Hardboard Siding Issues

Hardboard Siding Issues

Hardboard siding, also known as pressboard siding and several other rather unflattering terms, is common in the Omaha area. It can be a real problem. If you have it you are probably already familiar with the issues it has. It is subject to moisture entrapment and decay. It deteriorates rather easily.

If you have this problem you basically have three options.

  1. Replacement of all siding on your home to something better.
  2. Replacement of the damaged siding with new hardboard siding.
  3. Skirting over the damaged areas on the existing siding.

Your budget will most likely determine your decision. Total siding replacement is obviously costly. Replacement of the damaged siding is more economical and skirting is the most economical choice.

If you rule out total siding replacement and go for replacement of the damaged panels only then the first thing to determine is if there is hardboard siding, that matches what you currently have, available. You will need new siding that matches the profile of what you have. There are sources in Omaha that have it but it is a limited selection so you will want to check before having the bad stuff ripped off the house!

You will be replacing bad siding with “new” bad siding but there are things to do to get the most out of the new stuff.

  1. Prime the siding on all sides with a quality oil base primer.
  2. Caulk the siding after installation with a urethane caulk like vulkem.
  3. Consider skirting the new siding.
  4. Use a quality Acrylic top coat when painting.

If you decide to Skirt the damaged siding you will want to determine that the damage is not to severe. An overlay of a 1×6 or a 1×8 normally looks ok. Beyond that it begins to look a little funny. A 1×12 running down the side of your home won’t look right. The damage is associated with where water penetrates. Usually from the bottom up so measure how far up the damage is. If the damage is less then 6 or 7 inches and there is not damage under the siding then you can probably skirt it.

If you plan to skirt the siding there are things to do to get the most out of it.

  1. Cut the top edge of the 1×6 or 1×8 at a bevel so water does not sit on the top lip of the board. Do this by running the boards through a table saw with the blade at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Prime all sides of the boards with an oil base primer before installation.
  3. Caulk the boards after installation with a urethane caulk (Vulkem).
  4.  Use a quality Acrylic top coat when painting.

We face lots of these challenges each summer. We replace the siding when possible but also skirt many each year.

Restaining Woodwork

Restaining Woodwork

Restaining woodwork is something we do every month. The color of your woodwork can be changed! Whether it is cabinets, doors, trim, etc. It is a process to do it right but it is more affordable then replacement. Changing the tone or color to a darker shade stain is a bit easier then going with a lighter color but both can be done.

What is trending in the Omaha market now (2017) is either going with a darker stained finish or painting woodwork. The days of golden oak are over.

Quality workmanship requires lots of prep work. A considerable amount of time is spent getting an area ready for the work to begin. Protecting floors, walls, furniture, etc. Sanding the old finish off and cleaning the wood takes time but is a necessary step. If going with a lighter color then additional steps involving chemical strippers and bleaching agents are added to the mix.

restaining woodwork
Golden oak going dark walnut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We like to provide sample boards so the customer can see where the project is headed. Once approved, sealers and lacquers are spray applied to protect the finish and highlight the woods beauty.

Restaining woodwork takes time and skilled hands but the end results are great!

Painting VS Vinyl Siding

Painting VS Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is something to consider, as opposed to painting, in certain situations. I should say at the start that I do not like vinyl siding. I think it looks cheap and makes what would otherwise be a beautiful house, cheap looking.

Having said that, there are times when it makes sense. Vinyl siding can be an inexpensive home improvement option. Especially if you are selling your home. The cost of vinyl siding is usually more then painting but if you consider that much of the expense of exterior house painting is the prep (labor), if you have a home that is going to require a lot of prep work you may want to consider vinyl siding to save costs.

The scenario that makes the most sense for vinyl siding is an old home requiring lots of repair and prep work and a home you don’t plan to live in for a long time.

Painting VS Vinyl Siding

Advantages of vinyl siding:

Installation is relatively fast.

Rigid foam backing insulation can be an option. Important on older homes.

It’s the least expensive siding option.

It doesn’t rot.

Disadvantages of vinyl siding:

Appearance. It is a plastic product.

It warps, bends, cracks, melts and is easily damaged.

It hides problems occurring under the siding like water damage.

You loose architectural detail of the home.

Can quickly fade.

painting vs vinyl siding
No Vinyl Siding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we are on the subject of painting vs vinyl siding I might add that the best siding option, if you can afford it, is Hardie Board siding. It is fiber cement siding and is extremely durable.

Vinyl siding is paintable by the way. One of the best coatings for that is a Benjamin Moore product called Revive.

 

 

 

 

Pets And Paint fumes

Pets And Paint fumes

Pets and paint fumes don’t mix. Just like you, pets are sensitive to the strong fumes paint can produce and remember some pets, like dogs, have a much more acute sense of smell and may be even more sensitive then we realize. Cats, dogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards… all can be bothered by paint fumes.

One group of pets that are often overlooked are fish. Some people assume they are safe in their tank but the opposite is actually the case. Fish tanks have aerators which actually take the air in a room, and the fumes, and run it through the tank. Fish are often more susceptible then any other pet.

Breathing the fumes from solvent based paint, stain, etc. can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea in both you and your pets.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your pets out of the area where painting or staining is taking place. Take them to a relatives or friends house for a couple days. Almost all paint and solvent fumes will dissipate in a couple days with adequate ventilation.

Pets and paint don’t mix. Most pets are curious and may walk right into a work area, paint supplies or right into paint.

Another cause of concern besides fumes is ingestion. Even low VOC (Volatile organic compounds)  paints have compounds that can be deadly when ingested. Many latex paints contain glycols, including ethylene glycol (antifreeze) which will cause kidney damage and failure when ingested. If you believe your pet has ingested a paint or solvent, take them to the Veterinarian right away. If you notice vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, difficulty walking or standing or difficulty breathing, take the pet to the Vet.

Pets become valuable parts of a family and are entitled to love and protection.

Caulk VS Caulk

Caulk VS Caulk

Caulk is an important part of both an interior and an exterior paint job. There are many types and brands of caulk but the two I like the most are the Top Gun brand manufactured by Pittsburg Paint and Sonneborn NP1 manufactured by BASF.

These are two completely different products with different applications. We use the Top Gun products on interior work and prefer the Sonneborn on exterior work.

On the interior applications we usually go with the Top Gun 250 which is a fast dry caulk which will allow us to move much faster on a painting project. This same product can be used on exterior applications but we tend to encourage customers to consider the NP1 which is a Urethane product. It is also much more expensive and difficult to work with but it performs extremely well.

top gun caulk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not common to see Paint Contractors using the NP1 because it requires a 7 to 10 day cure time before it can be painted. That causes a significant delay in the project and can make scheduling projects more challenging. It also requires a solvent for cleanup and can be a pain to work with.

Budgets are always a  factor on any home improvement project. We believe in using the best materials possible and like to give options to the customer that make economic sense whether you are selling your home or plan to keep it as your residence. In most cases, using the best materials is the best choice.

3 Colors to Avoid for Painting a Front Door

3 Colors to Avoid for Painting a Front Door

The front door makes a statement that sets the personality of the rest of the house. It is the second thing people notice, behind the front yard.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or you want to create a more welcoming entrance to your home, the color you paint your front door can make all the difference.

Why Color Matters

Yeah, your eye is drawn to a home’s front door. So, what?

You likely felt some emotion when you looked at that front door. Maybe it piqued your interest or creativity, made you feel relaxed, happy, or energized. The color of the door may look elegant, inviting or plain weird.

Most people either paint their front door in a color that matches or compliments the color scheme of the rest of the house’s exterior or they paint the front door in a bold, bright, contrasting color.

Neither of these approaches are wrong. It depends on your personal style and personality.

Yes, the color of your front door tells others about your personality. The color of your front door will shape the expectations others have of the inside of the home.

Here are the connotations given by popular paint colors:

Red

Red front doors are a huge trend right now and the fad doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. A red front door indicates action and that the owners are “go-getters.” Red gives warmth, vibrancy and excitement without being too wild.

Purple

Purple gives off an air of sophistication and royalty. If you’re selling your home and you have a purple front door, prospective buyers will expect the home’s interior to be neat, and luxurious. Purple indicates order and perfectionism as well as generosity and helpfulness.

Yellow

Yellow is eye-catching and indicates individuality, creativity, logic, optimism, cheerfulness and extraversion. Guests to homes with yellow doors expect cheerful and sunny rooms inside. Be careful not to go overboard with the yellow. Painting your whole house yellow, for instance can indicate anxiety and irrationality.

Blue

Blue is the most popular paint color. Why? It indicates inner peace, truth calmness and trust. In fact, doors painted bright blue bring in more visitors than any other color.

Black

Black doors indicated glamour, formality, tradition and seriousness. Black doors also give off a sense of protection and security.  Black doors work great with light, colorful colors.

White

This simple, plain color gives off a sense of cleanliness, simplicity and sterility. Guests will expect a home that is clean and organized.

While most colors are safe to use, there are three colors you should avoid.

The Three Colors to Avoid

Orange

There is a good reason why orange is one of the cheapest paint colors. It is bright and energizing, but not sophisticated. This unique color indicates the need to be respected and accepted, it also indicates that the homeowners seek out challenges.

Orange doors are rare because it is hard to pull them off well. If you’re looking for something truly unique and different, however, an orange door can be for you.

Orange doors are not commonly seen because they send the message that the owners are either cheap or weird.

The only homes that can pull off an orange door are those with orange accent colors, such as a dark gray, or are expensive, luxury homes.

Brown

Brown has been the traditional front door color, common in years past. Now this color indicates cheap, boring, dated and plain. Dark brown doors also look somber. While brown is not necessarily a color to be avoided on the exterior of your home, it shouldn’t be on the front door.

Pale Green

Green doors add vibrant color to your home and is one of the most popular front door colors. Green traditionally indicates wealth, prosperity, peace and serenity. Green is often associated with plants and nature. Vivid green hues add personality and make a statement.

Light or overly pale green hues, such as sage can be bland and boring. These softer green hues are hard to compliment with other exterior paint colors: it is too light to compliment other light, muted colors and it has too much color to contrast darker, vibrant colors.

If you’re looking to paint your front door and need advice on color selection or have it professionally painted, contact the Painting Company today.

Painting Estimate The Good And The Meh

A painting estimate is your first contact with a professional paint contractor. Everyone has their own style but there are basics that should be included in all written estimates. The key word is written. All estimates should be written out. You should not accept anything verbal. Some Paint Contractors have a painting estimate form they have made, others use generic forms, whatever the case may be it should be in a written format.

The estimate should have the basics like your name, address, etc. and it should include the Paint Contractors information like address, phone, etc. and it should be very specific as to the scope of work to be performed.

One item often overlooked is how long the estimate is good for. Are the prices good for the summer? 30 days? It should be specified. I once had someone call 2 years after receiving an estimate to say they were ready to have their house painted. Our estimates state they are good for 30 days by the way. The prices for materials change regularly.

estimates cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most important thing is the price. Included with that should be any terms like a percentage down and any other payment terms like forms of payment. Are credit cards accepted? Credit card fees can get pretty high. It can cost a Paint Contractor hundreds of dollars in fees to take a payment by credit card so it’s best to work that part out ahead of time.

 

 

Full Prime Exterior House Painting

Full prime on all exterior surfaces like siding and trim prior to top coating them with a quality latex is almost always a great idea. If it were up to me, most exterior paint jobs would have full primer and 2 coats of the highest quality latex, but often price is an overriding factor. The fact is that labor is the single biggest cost on a paint job, so I encourage customers to go with the highest grade paint and a full coat of primer should be considered. Is it absolutely necessary? No but it will add to the longevity of a paint job.

Being in business for as long as we have, I can look back at previous work and see that the exterior residential paint jobs that have lasted 15+ years (including my own home) have 2 things in common. Full primer and high end top coats.

The thickness of the layers of paint on the exterior to your home are a major factor on how good the paint acts as a barrier to the elements and time. When you add a full prime to the package you are building up the thickness or mils of that barrier. In the United States paint film thickness is measured in mils. One mil equals 1/1000 of an inch. A piece of duct tape is about 4 mils thick. Gorilla brand duct tape is about 16 mils thick.

Keep in mind that primer does a lot more then just building up those mils. It seals, bonds and levels out the porosity of the substrate.

There are times when full prime should not be considered. For example paint can reach what is called critical thickness. That is when forces causing the paint to peel away from the siding exceed the bond holding the paint film against the surface. If there are many layers of paint on a older home then removal of those layers should be considered. That is time consuming and expensive but sometimes necessary.

Staining Log Homes

Staining log homes takes a lot of work! The key to a successful job is how well you clean it first. Quite often when we are asked to stain a log home it is well overdue and in dire need of attention. Power washing and getting it ready to go takes a lot of effort.

It is important to use chemicals in combination with the power washing. One of the best cleaners for this process is DeckBriteWe normally use 2 to 3  of the large 3lbs containers on a log home. Technically that’s 22 gallons of cleaning solution, but we actually double up on the mixing ratio a bit so it makes less then that. When using DeckBrite the best way to mix it is in a five gallon bucket and when ready transfer it to a Hudson sprayer. Don’t mix it in the Hudson sprayer. The sprayers almost always get clogged if you do that. When the granules are mixed with water, the water turns blue. When the water looses the blue appearance you are ready to use it.

 

staining a log home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We like to mist the cabin logs with water and then hit it with the DeckBrite. Working in sections starting at the bottom works best. The cleaner should remain wet and given time to work, then hit it with direct spray at a relatively close angle to the logs. You will see the color and dirt being stripped  away with the force of the water. You need to be fairly close to the logs with the spray pattern for it to work. This means ladders and power washing which is not the best combination for safety sake. This is a job perhaps best left for the professional paint contractor and it is a process that takes time.

Adequate dry time is important. When it is good and dry after power washing, it’s time to stain. When staining a log home I like to use Sikkens stain. It is expensive but you will get many years out of this product. Using an airless sprayer and low pressure works well. Back brushing and working the stain into the logs is a must!

 

Painting Steel Siding

Painting steel siding is something we do every year. Many people are not sure if it is something that can be done but it can be under the right circumstances. We normally do a simple test to determine if it is wise to do. It’s easy to do. Take a rag and wet it with MEK. Wipe the surface of the siding. Rub just a little bit. If the color on the siding comes off onto the rag, you have a good candidate for painting.

Priming is necessary. We use a bonding primer. XIM 400 is a great choice. You can also go with an epoxy primer but I like the XIM. After the standard prep, like power washing. A light sprayed coat of primer is sufficient.

 

painting steel siding before
Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quality latex top coat is the next step.

painting steel siding after
After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coatings on steel siding tend to chalk over time. When you are doing your initial inspection, look for signs of chalking. Run your hand over the siding. If your hand is dusty/chalky. Then you will want to be sure to incorporate a good cleaner with the power wash. I like Simple GreenIt works well. Be sure to rinse a couple times.