Painting care is a must for home maintenance

With severe weather in Atlanta, painting care is a must for maintenance. It doesn't matter the season--there...

With severe weather in Atlanta, painting care is a must for maintenance. It doesn't matter the season--there is some type of inclement weather. All the different weather changes can cause your paint to deteriorate outside, and if you're not careful, some of the problems from the outside can creep into the interior walls and destroy the paint there.

Unless you have the time, ability and energy, it makes sense to hire a professional for painting care inside and outside your home. You really do want to shop around for a good painter. Each painter's work and qualifications will vary. The process for how contractors do the painting maintenance is different based on who you talk to--if you talk to three different painters, you will have three different cost estimates. It is important that paint maintenance is done regularly as needed.

If paint maintenance is left undone, it can cause deterioration to the house. For example, mildew, wall cracks, unhealthy indoor air quality, dirt, blemishes and marks can all appear. Painting increases the home's value and curb appeal and is one of the most inexpensive ways to remodel and refresh your home.

How often should you paint the interior?

A good rule of thumb is to paint every six to 10 years. However, it really depends on many factors, such as the following:

  • Paint quality
  • Amount of foot traffic
  • Children in home
  • Smoker or non-smoker home
  • Fireplace used regularly

Preparation: Before you start painting a surface, you have to prep it to make sure all the work you put in will last. First, fill in all existing holes and cracks and then sand. Be sure to inspect caulking around all of your windows, frames, doors and door frames and re-caulk as needed. Look for nail pops and smooth them out, putting spackling on the nails and then sanding. Wash away any water stains, grease, dirt or marks on walls. It is very important that you clean whatever mildew that you see on the surface before you paint.

How often should you paint the exterior?

If you use a good quality professional painter to paint the exterior of your home, the paint job should last an average of four to seven years. However, there are many things to consider regarding the lifespan of paint in Atlanta, because each home is different.

Some of the factors that affect the lifespan of the paint include the following:

  • Paint quality makes all the difference.
  • How many trees and shrubbery are near or against the home.
  • If there is a sprinkler system that keeps the vegetation constantly wet.
  • Window air units cause window sills, frames and siding to rot.

Preparation: Clean the exterior surfaces. Review all caulking and inspect throughout the painting process. Replace caulking as needed. Scrape all surface areas properly, and be sure to prime the surface before the last paint application is put on.

On exterior surfaces, mildew is usually a big issue. It is important to wash mildewed areas thoroughly with a solution made of one part bleach and three parts water. The bleach solution will destroy mildew and bleach stains caused by mildew growth. You can hire a professional contractor to pressure wash your home before painting, or you can apply the solution using a brush or a garden sprayer. If you have really heavy mildew you will need to apply more application and scrub the areas. Next, spray the area with clean water before the solution dries to remove all the bleach. Then allow the surface to dry completely. Make sure you have protective clothes on, and use a face mask and goggles to protect your eyes. You should never mix bleach with other chemicals.

Who to contact

Call a professional painting company that offers both interior and exterior paint services. It is best to call three contractors to comparison shop for scope of work and cost. The first thing you want to do is ask your friends, family or co-workers if they can refer a paint company. Ask them about their experiences and whether they were happy with the quality, cost and materials used. Whether you get a referral or not, make sure you check reviews on the company and contractor on Google and Kudzu to see what other customers' experiences have been like.

Once you choose a contractor, ask to get a copy of their business license, insurance, liability and bond papers. You want to make sure the company has enough finances if something happens while performing the work.

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