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Both during the actual painting process itself and the time after it's been completed, the climate of your residence can affect your house's paint job. And as forces of nature, there's little that the uninformed can do about it. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle, so if you're about to have your house painted or you're just curious about what rain or shine may be doing to your paint, here are some facts for you to consider.
Because surfaces absorb heat, houses in direct sunlight can be up to twenty degrees warmer than the surrounding air temperature. On hotter days, the outer layer of paint may dry too quickly, often before the lower layers, causing the paint to take on bumps and blisters, or even discoloration. Heat can also cause stucco houses a particular problem, as the materials around the gaps for caulking can expand and vanish in high temperatures. Of course, you're not going to be painting at night, so generally avoid direct sun and try to work around the house in the shade. This is good news for houses canopied well by trees and other buildings. On top of the heat, though not exclusive to warmer temperatures, overexposure to UV rays can fade paint. For those who live in New England, that exposure is going to be lowest around December and January. Unfortunately, these months are among the windiest on the north shore.
Like heat, windy days can see your paint job drying too quickly, resulting in irregular adhesion. Wind prevents the proper bonding of paint, which results in a bad film formation. Wind can also kick up dirt, pollen, and sediments that can interrupt the paint finish, get trapped, and cause mold and mildew to grow.
Obviously, it is not suggested that paint is applied during rain, but even high humidities can mean trouble for paint, requiring more time to properly dry. High levels of humidity can also cause paint discoloration, called surfactant leaching, giving it a more brown or white appearance. Wood especially can be difficult to paint in areas or times when humidity is high because wood absorbs moisture, affecting the paint's adhesive ability, which causes it to bubble or peel. Painting on damp surfaces will promote the growth of mildew by trapping said moisture. So it is not recommended that you paint even following rain for up to twenty-four hours. Make sure, too, that it isn't scheduled to rain soon after you're done either, or the paint will be undoubtedly damaged.
Depending on the temperature, some cooler weather can cause paint to dry more quickly and require fewer re-coats, but bitter cold can be a problem for the drying process. As with other types of weather problems, extreme cold can discolor your paint job. This makes living in places of harsh winters undesirable for both residential and commercial painting, but there are other reasons too. Should you plan your paint job on a day that may drop below freezing when finished, the moisture within curing paint will not dry but crystallize, causing imperfections. At lower temperatures, paint thickens, extending solvent evaporation time. Be sure that the temperature while painting is above 45°F and remains that way for three hours afterward to allow for proper drying.
As with nearly every material, if you live in an area with drastic weather fluctuations, you're going to have to expect a lot of wear and tear. Variations in temperature, especially to the extreme, can cause materials below the paint to expand and contract with regularity. The paint will crack and peel off as any paint job does eventually, but such weather changes can cause the need for more regular maintenance and re-coats. New Hampshire, in particular, goes through a lot of weather and temperature changes, so be ready to see this occur.
All of these factors include and apply to most types of paint and finishing, but there are some differences to watch out for regarding what type of paint you're going to use. Oil-based paints require temperatures of above 45°F for example, for at the very least forty-eight hours. But acrylic and latex paints need temperatures at least 50°F, and others still need lower temperatures. Some respond better than others with certain conditions and some worse; humidity affects acrylic and latex paints the most, not permitting them to dry properly, and in oil-based paints, thicker coatings (as with cold temperatures) make it take longer for the paint to oxidize.
If this all seems dizzying, never fear. Professional painters have their routines locked down, and they know what to expect when considering the effects of weather on paint jobs. They'll aim for weathers with low humidity, little wind, and temperatures that will be gentle on your desired type of paint. No Risk Painting even includes your satisfaction in their policy, with warranties for whatever the climate may send your way.