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With every August in northern Indiana comes that touch of autumn in the air, the one that reminds you what’s left on your outdoor to-do list ahead of the coming winter weather. There’s always something else in the air too: moisture.
For 20 years, Matthews Painting has paid attention to moisture because it affects the quality in every job we do. Good news for our Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City, Indiana customers – whether that’s interior painting, exterior stain or a power-washing service. When paint professionals start a job, they first inspect for moisture conditions to help them understand the best products and techniques they’ll want to use, or see minor repairs that need to happen. It’s easy to just think that water is wet, but there are actually a few different “kinds” of H2O to consider.
Plentiful rains and the humid conditions of summer create obvious weather-related moisture conditions, so before any painting we test for exterior moisture levels that should not exceed 15 percent. That’s one of the ways that we ensure that your fresh coat doesn’t just look good, but also delivers the long-lasting protection and optimal performance you envision. Though weather is an obvious reason for moisture, it’s not the only one – or the same all over your home.
If your property is heavily wooded or on the water, you probably live in a wet environment, but that also may be true when only parts of a structure, including the sunless north side of a house, remain in the shade. If there are other systems that are failing – think the gutters or roof here – that will affect the water content of wood elsewhere in the building. If your foundation retains a lot of moisture, as is often the case with concrete or block foundations, the moisture levels may be higher throughout the inside and affect the outside too.
Nearly everyone knows that the laundry, kitchen and bath are subject to lots of water. What they may not know is that, according to Purdue University experts, even breathing – coupled with other interior sources like dishwashers, dryer vents and houseplants – may put three gallons of water vapor per day into the home of an average family of four. That’s more water that matters to the paint. It’s also more detail than most Hoosiers want to think about, but Purdue experts at the Wood Research Laboratory and related facilities devote their careers to better technologies, and we benefit from their work.
So what do we do about all that moisture? In some cases, that means scheduling a job so that weather impacts are removed from the equation. Or it means addressing an underlying problem first, so that any rotted wood outside – or mildewed wall inside – is cleaned, repaired or replaced before painting. It may mean careful project work ahead of painting that considers your home insulation, a notorious but often unexpected source of moisture, or that seals those doors and windows.
Some painting problems can be avoided with good technique in the first place. The simple choice of a low power wash setting, for example, will remove the dirt without unintentionally forcing moisture into the surface and creating a new problem now that you want to paint it. And above all else, proper prepping is key.
So is choosing the right product for the surface and location. A recommended water- and mildew-resistant product may improve longevity when paints are subjected to storms and other big-picture weather scenarios. It also works small, to reduce the swelling and microscopic, moisture-related dimension changes that disrupt the paint’s ability to bond. Ultimately, choosing the right kind of the highest-quality paint, and ensuring that it’s properly applied, is the final step toward managing moisture.
For all the benefits and beauty that water brings to our lives, it’s also a relentlessly destructive force that we protect our homes from when we paint in the first place. Carefully considering moisture conditions during that painting process ensures the best possible protection, and appearance, for years to come.
Matthews Painting has now expanded 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, Columbia City Indiana, Warsaw, Winona Lake, Leesburg, Syracuse, Indiana, North Webster, North Manchester, Lake Wawasee and Lake Tippecanoe areas.