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What is the first thing you notice when you look at property?  Is it landscaping, the roof, the windows or it is old outdated paint?

Paint is always on the mind of HOA boards and property managers and for good reason, fresh paint is a simple way to make your property pop.  Sometimes though, it can be difficult to understand why you should repaint your properties, how often you should do it, and how to go about it the right way. Let’s learn everything you need to know about exterior paint!

Why should you repaint your property?

While some believe that painting a home or property is purely to make it look nice, paint actually provides a crucial protective layer.  The coating of paint is a sealant for the siding, which is often made of wood materials.  Over time, that paint becomes less and less protective.   As the integrity of the paint wears, siding is exposed to the elements and rots. 

By simply repainting your property, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in siding replacement costs.  Remember, paint isn’t just there to look pretty!

How often do you have to repaint?

On average, properties need to be painted every 5-7 years (or 7-10 years if you use a premium paint like these options from Sherwin Willams.) It is recommended that you check the performance of your paint yearly after it has been applied for 3 years. 

To check the paint on your property, go around and look at the trim, the deck, and the first 3 rows of siding. This is where snow might sit against it for long periods of time, causing chipping paint, rot or some other types of damage. If you’d like your HOA or property assessed, call HomeGuard to schedule an appointment!

Multi-family properties or apartment complexes often phase the repaint of the entire community.  For example, a community of 21 buildings might decide to split the project over 3 years, repainting 7 buildings a year until completion.  However, those buildings that are already failing need to be repainted ASAP to avoid further siding damage and more expense.

When choosing a contractor, you have 2 options to consider:

  • Award each phase of the project to a different contractor.  This doesn’t lock you into a contractor that you may not trust for an entire project.
  • Award all phases to one contractor.  This comes with a significant price reduction and a long term relationship for maintenance.

One size does not fit all, so be sure to review the options and pick the one that best fits your budget.

Best Timeline for Repainting

The best practice as you start a repainting project for your property is to follow the following timeline:

  • Late Fall or Early Winter is the perfect time to start the inspection & bidding process.  This will allow you to start budgeting for the following year.
  • Late Winter or Early Spring is a great target to sign a contract with your chosen contractor so you can start planning and phasing.
  • Beginning to Middle of Summer is the best time to do exterior projects on your property!  

3 big mistakes your contractor must avoid:

  • Blistering

Cause: Applying paint on a hot surface in direct sunlight, applying paint to a wet/damp surface, moisture getting under the paint after it has dried (often due to a leak from behind the siding.)

How to Fix: Scrape the blister down to the bare wood and reapply new paint.  Make sure the surface is completely dry when reapplying.

  • Alligatoring

Cause: Applying a second coat of paint before the underlying coat is completely dry.

How to Fix: Scrape, pressure wash or sand away the existing paint and completely repaint the affected area.

  • Peeling

Cause: The surface was wet or dirty and the paint was not able to adhere to the underlying layer.  Lack of primer can cause the issue.

How to Fix: Scrape the peeling paint away and prime the exposed wood before repainting.

NOTE: A higher quality paint can help to reduce the chances of most of the issues listed above.

Most mistakes are a result of poor surface preparation and can be easily avoided.  Before a paint project, a property should be pressure washed, thoroughly scraped and allowed to dry. After this, apply a high quality primer to spot prime areas where there was peeling paint.  Finally use a high quality caulk to fill any cracks or smaller joints. (Low-grade caulking doesn’t have as much flexibility.)

Wondering how to choose the right contractor? 

The first thing to do when looking at a potential contractor is reading up on what past customers and suppliers have thought of their work and their communication skills. This can be as simple as reading reviews, or if they’re bidding for a contract through your property management company, see if they have client testimonials in their bid. People speaking to the good experiences they had working with them in the past is a sign of a great contractor.

Always check to make sure the contractor is properly insured, so that mistakes or damages can be filed under a claim.

Most commercial/multi-family painting companies manage subcontractors for the application process.  They shouldn’t be afraid to say “Yes! We use subcontractors, but someone from the company is there to maintain quality control.”  Be sure to ask who will be providing supervision and oversight on your project.  

Finally, pay attention to a contractor’s responsiveness during the bid process. If a company isn’t quick to respond or answer your questions, you need to ask how they will be during the construction process?

At HomeGuard we believe that with the right knowledge, you can make a great decision on restoring the look of your property.  Call us today to schedule an assessment of your property!