Don’t Paint Until……Article by Gregg Traum

Article by Gregg Traum Co-Owner Angelo Termite & Construction Company.

In most cases there are two primary reasons that are considered when making a decision to paint the exterior wood.
(1)The old paint is weathered and looks dull, cracked and uneven. (2) The reserve study calls for painting at regular intervals. The primary purpose for painting exterior wood is to protect it from moisture intrusion and wood destroying pests and organisms. For the wood to maintain its structural integrity, these elements must be controlled. Various wood preservatives, including paint, are designed for this purpose.

When considering a new paint project, it is necessary to have the property professionally inspected by a State Licensed Structural Pest Control Company to identify any active Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms, and treat them to avoid future damage. Once the wood is infested, a coat of paint will not stop the organisms from continuing and creating further damage. The inspection will identify damaged material so repairs can be performed prior to painting.

Many times a Structural Pest Control company is called to inspect a property within months after a new paint project has been completed because damage to the painted surfaces begins to appear. The inspection includes probing of all exterior wood and invariably will identify damage not detected by the painting contractor. A painting contractor is not qualified or licensed to make the necessary identifications or purchase and apply necessary termiticides and fungicides to control the infestations and infections.

As in most projects, there are steps that need to be followed in proper sequence to obtain the best possible results. A successful painting project requires the following steps:

1. A complete inspection of all exterior wood for wood destroying pests & organisms and the damage they have caused.
2. Treatment of all active fungus infections and termite infestations to prevent further damage to exterior surfaces.
3. Make necessary repairs identified by removing and replacing it as required.
4. Perform the required surface preparation, cleaning, scraping and cleaning.
5. Caulk and seal all cracks and voids where wood members are attached.
6. Prime paint areas as required.
7. Apply the finish coat on all exposed surfaces.
8. Perform annual inspections and treatments for wood destroying pests and organisms to prevent future damage. Any of these steps taken out of sequence or left out entirely will ultimately increase the cost of properly maintaining the structures.

Structural Pest Control Operators can perform the necessary inspections and treatments, and specify the repairs required within their Structural Pest Control reports. A General Contractor can provide a cost for repairs based on the inspection results. Utilizing a firm licensed as both a Structural Pest Control and General Contractor will insure the utmost unbiased inspection. Paint manufacturers will provide specifications for materials and application requirements. Exterior damage becomes the indicator that a problem exists. Annual inspections and treatments control the problem before damage occurs, therefore providing savings.

Many thousands of dollars are spent every year because the steps were taken out of sequence. A typical General Contractor or a Painting Contractor will walk the property and note the obvious damage and quote a cost for repairs, leaving the Wood Destroying Pest and Organisms to continue. Wood that has been internally damaged and still looks structurally sound will be missed by these contractors. A few months after the paint job is completed, internal damaged wood begins to break open at the surfaces and additional repairs will be required. A Structural Pest Control Company probes all of the exterior wood to identify existing damage so the repairs can be properly performed the first time, completing a proper paint project.

– For more information about Angelo Termites, click here

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