Every town has a few historic neighborhoods with long-standing houses that have seen many generations come and go. There’s a certain charm to living in a piece of local history, although it often comes along with a great deal of work. Here are a few important considerations when making changes to a historic home.
Paint color choice is an important decision for any historic property owner. It is not only a public statement but also a gift to the neighborhood. People coming back to visit the area will notice a tastefully kept or otherwise restored older home. Historic houses may be enhanced by appropriate use of colors that highlight framing details and carpentry decoration. For history enthusiasts, there are many websites that speak to the use of historically appropriate hues and colors.
While some neighborhood associations may be more liberal with the allowed modifications and paint colors, it’s always appropriate to consult an association member before making any questionable changes. Unfortunately the downsides range anywhere from costly fines to a total loss on project expenditures and time.
For houses painted prior to 1978, chances are there are remnants of lead paint that may be harmful to the health of young children. Federal law attempts to moderate the impact of lead paint on areas most often used by children, including housing, schools and childcare facilities. The biggest concern relates to the chipping and flaking of paint and lead dust. However, paint maintained in good condition is generally not hazardous. Good cleaning habits and upkeep are the best line of defense against any potential health issues. Overall the laws are meant to ensure that lead paint is monitored and addressed appropriately whenever necessary.
Certain older structures may be more prone to paint failure during questionable conditions. It’s important to consider using a professional painting service when dealing with older homes to determine the best time and conditions for a lasting, exterior paint job.
Applying paint in poor weather seems like an obvious thing to avoid, but there are many weather factors that cause failure. Due to continuous high humidity or rain, the wood can not adequately dry causing the paint to fail.These conditions trap moisture that will eventually crack and flake the hard shell of the paint. Ideal painting temperatures are between 50 and 90 degrees, without factoring humidity. Additionally, these weather conditions should be consistent for 24 hours before starting a job. And as most Indiana residents know, consistent and predictable weather is hard to count on, which can pose a challenge.
Another little known cause for paint failure is high interior humidity. This is caused by people living in a house. Cooking vapors, bathing, and clothes dryers all contribute to interior moisture. Make sure that a vapor barrier is properly installed so that the moisture can’t escape. Otherwise, when the house warms from winter to summer, moisture condenses and the water soaks through to the siding causing paint blisters. This tends to occur around kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms where additional venting is needed.