Looking Over Your House Paint Warranty
Getting your house painted soon, by a local painting contractor? Everyone wants to know a few important facts when reviewing the contract. Besides one of the most important issues being the price for the complete job, the question of paint warranty or guarantee is a close second.
House Paint Warranties Come in Two Different Varieties
Here, we will discuss both types of paint job warranties needed for an all inclusive warranty on your freshly painted home. But first, being one of the authorities on this subject as a local painting contractor in the Colorado area, you are in great hands when it comes to the quality of paint manufactured today!
There is no inferior paint made today by major paint manufactures, period. Years ago, technology was not where it is today, thereby raising the bar in quality, durability, adhesion, elasticity, and resistance to fade. Notice I mentioned fade, as we will circle back to that later, being very important in the warranty.
Most major brands, such as Sherwin-Williams®, BEHR®, and Benjamin-Moore® paints all have high performing paints for both interior as well as exterior. They all have warranties for each individual product ranging from ten years, all the way up to life-time.
These companies spend millions of dollars each and every year on R&D, refining the chemical make-ups, field testing in various conditions, ensuring you will be very happy with the performance, sheen, durability, protection, and color retention that you are ultimately investing.
What is Required by You
There are a few requirements you need to make, encompassing your paint is holding up to the paint manufacture's guarantee. Really no one should just paint the exterior and forget about it, although your surfaces are much better protected, having that piece of mind.
I will give you some examples what you need to do, after your home is painted with a twenty-five year or life-time paint.
Saving You Thousands Later
Knowing you just had your home painted, you walked around, and everything looked marvelous. All equipment removed, area all cleaned, received your invoice, paid the contractor, and completed the job is not all that needs to be done. Actually, this is where your work begins, saving you thousands down the road.
First, it's a good idea to inspect your exterior during different times of the day, as lighting is important. You may find something that needs attention only seeing it during either morning, afternoon, or evening hours. Can never inspect enough, but may not be on your highest priority.
If you happen to see spots appearing, like oil spots dotted over your exterior, this will not get any better. Time to stop it in it's tracks, applying a fresh coat of paint over it. In this instant shown above, we primed the entire side, having too many individual spots to prime, so might as well prime the complete section.
After that has been done, it is a good idea to keep trimming vegetation back and away from your newly painted surfaces. This keeps moisture away, allowing it to roll off like water on a duck's back. Especially in areas where it snows.
Snow buildup next to the home can virtually ruin siding in a very short time. Having shrubs, and small trees next to your home does not allow the moisture to leave near as quickly as it should. Say remember, we are not putting Marine paint on your home!
And speaking of water, it is a good idea to stand out in the rain with an umbrella checking water drainage, gutters, and downspouts, to make sure no excessive water is being splattered on your painted surfaces. If you have excessive leaks with your gutters, many advantages, replacing them now!
Don't worry what the neighbors may think. Front and back porch columns are another good area to check during a downpour, making sure water is flowing away from your home's painted surfaces.
Contracting with a lovely lady last month, painting her exterior, she contracted with Home Depot® to install colored gutters and downspouts. They installed them after we had finished painting, but questioned me on my arrival if this was correct. First seeing this, I laughed out-loud.
Not being a gutter expert by no means, informing her all they had to do is put a 90 degree angle at bottom, before putting on the extension. This would allow water to flow off the porch on to the ground below, instead of being Blocked by the 4" x 4" post holding lattice. I am sure Home Depot has since corrected this, but have to wonder about installers, what goes through their minds on some occasions.
Reason I'm pointing this out is home owners do have a viable role in warranties, this not being anything to do with paint though.
Until of course this downspout is quickly clogged up, causing water to pool in gutter above, eventually rusting it out again, diminishing paint on the attached fascia.
Adjusting your sprinklers, making sure water is not continually spraying against your siding, and painted surfaces. Knowing a normal rainstorm is usually not going to harm your paint, but continued daily sprinkler patterns up on your home is not a good idea either. Your paint will look different in these areas over time.
So there you have it! After your home is painted, a few requirements are needed, as paint warranties do not cover these situations mentioned above.
- Inspect during different times of the day
- Keep plants and trees away
- Check water drainage
- Adjusting sprinklers
Workmanship Warranty Is Your Primary Paint Warranty
What is Required by Your Painting Contractor
Besides contractor putting on paint samples, your workmanship warranty is covered by your paint contractor, as they can vary to some degree or another. This normally covers paint and labor for any cracking, chipping, bubbling, blistering areas that may occur during initial time, after it is applied. This warranty varies upon the company you are contracting.
However, I will say, if a paint lasts at least one year, it will last the life of the paint. No reason to have a Workmanship Warranty 10 or 12 years, as it makes no sense. Workmanship Warranty covers the paint and labor to correct a particular problem, or area, at no cost to the homeowner, whatsoever.
To ensure you will not have any workmanship warranty issues, it is absolutely necessary, they follow the proper steps of application, by paint manufactures recommendations. Proper steps include cleaning, power washing, scraping, filling, sanding, and priming before painting.
- Cleaning Surfaces
- Exterior Power or Pressure Washing
- Scraping any loose paint ready to come off soon.
- Filling any mil thickness differences
- Sanding smooth
- Caulking windows, doors, fascia, soffit, baseboards, trim
- Priming bare wood surfaces
Wiping down any dust off of interior walls, and/or baseboards with a damp rag first. Power or pressure washing the exterior, before painting. Allowing everything to dry at least twenty-four hours before any paint is applied.
To insure your Workmanship Warranty is in good standing, it is imperative your contractor, not only power washes, but after allowing the surfaces to completely dry (say over 24 hours) it is absolutely necessary to scrape and remove any visible paint that is lifting up, peeling, cracking, blistering, or bubbling. Reason for this is your exterior paint is designed to bond to a primed or previously painted surface.
Power washing is not intended to strip or peel all the loose paint off, and if it was, more harm to the substrate, than good. Power washing ensures a clean canvas so to speak, not trapping any foreign matter underneath, thereby promoting the workmanship warranty that is given to it's fullest extent.
Any bare wood areas must be primed first, allowing to dry twenty-four hours as well, before primer is painted over.
If Surfaces Will Not Hold Paint - No Workmanship Nor Product Warranty for Rotten, D-laminating, or Deteriorated Surfaces
First off, I must get this off my chest. PAINT IS NOT SMART, figuratively, and intuitively speaking. Paint is only as good as the substrate it is covering. If your exterior is d-laminating, swelling up on the ends, no paint will correct this, only to lengthen the time it is required to replace it, if you decide to paint deteriorated surfaces.
We cannot give workmanship warranty nor product warranty on rotten, and deteriorated surfaces, because we know it will not last more than a year, as shown in top thumbnail. Therefore, it's up to you knowing when to call a paint company out, but sometimes it's already too late for just paint alone.
Painting cedar shingles is a no-no, as they are made to sluff off tiny fragments of wood. Specifically made for a roof, thereby keeping a fresh new layer of wood, to keep you dry. If you power wash Cedar Shake Shingles, you'll be taking the majority of wood off in one fail swoop, as these are not meant to be pressure washed. Painting cedar shingles will enviably peel, bubble, and blister, as there is no way to fully seal these surfaces. Newer man made ornamental shingles are fine to paint, but just not Cedar.
That is not to say you cannot paint dimensional wood Cedar, as there are products designed specifically for this surface. Even if you think of priming Cedar Shake Shingles first, then paint with a life-time 100% Acrylic paint, your in for a surprise not too far down the road.
Once paint has been removed, the next important step that your Workmanship Warranty will stay intact, is priming any bare wood spots, with a high bonding primer. Primers can be either Alkaid (oil) or Acrylic (latex). Primers are designed to bond to bare wood surface far better than the exterior finish coats.
Exterior top coats are designed to bond much better to a previously painted surface, including primers. Spot priming is ok, if there are just a few bare areas of wood showing. Not necessary to prime the entire exterior, having only a few bare wood areas. However, after scraping all loose dried, aged paint, larger areas are bare, it makes the best sense to prime the entire section.
Now that you have your home ready for paint
Paint Manufacture's Product Warranty
Every manufacture provides a detailed warranty for each product sold. All products are given a number of years to adhere, bond, without cracking, peeling, blistering, or bubbling. If this occurs after the workmanship warranty is completed, it is likely do to an underlying cause from a substrate issue. If indeed the paint failed, (highly unlikely) the paint manufacture will provide paint to cover that particular affected area.
Understanding how paint ages, you will also understand paint warranties much better. As long as the paint is adhering to the substrate, the paint is following the manufacture's guarantee. The warranty or guarantee insures the paint will not lift, crack, peel, bubble, or blister under natural conditions. Obviously there is no hail proof paint, nor fire retardant paint either.
Paint manufactures provide necessary paint to cover warranty issue. Meaning that if you have a problem with a particular product several years later in one certain area, a claim can be made, and if approved, paint will be issued to cover that spot.
However, more than likely the new paint will not match the existing paint, as paint fades through it's normal aging process. Also noting paint claims are like tire warranties, in that, it is pro-rated just the same. Rarely does a home have a complete warranty issue years later, as this problem would have risen in the first few months, during the Workmanship portion.
Paint Warranty Covers Cracking, Peeling, Bubbling, & Blistering
As soon as Acrylic paint is applied, and dries to touch, it starts aging. The longer the paint is pliable and elastic, the longer it will protect your exterior surfaces. The longer paint warranties provide longer properties before the paint starts to break down, cracking, chipping, bubbling, blistering, peeling, and lifting up.
However, important to note, the first thing that shows on a paint as it ages, and breaks down is Fade. Paint fade is generally not covered on any exterior paint, just as hail or fire is either. In most cases, when you see a side of a home in a distressed faded look, most wish to repaint, to bring back the sheen it once had.
Even Life-time paints fade just as quick as twenty-five year paints. So, in deciding whether you want a twenty-five year paint or a life-time depends mostly on your intentions, expectations, and ultimately your pocketbook.
Paint Warranties Do Not Cover Hail, Fire, or Paint Fade
With today's technology and advancement improving our painting products, great strides have been made, improving exterior paints to resist paint fade to it's least minimum levels. Incorporating chemicals that resist intense ultraviolet rays, BEHR®, Benjamin-Moore®, and Sherwin-Williams® bringing forth superior products, now having fade resistant paint today, along with other preserving properties.
Again, there is no warranty for natural disasters such as hail, fire, or even paint fade, which fade is the first thing to be seen, as the paint ages, and breaks down.
If you are the type that waits until your see paint peeling, chances are the siding will be deteriorated beyond repair, before paint peels off of your Masonite™ siding. Paint fade is a good barometer to tell you it's time to paint, as once fully faded, the paint coating is not protecting your substrate any longer.
When paint as faded out, it is allowing moisture through nail shafts, causing the man-made pressed siding material to soak up and swell. With continued swelling out, holding out repainting, nothing is going to fix, unless replacing it with new. So best to stay focused on your siding, inspecting it regularly, to insure proper adhesion, and initial paint fade.
How Are House Paints Graded?
Wondering how house paints are graded besides just a paint warranty? Whether a paint is warranted for 10, 15, 25 years, or lifetime paints, makes no difference. Knowing major criteria, which house paints are actually graded. Which National Paint Institute actually grades house paints.
Paint fade is the first sign when any paint ages. Historically most quality exterior paints of yesterday would fade approximately seven percent per year in direct sun. Once fade has faded out, loosing all it's sheen, also original color.
At this point it has also lost most preserving qualities for any exterior surface. Depending where exterior surfaces are position with sun's rays, every exterior paint will fade over a given time period.
Elasticity is main criteria for paint manufacture's labs, testing exterior paints. To explain elasticity is like taking a rubber-band, pulling both ends, stretching it multiple times.
More times pulling both ends of rubber-band stretching, higher the quality of rubber-band, so is exterior paints.
Stretching dried paint from side to side, multiple times without it cracking, better, more valuable it is.
Latex paints in a general are known having elasticity & elongation similar to blowing up a balloon. More times a balloon can be stretched blown up, releasing the air, then repeating, keeping same form, once air is released, better quality of balloon, so is with exterior paint.
Another example of elongation is rubber tie straps. Having an old on my trailer, using it for years, all elongation has diminished. No stretching anymore. Every time I hook up trailer, seeing this, I'm reminded it's almost worthless. Very similar to lack of elongation to paint.
Tensile Strength is last criteria testing life-time paints, just as roofing manufactures tests theirs. How well an exterior paint keeps it's original shape and appearance having objects pelted on it, the better.
Hard driving rain, pea size hail, tree limbs and branches all can affect a paint brand's tensile strength.
Knowing no paint is hail proof, wished it was, but not quite there yet. Maybe that's the next step making lifetime paints better than they already are, not sure.
Choosing the Right Paint and it's Warranty
Selling your home say in ten to fifteen years, choosing a life-time paint warranty may be well the consideration. Not having to worry about painting your home when your ready to sell, knowing you will have many other things on your plate. If you plan to stay in your home till the end of time, you also might want to choose life-time paints.
Although, if you are thinking of shorter living arrangements, a good choice is a twenty-five year paint. Most life-time paint warranties do not transfer to new owners either, however individual paint contractors can make special arrangements for you, putting warranties upon them, if agreed.
There are five and ten year paint warranties out there, but it has been a very long time since we've used them, as there is not much of a price difference. When compared to using a twenty-five year paint, the extra cost is well worth it.
Summing Up Paint Warranties
- Highly recommend a twenty-five year Super Paint® from Sherwin-Williams®, Benjamin-Moore® or an Ultra Premium Plus from BEHR®, opposed to the cost of a five year paint.
- Proper inspection of your exterior, to ensure your paint is not fading.
- If fade starts showing, it's time to paint, no matter what paint life warranty you may have left, since fade is not covered, and your substrate is vulnerable, exposed to the elements, not being protected any longer.
- Paint warranty claims are pro-rated
- Proper steps need to be taken to guarantee your new paint coating will last.
There you have it! A chapter on your paint warranties, that will hopefully help you down the road for your expectations, and paint guarantees.
Now looking over what is involved with your house paint warranty, you have a better understanding what it covers. Important points what it warrants on your next house paint job.
If you are in need of interior or exterior painting contractor in the Denver & Colorado area, look no further than Eco Paint to handle your siding repairs, wood replacements, and painting needs.
Having over 40 years experience in the painting industry. Painting 1000's of homes over the years, rarely do we have any warranty claims, using the best products available, following manufactures guidelines.
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