Unfortunately, all paints are different and paying for the most durable option is not always within budget. However, making paintwork last is not just about a price tag; there are steps you can take to protect exterior walls and other structures from the worst the elements have to offer.
Washing can be a double-edged sword when it comes to paintwork. It is important to clean dirt away, but you don’t want to wear down or crack the paint in the process. Choosing the right tools for the job will keep your exterior paintwork looking fresh and clean without inadvertently doing more harm than good.
It is best to avoid using power washing tools to clean external paintwork unless you are considering repainting. The jet is strong enough to blast off paint or damage wood, brick, and stucco. An ordinary garden hose will provide more than enough pressure to keep your exteriors clean. The same principle applies to washing down exteriors by hand. Stick to soft cloths and avoid the use of harsh chemicals.
Sprinklers are no friend to exterior paintwork. It can be difficult to prevent sprinkler water from hitting the side of the home so positioning is especially important if you have a small yard. Irregular spray pattern can occur if sprinkler heads become clogged, causing a concentrated jet of water to damage paintwork over time.
If you do spot issues with sprinkler systems, it is worth the time spent to clean out the heads. Doing so will not only protect paintwork, but lawn and plants will thank you for the effort. Oversaturation is generally not good for a yard or garden and could even cause damage to your path or driveway.
Kids love to play outside, which is a good thing when parents need peace and quiet. However, setting some rules for how and where they can play will afford your exterior paintwork some serious protection. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed unless you want to end up paying to repaint walls and other outside structures.
Make a “no writing on walls” rule, even with seemingly innocent implements such as crayons or chalk. While walls make for a great place to set up a soccer goal, the ball will cause black marks and may even damage exterior walls. If the kids are outside playing with water, make sure they know not to blast exteriors with high-pressure water.
Flora & Fauna
Keep your plants, trees, and bushes under control when they are growing close to exterior walls. Branches will cause damage to paintwork over time and especially so during high winds. Spring and fall are the ideal seasons to cut back any overgrowth to keep paintwork safe from damage. If you decide to grow ivy around the exteriors of your home, make sure you understand the long-term implications. Paintwork will need to be completely redone if you ever decide to remove fauna such as ivy or vines.
Pets can do serious damage to paintwork so train yours to choose another location to urinate or scratch, where possible. Avoid attaching birdfeeders or anything resembling a perch to exterior walls, unless you want to spend a large amount of time washing exteriors after each visit from your feathered friends.
Regular home maintenance inspections are critical. The elements and threat of pests are ever-present dangers which can do serious damage to paintwork. By regularly inspecting paintwork, you can decide if any work needs to be done or unattended items are posing a risk. Check for dull or cracked paintwork that may deteriorate further. In many cases, a touch-up of paint will help protect your exteriors for longer and save on the expense of having to repaint your walls.
While you are carrying out a maintenance inspection on paintwork, take the time to check any wood paneling for pests such as termites. If you encounter insect nests that you are unable to identify, do not disturb them without consulting with a professional first.