flaking paint on all 4 sides of the home. A Stewart Painting estimator came out and met with the homeowners to see what specifically they would want done. Only the shingles were brought up as an action item to be taken care of, so an estimate was provided and soon after the job was scheduled.
Before the scheduled start date of the project, the home owner called our estimator requesting an adjustment be made to the quote. In addition to fixing the flaking paint, the customer also wanted shingles to be replaced where needed and requested their front entryway and rear porch decks to be stained. The homeowner was provided a price for this additional work during the pre-site meeting.
One of the many benefits of working with a larger painting contractor is the ability to add more manpower based on customer requests without effecting the overall schedule, as well as a pre site meeting in which a production manager will review the job and make sure that all concerns a customer may have are covered.
Before the paint crews could come out, every exterior paint job must be washed beforehand as it is a must to have every surface cleaned of all dirt, mold, mildew, or any other grime that may prevent paint from properly adhering to the home. Stewart painting uses a low-pressure wash application to the siding of homes which gives it the best wash possible and will prevent any damage that high-pressure washers leave after a wash. For example, high-pressure washing may create lines in the wood where the pressure washer was too close. Or force wood substrates underneath which can create rot as once moisture is behind the substrate it is almost impossible for it to fully dry out.
Preparing to Paint the House
On the start of the project the painting crew arrived at the job site at 8 am. This set time ensures that there is no confusion between the customer and crew over when the workers will be on site, allowing the home owner to schedule their days knowing that a full 8 hours will be focused on their home. The painting equipment is unloaded into a specific “shop area” agreed upon by the project manager and home owner at time of the pre-site meeting. Then a job huddle is called where the crew leader reviews the overall project and what specifically will be worked on that day.
Removing Peeling Paint
In this case, the first and subsequent days were spent on preparation of the home. Painters scraped off any peeling paint with scraping tools followed by a thorough sanding of the affected areas. This removes the raised edges, “feathering” them to make sure that no moisture can be pulled through these areas and create more flaking paint in the future. After a section has been scraped and sanded any exposed areas of bare wood are primed with an oil primer allowing proper adhesion of the new finish coats to be applied. The painters worked on this while carpenters worked ahead of them, replacing shingles that have been cracked or rotted over time. This project took about 3 days of preparation, usually the prep is the longest portion of the job, if the proper time is put into preparation then the rest of the job is smooth sailing.
Additional Work Order
During these days of preparation another request was made by the home owner. A quote was requested to remove the gable vents located on 3 sides of the home (newer roofs have venting built into the ridges and thus gable vents are unnecessary) and also to add a skirtboard around the rear deck. Fortunately, Stewart Painting Crew Leaders have the ability to write up additional work orders (AWOS) on the job, once again preventing a delay of the overall job for scheduling, etc. An AWO was written up based off of the amount of hours the additional work was estimated to take. It was important to do this additional carpentry work before the finish coats were applied to the surfaces to keep continuity throughout the house. A skirtboard was installed on the deck, lagged in place with large bolts, and the gable vents were removed, plywood was installed at the old openings, and then was shingled over and primed with oil primer.
Painting and Staining the Home
At this point it became time to put the finish coats on the home. At Stewart painting we have a two-coat standard, any products applied to a home will receive two coats unless the product specifically calls for only one. In this case there would be two coats of Sherwin Williams Woodscapes stain applied to the shingles. A spray application of the stain is the best way to ensure all surfaces will be covered. A spray professional will work ahead of other painters who will follow behind and back brush all shingles painted, working in the paint to the grooves of the shingles.
Once the shingles received one coat of paint it is allowed to cure before another coat is applied allowing the paint the proper dry time. This is especially important because if time is not allowed, it becomes only one coat that is “heavy” and will cause the paint to sag and fail in the future.
Staining the Deck
After the shingles were completed it became time to stain the decks with one coat of Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil. It is a common misconception that timber oil can be applied like any other paint, but it is very important to know HOW the stain is applied. A full board must be stained at a time, board by board. This is because any overlaps will create dark areas that look like spotting and once it happens there is no way to fix it other then to strip off the stain and start again. Even if a new coat is applied to an area that has overlaps the problem will still show through.
Finished Exterior Painting and Carpentry Project
All Stewart Painting crews are taught proper procedures on how to apply such product and a beautiful finished job ensued. After completion a final walkthrough was done. The home owner was ecstatic, finally not only having a home without any flaking paint but also having a show-stopping home looking like it was built last week!
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