How to tell if it’s time for repainting

Here in the South we seem to be moving towards Spring, despite the pictures I saw of cars in Yorkshire stranded in the snow.
It’s a good time of year to take stock of a home and look at what jobs will need to be done, including decorating jobs of course.

External paintwork
What should you look for on external paintwork? Heat and cold, water, wind, atmospheric pollution and ultra-violet light all put a strain on paint. Most commercial paints these days should be good for 4 years or more – provided they were properly applied to the manufacturers specifications in the first place, and that sound preparation of under-surfaces was done.

The first, most obvious thing to look for is any peeling or flaking: those are danger signs and mean ‘do something now’. Once paint has started flaking, our weather will quickly find it’s way into the wood. From there it is a short step to rot, and that gets expensive quickly.
Besides obvious degradation of the paint, another thing to look for is gloss paint which is losing it’s sheen. That shiny appearance isn’t just cosmetic, it is part of the protection that paint offers.
We sometimes come across homes where previous tradesmen have taken shortcuts, and sadly they almost always end up causing more harm than good. Filler applied to rotten wood in summer then painted over can look good for a few months, but if all rotten wood hash’t been replaced then the rot spreads, unseen.
The best answer, if you’re in any doubt, it to get a trusted decorator to have a look. We’re always happy to give your paintwork a free examination and an honest answer.

Interior paintwork
This is often more of an aesthetic decision. Properly done interior paintwork can last up to 10 years, even more, though it will be looking pretty tired by then. Ultra-violet light, fumes from cooking, and direct attack by pets and children all take their toll.  There are some excellent paints on the market now, and websites where you can see how your home will look in different colour combinations. Again, I’m always happy to give free and honest advice and colour ideas if you want them.

We’re getting dangerously close the spring-cleaning season, when my wife Holly says I go strangely invisible – I assure her it’s simply that there are ‘man-jobs’ that  need doing. But she’ll be willing to spare me to come and look at your home, so if you are thinking about having some work done in the next couple of months call her. It will give me a good excuse to be out of the house.

All the best,
Geoff Parvin

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