If you’ve thought this Spring 2017 weather was a little confusing, with spring storms one day and snow the next, then you’ve probably also wondered when it’s smart to start doing exterior painting jobs in the Columbia City, Indiana and Goshen, Indiana areas. At Matthews Painting, our house painting and staining professionals are mindful of how weather influences the performance of the paints and quality of the job all year round – whether it’s cold, heat, humidity or rain that affects it.
We’ve started scheduling exterior paint jobs for April, and there’s a reason why we wait until then. In this Northern Indiana climate, it’s usually still too cold at night to paint exterior surfaces. While the weather warms up during March days, and it’s true that newer paint formulations create a bigger window for painting when temperatures dip as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, we want to make sure that customer expectations are never compromised. On the other hand, the best times for exterior house painting are usually in the spring and fall, so we’re ready to go as soon as the season begins!
Temperature extremes can cause different problems for paints. If the weather is too cold – not just during application, but for a day or two before and after the job – it can shorten the overall life of the paint. Even in lower humidity, there’s a risk for mildew problems or a failure of the paint to adhere. It also depends on what paint your using, since popular latex products have a smaller ideal temperature window than oil-based products do. It makes it just as important to avoid the blistering summer heat.
When the weather is too hot, paints can dry too quickly. That too may result in peeling or cracking, but for a different reason. The quick-drying effect of hot weather also makes working with the paint a bit more difficult, so it’s best to consider a professional who knows how to avoid application flaws caused by paint clumping or brushes that leave stroke marks. It’s another reason why spring is good timing, but so are the sun angles: Painting in direct sunlight can be difficult, and that’s a part of planning for the job. The sun’s warmth changes the temperature of the exterior surface, even when the air is still the same.
Humidity is another consideration. The best drying will occur when the humidity outside is between 40 and 70 percent, which can be a challenge at the height of summer. Paint should only be applied to dry and well-prepared surfaces, and it’s not just humidity that causes moisture. Evening and morning dew can complicate the task, so it’s a good idea to anticipate when you’ll start and especially in spring, when you’ll stop a job for the day. The paint needs time to dry before the sun yields to a cool, damp evening.
A light breeze is ideal for exterior painting, but a windy day can spell trouble. That’s obvious if your job involves spray equipment, but it’s also true for all jobs. Wind dries the paint too quickly, which can cause the same kind of cracking problems that direct sunlight or heat extremes do. It also tends to kick up a lot of dust and particles that are trapped in the paint and weaken the protection. Chances are, too, that if you wouldn’t feel safe on an extended ladder in a high wind, then neither would a professional crew.
Finally, rainy days are obviously not exterior painting days, but it’s important to consider how recently a hard or soaking rain has occurred, or how much time you have before the next one. At Matthews, we even offer “rainy day specials” and complete smaller interior jobs when the weather keeps us inside!
Matthews Painting is now expanding our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door, window and kitchen cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City Indiana areas.