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April 6, 2020
When most people think of painting their homes, sustainability is not usually on their minds. Instead, they consider the most obvious reasons to paint their house. For example, periodic house painting not only makes a home look beautiful, but it also adds value. Painting a home offers up to 140% return on investment in the event you sell the home. The reason is that home painting adds instant ambiance. A painted home is fresh and clean and looks like a new house, which means that painting has a significant impact on the ambiance, beauty, and value of a home. But there are benefits of painting that improve the sustainability of the home.
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Everyone wants to live in a lovely house located in a neighborhood with well-maintained homes. The size or style of the home isn’t as essential as the maintenance, whether the home is small or large. Painting is a crucial maintenance task. We also find that when one homeowner paints their house, other neighbors follow their lead.
But there is another facet of painting which tends to be overlooked. Painting prevents decay and damage to the structure of a home. It acts as a sealant and protects the house from the effects of weather and rot. The decline starts when the paint ages and begins to fade, flake, peel, and chip. When a structure is neglected for a long time, it begins to deteriorate. Painting prevents this decline from ever starting.
Another fact about painting that people don’t realize is that professional painters are alert for signs of damage — not just decay, but also signs of insects and rodents. As one can easily surmise, the deterioration of a home caused by vermin can be swift and, in some cases, devastating. Because a home comes under intense scrutiny during the painting process, the damage caused by vermin or weather is revealed during the preparation process. The reason many people hire professional painters to paint their house is that the excellent painters are meticulous in their attention to the preparation details before the coats, which includes a close inspection of the structure for damage. Once the damage is discovered, the homeowner can then decide on how to manage pests and repair damage before it gets out of hand.
One problem painting won’t solve is moisture. If water is seeping into the basement through masonry walls, painting alone isn’t a solution. A silicate-based concrete sealer can be applied to the walls, either concrete or brick, but only if they have not been painted or sealed before. Once water is seeping into the basement through a wall that has been painted or sealed in the past, it becomes a structural situation that sealant and paint alone can't remedy.
Generally speaking, it’s easy to see the correlation between painting and sustainability. Eventually, a home that isn’t painted and maintained will fall victim to weathering, rot, and pests. It doesn’t take long before neglected portions of a home need to be repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. It makes no sense to indulge in neglect of the structure when the most sustainable course of action is to maintain the home in good condition.
Depending on the structure, a home exterior should be painted every five to ten years. If the structure is wood, it may need to be painted more frequently. The frequency with which a home is painted can be impacted by weather conditions, the quality of the previous paint job, and the area where the house is located. A home that is well maintained will last for decades or longer and be available for the comfort of not only the current occupants but also for generations to come.