Caulk failure? Your siding may be the problem

Caulk failure? Your siding may be the problem

Exterior Painting Home Contractors Uncategorized Women In Construction

 

Repainting your home is an investment. Under normal circumstances, if you hire professional painters who properly prepare and apply two coats of quality paint, and if you maintain your property between paint applications, you can expect your new paint job to last 10 to 15 years.

Unfortunately, sometimes other factors affect the longevity of a quality paint job. One of the most common, if unexpected, factors that can affect the appearance and longevity of paint is siding caulk failure.

Caulk is the waterproof filler and sealant used in building work and in repairs. It is often used by painters to fill cracks or repair holes in order to create a smooth and uniform surface on which paint can be applied. When caulk separates or fails to adhere to a surface it can result in unsightly cracks, breaks or openings into which moisture can seep and cause a secondary, and serious, problem.

This failure can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is directly related to the substrate (siding material) to which the caulk (and paint) is applied. Due to exposure, weather and outdoor elements, siding wears over time. Some types tend to wear well while others tend to experience caulk failure at an alarming rate.

We have seen the majority of caulk failure occur with the most popular brand of siding used by today’s builders and remodelers: HardiePlank®.

HardiePlank® siding is very popular because it is an extremely durable alternative to vinyl or wood siding. When it’s new, it actually holds paint longer than any other siding and does not require back brushing or rolling, under normal circumstances, which makes it easy to work with.

The problem is mostly with HardiePlank® siding which was manufactured before 2008. This siding has had serious issues with cracking and breaking due to expansion and contraction of the product as temperatures vary.  The obvious fix for this problem was to caulk at the butt joints in order to close the gaps; however, the same expansion and contraction that caused the initial cracking causes the filler caulking to fail. As a result, the seal is broken, allowing water penetration to occur, even on a freshly painted house.

The manufacturer of HardiePlank® addressed this serious issue in 2008 by requiring builders to install flashing behind the butt joints and recommending that painters did not, from that point forward, caulk in the butt joints.  Thankfully, as a result of this change in policy, newer homes with this siding should not have a caulk failure problem. Unfortunately, because the “fix” for this problem is not widely known by all builders and painters, we still run across this type of caulk failure fairly frequently, even in homes built after 2008.

If you are a homeowner or manager for a property with HardiePlank® siding, it is important to understand that paint will not wear as well nor look as good when applied over siding that is failing due to cracking or breakage or caulk failure.  We cannot guarantee results when working with this type of siding, because the problem is with the product, not with the paint.

There are some things you can do to minimize the issue, however.  If your home was built before 2008 and you have HardiePlank® siding, you should regularly maintain it by:

  1. Replacing caulking as soon as you notice it failing.
  2. Touching up the paint after any caulking repairs – this will help maintain both the appearance and the seal.
  3. In extreme cases, siding replacement may be needed.

Home renovations are stressful even under the best of circumstances. Things like caulk failure can complicate your otherwise straightforward job; but, more knowledge about your property and your potential problems can help to assure a quality end product. If you have HardiePlank® siding, check it often for caulk failure and hire a well rated and well informed painter whenever you choose to re-paint.

Until next time,

Nancy

 

 

Color Wheel Basics – Choosing the Right Color Scheme

Color Wheel Basics – Choosing the Right Color Scheme

Exterior Painting Interior Painting Uncategorized

 

You’ve probably noticed that we focus on color a lot. Whether we’re talking about your interior or exterior paint color or choosing the perfect pops of color to complete your look, color is important to us! And why shouldn’t it be, it’s all around us. Talking about color can be difficult, however. We wanted to give you a leg up on the conversation and cover a few of the color “language” basics.

Primary colors

The primary colors are red, blue and yellow. All other colors are made by blending these three primary colors together.

color wheelColor Wheel

A color wheel is a circle with different colored sections that helps to show the relationship between colors. Color wheels can be simple, only showing the primary colors and their basic, blended counter parts (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple); or they can be complex, showing a large variety of hues and lightnesses.

warm colorsWarm Colors

These colors are the colors on the right half of our color wheel; specifically, the reds, yellows and oranges are all warm colors. When you think of warm colors, think about the amount of energy you want to give your space. They are “advancing” colors, meaning they appear closer, and will make a space feel cozier and slightly smaller.

cool colorsCool Colors

On the left half of our color wheel are the cool colors. These colors—blues, greens and purples—are receding. A cool color can be useful to calm down any space in your home, which is why they are commonly found indoors and in living spaces. They will make any area feel more open and tend to have a relaxing effect.

complimentary colorsComplimentary Colors

Color wheels can be awesome tools for easily choosing colors that match. Complimentary colors are one of these perks. Want to find colors that are very different but still look good together? Look across the color wheel for some complimentary color pairs like the one shown here. Opposites really do attract in this case!

monochromatic colorsMonochromatic Colors

Another color scheme that is relatively popular uses the variety of values (lighter or darker shades of the same color) to its advantage. We’ve seen monochromatic looks making a come back, specifically in terms of using different sheens to play colors up rather than changing the hue. A monochromatic look uses only one slice of the color wheel.

analogous colorsAnalogous Colors

If you’re not digging the contrast provided by complimentary colors, analogous colors may be more your speed. Look at a wider portion of the color wheel for your analogous options, including several different slices, and pick a pallet which appeals to you.

Do you have other color terms bogging you down? Let us know and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Until next time,

Nancy

Sisu Rules for Getting the Best Results

Sisu Rules for Getting the Best Results

Uncategorized

You are taking on a project that will improve your property value and enhance your living experience…and may increase your anxiety. Whether you are taking on a small painting project or a whole house remodel, we offer these basic guidelines to help maintain perspective and humor…and get the best results.

Carefully review this list so you know what to expect during your paint project:

  1. Perfection does not exist, and looking for it can add to your stress.If you are someone who expects perfection on this or any project, you’re likely to be disappointed often.  Your paint project is being managed by human hands and humans are, well, human. You can trust us to do our very best to create the results you want.
  2. Murphy’s Law applies to every project, bar none.  If something can go wrong, it probably will. Stuff happens.   Keeping a cool head and learning to rely on honest and direct communication is the best way to deal with glitches in the plan. It’s also why it’s important to hire professionals to manage your project. We have lots of experience with overcoming the inevitable glitches along the way…so you don’t have to.
  3. Communicate with us. Something doesn’t look or feel right?  You’re frustrated that you can’t get to that bottle of wine covered with painter’s plastic? You haven’t seen your cat around for hours and worry he may have fallen into the paint bucket? (kidding!) Talk to your onsite project manager, tell them how you feel and what you need.  And, never hesitate to call the office or the owners to discuss any questions or concerns. We are all here to help you be as comfortable as possible with the process.
  4. Delays   Many factors can delay a project, including the weather, material shortages, sick workers, or other unforeseen issues.  Don’t fret, your project will be completed in the order it was scheduled. Rain is the biggest reason for delay of exterior projects. We carefully monitor weather forecasts to determine whether or not to schedule painters on a given day.  Sometimes the forecast is incorrect, which may cost us a day on the project. However, to get the results we (and you) want, we need optimal painting conditions. Try to be patient, and trust us to do our best.
  5. Now and then, damage  On any worksite, things occasionally get broken. If you have an irreplaceable heirloom or special family treasure, take the time to move it out of the construction/paint zone. While our employees are extremely careful and, while paint spills and splatter can easily be cleaned up in almost all instances, we strongly encourage you to remove anything of personal importance.
  6. Sometimes the swatch doesn’t always match the wall, or your expectations.Our color matching experts are excellent at what they do, but remember rule #1: perfection does not exist.  This is the reason we do drawdowns (large samples of the actual paint drawn down on card stock for color match approval).  The good news is, if the color doesn’t match, we can always change it.  That’s the nice thing about paint J.
  7. Interior paint projects can disrupt your life! In order to do the proper paint preparation necessary to achieve an exceptional final result, we’ll cover everything (furniture, etc) with plastic, paper and drop cloths… and keep things covered during the duration of the painting project. If it’s your first project using professional painters, you may be shocked… but you will be thrilled to see the final result. Try to be patient.
  8. There may be surprises along the way. Once the project is underway, our painters may discover existing damage or flaws that require attention. Your house may need maintenance that you were not aware of.  Discovery is important, but it’s never the kind of news we are happy to deliver.  When this happens, you can trust us to bring the issue to your attention.  In some cases, we may need to bring in other contractors to fix a problem, which may add additional costs to your project.
  9. Occasionally – very occasionally – we miss a spot.Touch-up painting is generally done at the end of the project, during the phase when our expert painters are looking over all the newly painted areas. If, by some chance, you notice something we missed, just give us a call and we’ll come and fit it.
  10. We take deadlines seriously, but workmanship is most important of all.Rest assured, our painters are working as fast as they can to finish your project.  Sometimes, due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances (see #9), things take longer than anticipated.  We will never rush a job to get to a deadline, because we know that rushing results in sloppy workmanship.  Be patient.  We pledge to stay on your project and do the job right, from start to finish.
  11. Pre-existing paint conditions can be tricky. It is common to encounter old drips and spills on trim or baseboards, left over from the last paint application.  Because this paint is old and set, the process of removing it can be very time consuming and expensive.  In most instances, through careful preparation, we can make it look better or “good enough,” but rarely can we make it look like new unless you are willing to incur additional expenses.
  12. Color selections must be pre-approved to assure a match. Your color selections need to be finalized at least a week prior to the start of your project in order to present drawdowns for color match approval.  If you authorize us to begin your project without your having approved the color, the cost of ordering additional paint in a new color will be applied to you.
  13. Relax: there is rarely a problem for which there is not a good solution. It is rare that we face an issue that really baffles us, but occasionally it takes a little awhile to find the right solution.  Remember, we are as eager as you are to make everything come out right.
  14. Brace yourself for color shock. Once the color starts to go up, so will your anxiety.  This is a normal reaction to change. Take a deep breath.  The first coat rarely looks “right” in the beginning, but 99% of the time clients find it stunning in the end.
  15. Sit back and enjoy the process. We hear it all the time from clients: you won’t find a harder working or more highly skilled team of professional painters anywhere.  The work ethic of our team is unsurpassed in the industry, and they are really nice to boot!

The best thing you can do to improve your overall experience of any home renovation project, is to relax and stay positive. Remember, especially during the construction phase, how much you wanted these changes… and that all good things take time.

Here’s to fresh paint!

Nancy