Lead Paint Q&A: The danger and procedures when dealing with lead paint in your Hendersonville / Asheville NC Home

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No doubt you know that lead paint in older homes can be toxic, especially for kids. But what exactly are the risks, and what do you do if you suspect your home has lead in it? Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear, as well as possible solutions to the lead-related challenges you may face as a Hendersonville or Asheville homeowner.

Q: How big a problem is lead paint?

Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is the leading cause of lead poisoning. Lead paint is in millions of homes, usually under layers of newer paint.

See also: Lead Poisoning Home Checklist [EPA]

Q: What are the health effects of lead exposure?

When lead is inhaled or eaten, it can cause serious damage to the body's nervous system, reproductive system, and blood-forming systems, to name just a few risks. In children, it can cause permanent brain and nerve damage and can lead to lower IQ, hearing problems, and learning and behavioral difficulties.

Q: How do I know if I have lead paint in my home?

If your home was built prior to 1978, it probably has lead in it. If it was built before 1940, the risk is even higher. There is no way to tell if you have lead paint just by looking. The only way to know for sure is to test.

Q: How do I test for lead paint?

The best way to test your Hendersonville or Asheville home for lead-containing paint is to hire a certified renovator and/or dust-sampling technician. (In North Carolina, firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities, and schools, must be certified by the EPA(and agreement states) and use certified renovators who are trained by an approved training provider to follow lead-safe work practice.)

Your certified contractor will likely cut off samples of your paint that include all the layers and send them to a lab for evaluation. If lead-containing paint flakes or dust have collected, your contractor may send those for testing, too.

You can also use an instant lead test kit, like 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swabs. Just be sure the kit you choose is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency.

See also: Evaluating and Eliminating Lead-Based Paint Hazards [Environmental Protection Agency]

Q: Can I test my kids for lead exposure?

If you suspect that your kids have ingested lead through paint chips or have breathed in lead-containing dust, you should talk to your doctor about a blood lead test, which will tell if your child has been exposed in the last month. Most clinics will do this for free or at a reduced cost.

Q: How do I remove lead paint?

In most cases, homeowners can just leave lead paint where it is if it is in good condition and they can commit to maintaining and containing it with periodic repainting. However, in some cases, this is not possible. If you are planning a major renovation that will involve cutting lead-painted surfaces and creating dust, or if the lead-based paint in your home is flaking off, you may want to seek the services of a certified abatement firm, which has the expertise and equipment to safely remove lead paint.

Q: How much does lead paint abatement cost in the Hendersonville/Asheville NC area?

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that professional removal of lead-based paint costs between $8 and $15 per square foot, and the average project costs about $10,000.

The Importance of Prep Work When Painting Your Hendersonville NC Home

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You could spend $80/gallon on the best lifetime-warranty paint on the market and apply six coats, but if you're not spending the time to do your surface preparation correctly it would all be for naught.  Without a doubt, the amount of prep you do will determine the longevity of your exterior painting job.  

When I used to work for one of the largest coatings manufacturers, part of my job description was resolving paint failure complaints.  And I can tell you from experience, the overwhelming majority of paint failures are the direct result of inadequate surface prep.  Period.

Some people skimp on prep work because it's hard, time-consuming work; some because they don't understand just how important it really is; and some because they don't know how to go about it.  While we can't do much about the difficulty of the job, this week's article will go through each step in the process so at least you'll have the know-how to get it done right.

 

1.)  Clean

Houses get dirty from dust and other environmental contaminants.  If you leave these contaminants on the surface when you paint, your paint will be sticking to the dirt and not to the surface that you want it to stick to.

When I was investigating paint failures it was easy to tell when lack of pre-paint cleaning was the cause of a paint failure.  I could just look at the back of a paint chip that was peeling off of the house and if I could see dirt then I knew that it hadn't been cleaned properly.

I can also tell you that if you begin the warranty claim process with the store where you purchased the paint, they will likely send a representative out to your home and go through the same steps to determine the cause of the failure.  If they find contaminated paint chips they will most-likely refuse to honor the terms of the 20-year, 30-year, or lifetime warranty on the label of the can that you paid so much extra money for.

So do yourself a huge favor and do a thorough pre-paint cleaning of all of the areas to be painted.  You will get far more life out of a mid-grade paint that's been applied over a clean, well-prepared surface than you will out of a top shelf product that's been put on a dirty house.

The only question really is how to do your pre-paint cleaning.  There are a couple of choices when it comes to cleaning -- high pressure washing or hand scrubbing.

 

2.)  Let It Dry

This may sound a bit ridiculous but it should be said that paint, primer, and caulking do not stick well to damp surfaces.  Pre-paint cleaning will make your siding wet, and if you've used a pressure washer it can stay wet for days.

Always be on the safe side and allow several days for the surface to completely dry-out before you proceed to the next step.  For those of you in a rush to get the project completed, down-time can be frustrating, but at least this step doesn't require any physical labor on your part.

 

3.)  Scrape

By the time most folks get around to painting their home it's because they're starting to see peeling paint.  If that's also true in your case, you'll need to scrape all of the loose coatings until all that's left are sections of well-adhered paint and bare surfaces.  Leaving any peeling or curled edges will definitely result in paint failure.

There are lots of different types of scrapers on the market.  I personally prefer a long handle scraper.  They make quicker work of removing peeling paint, and have replaceable blades for when it becomes dull.  Just be careful with them because they can gouge into the siding if you get aggressive with your work.

It's also helpful to have a painters multi-tool so you can get into tight areas and corners easier.

 

4.)  Repair Damage & Set Nail Heads

If you have any rotted or damaged sections of siding or trim then you'll want to repair them at this stage of the game.

Be sure to set any protruding nail heads just slightly below the surface as well, using a hammer or the butt end of your painter's multi-tool.

 

5.) Sand

The next step is to sand all of the surfaces smooth.  This includes sanding down any rough exposed wood as well as feather-sanding the edge of the remaining paint that's still on the siding.  This will reduce the appearance of the transition from the bare surface to the existing coating when you paint over top of it all.

Do yourself a favor and either purchase or rent an electric sander for this job.  A belt sander will work, but can be a bit aggressive at times.  The best choice would probably be a random orbit sander.  Pick up some medium and fine grit sandpaper.  If the surface is rough you'll need to start with the medium grit and finish with the fine grit, if it's not then you can skip straight to the fine.

After you've sanded everything down you need to remove the dust from the surface so the primer and paint will stick.  You can wipe it all down with a rags, blow it off with an air compressor, or give it a rinse with a garden hose or the pressure washer.  If you do use water, make sure you wait until it's completely dry before proceeding.

 

6.) Prime

If you didn't have any peeling paint you should be able to skip this step and go on to the next.  If you did then you'll at least need to do some spot-priming of the bare areas, because paint doesn't always stick well to bare substrates.  Make sure to use a good quality primer that's suitable to being used on the surface you're applying it to.  

Rarely is there a need for complete stripping of the old coating prior to painting.  However, there are some situations when the old paint will not stop peeling.  Fortunately there is a line of primers that are on the market now that can even solve this problem and save you from a paint stripping nightmare.

 

7.) Caulk

Caulking doesn't just make your paint job look pretty it also keeps water from getting into the structure and causing damage.  Make sure all siding butt joints, as well as gaps where siding meets trim are sealed to prevent water infiltration.  But don't get overzealous and caulk the horizontal laps on clapboard siding as this would prevent it from breathing.

Before applying new caulking be sure to dig out any existing caulking from the joints that has either cracked or pulled away from the joint.  With a little instruction and practice you can apply chaulking like a professional painter and your project will turn out looking great.

FYI, there is a huge selection of caulking to choose from along with a wide range of prices.  There is absolutely a big difference in performance in caulking so buy the best that you can afford to use.

Picking Colors For Your Hendersonville NC Homes Exterior

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There are many factors that should play into your decision of choosing what color you should paint the exterior of your house. We’ve seen many homeowners pick a color they end up hating in a few weeks. We care deeply about our clients’ happiness, so we’d like to help everyone be able to make the perfect decision for the color of their exterior by providing the factors you should pay attention to when making this decision.

Pay attention to the history, style, and architecture of your house. You don’t want to ignore any of these three elements when choosing colors for your house. The history of your house will determine what type of color scheme is appropriate. For example, if you choose bright colors, this will most definitely class with a historical style home.

Your architectural elements will help guide your decisions in the same way. If you have a particular color of roof, you’ll want to pick a color that compliments it. Same with other exterior elements of your home such as a stone facade.

The other important thing to pay attention to might be surprising: your neighbors. You don’t want your house to stick out like a sore thumb, so you should be sure to choose exterior paint that will give a pleasant curb appeal when paired with your neighbors.

If you mind these two main guidelines for choosing your exterior paint colors, you should be pleasantly surprised with the results. If all else fails, trust professionals like Guard Painting to help guide your home painting process.

Common Questions About Residential Painting in Hendersonville NC

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Are you considering repainting your home? Painting the entire house can be a huge undertaking and many homeowners don’t know where to begin. Whether you are a new or seasoned homeowner, hiring a painter can be overwhelming. There are many questions to ask a painting company before you hire them to paint your home, but here are some common questions and answers.

WHAT COLOR SHOULD I PAINT?

Choosing a paint color for your home can be stressful, it is a big commitment. A good painter can help you choose colors that fit your style without being too overwhelming. If you are having the whole house painted a painter can also help you determine which colors coordinate well with each other so your house flows nicely.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR PAINT SHEENS?

There are several different sheens for interior paint, each with their own pros and cons. Paints like satin or eggshell are good for hallways and other areas minor scuffs may occur, while flat paint is best for ceilings where it won’t be stained. A good painter can help you determine what your needs are room to room and decide which sheens to use based on that.

HOW QUICKLY WILL THE JOB BE DONE?

The amount of time a painting job takes will depend greatly on the square footage of your home, but you can expect your painter(s) to move quickly and be done in a matter of days without sacrificing quality. When painting the exterior of your home the weather can affect production times.

WILL MY PROPERTY BE PROTECTED FROM PAINT DRIPS?

A reputable painting company will use drop cloths to protect your belongings while they paint. When looking for a painter be sure to ask them how they plan to protect your belongings.

ARE PAINTERS INSURED?

Anytime someone comes into your home to do work you may be concerned about injury and how that will impact you and your insurance. Reputable, licensed painters should have their own liability AND workers compensation insurance so you are not responsible in the event of an accident. Before hiring a painter make sure to verify they are insured.

The Surprising Benefits to Exterior House Painting in the Hendersonville NC Area

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Did you know, you can look at exterior house painting as an investment? Like any investment, you should consider a solid return. So, how do you calculate the ROI for house painting services?

Visible Benefits of Exterior House Painting 

The most obvious benefit is the fact that your house will look so nice! Never underestimate the boost that curb appeal gives your home. The pride of ownership is a practical way to showcase your preferences, taste and sense of style. 

Beyond keeping your house looking its best, high-quality paint works hard for you and your home. How exactly does this work?

Your Paint Works Hard To Protect Your Home!

Here are just a few ways your professional house painting is a long-term investment. A high-quality painting job: 

  • Protects against termites and pests looking for a nice place to live.

  • Protects against the elements, including damaging UV rays, moisture, salt and more. It’s your home’s first line of defense against damage.

  • Can increase the lifespan of your home’s siding.

  • Protects your home against mold and mildew destruction.

  • Offers the highest return on investment of any home improvement project!

Exterior Painting is A Safe Investment

As a homeowner, you should view all large home improvement projects as long term investments and calculate return that you can expect. 

Painting, interior and exterior, boosts the value of your home. Often, it allows you to recoup a huge portion of what you paid by increasing the attractiveness of your property. How does this work? When you are ready to sell, your home will move faster on the market!

Research Your Painter 

Before you choose your house painter, we recommend doing careful research. As one of the more costly investments, you want to choose the best painter for the job. 

Guard Painting has an outstanding reputation for quality service and craftsmanship. Our exterior painting services will keep your home looking it’s best for many years. When it comes time to invest in your home, sign up for an estimate today!

3 Sign Your Home in Hendersonville NC Needs Painting

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Don’t put off scheduling exterior home painting. Even if the front of your house looks fine, you should still hire professional painters if the last paint job was more than 5 years ago. You wouldn’t wait for your roof to collapse before scheduling repairs. Likewise, you shouldn’t wait until your home becomes an eyesore before hiring painting contractors.

You should plan on painting the exterior of your home every 5 to 10 years. Continue reading to learn the signs you need to schedule exterior home painting.

Signs of Wear

Is your exterior house paint cracked or peeling? Exterior paint affects more than just the curb appeal of your home. Just like the paint on your car helps protect it from the elements, so does the paint on your house. Paint protects the exterior of your home from rain, snow, and sleet. Once paint is cracked, moisture can seep into your home and create the perfect conditions for mold or dry rot.

Painting your house saves you money in the long run because it helps you avoid expensive water damage and mold repairs. Your local painters will be able to tell if your home needs a fresh coat of paint. Schedule your free estimate for house painting with us today.

Faded Paint

Are you planning on selling your home in the near future? Faded exterior paint can make your home look old and neglected. Even the best exterior paint will eventually fade from UV rays, rain, snow, and sleet. Thankfully, a fresh coat of paint can help your home stand out from the competition so it sells faster.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 63% of prospective buyers will visit your house if they like what they see online. Unfortunately, faded exterior paint can make buyers think that the rest of your home is just as neglected. A painting contractor will be able to refresh the look of your home so buyers are impressed when seeing your house online and in person.

Even if you don’t plan on selling, faded paint reduces the curb appeal of your home. Many homeowners take pride in making their homes look welcoming and beautiful from the outside. We recommend using this opportunity to pick exterior house colors that complement your home’s architecture and the rest of your neighborhood. To repaint the exterior of your home, call a painting professional near you.

Cracked Caulk

Is the caulking around your home starting to crack? If so, you’ll want to contact your local painters as soon as possible. Over time, caulk loses its elasticity due to old age and being exposed to the elements. When this happens, you’ll want to take a hard look at the rest of your home to determine whether you need new outdoor paint. Cracked caulking around windows and doors should be fixed before painting.

Matte, Flat, Satin, or Gloss for your Hendersonville Home? Compare here!

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If you think choosing the best color for your house is the hardest step, you might be forgetting about the type of finish that you want for it. In case you didn’t know, this is also a critical decision you must carefully think about. Choosing the right kind of finish will determine how your walls will look and wear either its matte finish vs glossy finish paint.

There are two general go-to categories in paint finishes: flat or matte and gloss or semi-gloss. In choosing which to go with, you should first be aware of the pros and cons of each one. Know that deciding comes in a matter of weighing three things: your need for durability, room conditions, and personal taste.

Flat or Gloss: Which is Which?

 

Matte

Matte paint is considered to be the “flattest” kind of finish. The light rays are evenly scattered across a surface and equally lighten the area that results in no perceivable reflections.

Ups

Think a flat finish as a concealer in makeup terms. It covers all imperfections and flaws in the surface, which makes it an excellent choice for walls in the bedroom, dining and living room, and the ceilings. Touch ups are easy in this finish.

Downs

Generally, some disadvantages of matte paint are keeping them clean is no easy task–they hold dirt and cleaning can remove the entire finish. Some manufacturers like Sherwin Williams created scrubbable versions for more natural cleaning. It’s advisable not to use them in the kitchen, kid’s room, or bathrooms.

Recommended Surfaces

We highly recommend that you have matte touches in the living room, bedrooms, dining room, ceilings, hallways and family room.

 

Glossy

For glossy paints, they have reflective layers of oil or acrylic that makes them shine. Once light hits, the surface reflects off towards the viewer rather than scattered throughout the matte paint. Instead of scattered light, you’ll see the reflection of the light source.

Ups

Gloss type of finishes is for durability. It holds humidity well and is easy to clean. Semi-gloss offers high resistance to moisture, so it’s wise to have your kitchen and bathrooms painted with glossy coats precisely because of these qualities.

Downs

The first downside of glossy paints is that each imperfection surfaces in every application–requiring additional work to create a smooth even surface. The touch-ups will also stand out because of the sheen difference.

Recommended surfaces

It is ideal to use glossy coats in your kitchen, cabinets, hallways, trim and doors.

 

If you are still confused with which finish choosing, here is an additional kind that you might want to consider.

 

Satin

Satin has an exceptional resistance to scrubbing and consistent cleaning, but just like glossy coats, it exposes imperfections like divots, cracks, or poorly patched areas, although not as much as glossy.

Ups

Satin paint finishes hold well to washing and reflect more light than matte, but less than glossy You can use them in high-traffic areas of your house like the kitchen, bathrooms, children’s room, and trim and molding throughout the house.

Downs

This coat lets touch ups stand out and show imperfections in the surface or application.

And there you have it! Make sure you have everything accounted for to help you decide which finish you’re going with! If you need help, you can always call in the professionals!

10 Safety Tips When Painting a DIY Project in Hendersonville NC

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Painting is an exciting activity that invokes the feeling of fulfillment. It is one of the most common DIY projects around. It may not be highly dangerous, but it has its inherent hazards. However, when you take the right precautions and adhere to industry safety standards, the process tends to go smooth.

Whether you're a hobbyist or professional painter, it is crucial to follow painting safety guidelines to keep yourself safe. And of course, knowledge is power!

Remember, that exposure to any chemical (even paint) could be hazardous if certain precautions are ignored. To ensure a successful a painting project, follow the painting safety tips below.

1. Open the windows and doors of the area you want to paint for proper ventilation. Use fans to blow out the paint fumes when painting closed areas, and do not allow anyone to stay in a freshly painted room especially children, old people, and pets. This is when the VOC's (Volatile organic compounds) can be most active.
2. If you are painting an area that cannot be ventilated adequately, wear a respirator and do not work for long periods. Take breaks to take fresh air before you start to paint again.
3. Wear safety goggles and a dust mask when sanding to prevent inhaling the dust or having it enter your eyes. Debris can be very hard to remove from the eye.
4. Wear gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator, even when using products containing chemicals like a cleaner or stripper. Unexpected splashes always occur.
5. Use drop cloths to protect the floor and not plastic. Plastic is a slip hazard and allows for paint to be tracked. Rubber backed cloth drops are best.
6. Avoid stirring paint or painting close to a heat source like a fireplace or water heater. And you must not smoke while painting, it's just bad juju.
7. Check the condition of your ladder and ensure it is structurally okay. Before climbing it, put the legs on a flat and even surface, and lock the cross braces. You should not stand on the top of a ladder or lean out to far to reach any spot; rather, get down and move the ladder.
8. After you have finished painting, clean up carefully. If there are rags that have thinner or alkyd paint on them, spread them outside where it is inaccessible to kids and pets to dry and avoid the possibility of instant combustion. Dispose of the rags in a toxic waste dump site.
9. If you have any health conditions, check with your physician if it is safe for you to paint. Some may not be physically adept to painting tasks.
10. Safety first! Whatever process of painting you undergo, protect your health and avoid paint and other contaminants from getting in contact with your skin directly.

Heat Factor: Painting in the dead heat of summer can be quite dangerous if not properly mitigated. Drink A LOT of water to stay hydrated and, like you see professional painters, wear light colored clothing (preferably white) to stay cool.

With some common sense and these safety precautions applied; painting your own home can be a safe, rewarding and money saving adventure!


Why It's Best To Paint Your Fencing in Hendersonville NC

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WHY IT’S BEST TO PAINT WOODEN FENCES

A wood fence is a wonderful option for security and privacy, but to keep the wood protected, it must be either sealed, stained or painted.

Most people either stain or paint wooden fences, both offering a pleasing color and the protection needed to prevent damage to the wood. If you are not sure whether stain or paint is the best option for your fence, consider these benefits of painting your fence.

EXCELLENT PROTECTION FOR FENCES

Paint is what protects most homes from the elements and it makes sense to use it for your fencing as well. A quality coating of paint will give your fence a layer of protection from the wind, sun, and rain for many years, preventing premature rot. Wood on its own does not last long in the elements. Paint can ensure that the wood is sealed and will extend the life of your fencing and protect your investment.

A good quality latex paint is perfect for fencing. Depending on the fence, you may need a coat of primer first to get the best adhesion and to obtain the best finish. But once it is completed, your fence will have an excellent barrier against the elements and a clean, professional appearance.

COLOR OPTIONS

The problem with stain is there are only varieties of wood hues to choose from, while paint can be any color you choose. When you choose paint for protecting your fence, you get a full rainbow of colors that you can use. You can opt for a classic white fence or match your fencing to the accents on your house. Maybe paint your fence and garage doors the same color or match your fence to the trim. Using color can make your fence unique and add to the curb appeal of your home.

LOW MAINTENANCE

One of the best benefits of painting your fence is that once it is done, you can relax and enjoy it for years to come. Stain may need to be resealed every year and reapplied every few years. With paint, you may not need to repaint for five years or more. Consider how long the paint on homes lasts; when quality paint is used, exterior paint can last 10 years or more.

The only maintenance needed for painted fences between paintings is cleaning, which all fences will require. A gentle washing with a garden hose can remove dirt and grime that accumulates without harming the paint.

PAINTING YOUR FENCE IS ECONOMICAL

Since staining needs to be done more often and also requires sealing, it tends to be more expensive than painting. Stain can also require two or more coats, which can cost more in product and in labor. Painting your fence is usually less expensive since it lasts longer and can take less time to complete.

YOU CAN PAINT OVER STAIN

Even if you already have a fence with stain, you can choose to switch to paint when it comes time to add more stain. If you are tired of constantly needing to seal or stain your fence, make the switch to paint. You do not need to strip stain to paint over it; just clean the surface and you are ready to begin painting. This is a great way to give your home and property a new look and begin enjoying the benefits of a painted fence.

PAINTING IS TRENDY

If you want a modern, trendy look for your home, painting your fence can give you a unique look. There are so many stained fences, yet when you see a bright, painted fence, it stands out. An old fence can look new again with painting and add an elegant touch to your home and property. Your painted fence can make your property unique in your neighborhood and improve the overall style of your home.

UNLESS IT RAINS, YOU CAN PAINT

Stain can be finicky in certain weather conditions but unless it rains, you can paint. Staining requires the right temperatures and 2-3 dry days to allow the stain to adhere. In North Carolina, we have plenty of sunny days, but sometimes a lot of rain too, to complete painting projects outside and you only need one of them to complete your fence-painting project. A fence can be painted in just a few hours, depending on the size, and you do not need to worry too much about the weather getting in your way.

Keeping Your Home Cool With Lighter Color Paint in Hendersonville NC

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Perhaps you’ve noticed that on warm days when getting into a darker car, the interior feels considerably warmer than getting into a white or light colored car.

This is due to heat absorption and reflection. Darker colors tend to absorb light and heat while lighter colors reflect them. So, when the sunshine is beating down on your home, the color it’s painted will affect the inside temperature.

ABSORBING LIGHT OR REFLECTING IT

The darker the color the more light it absorbs. When the sun is shining on a dark surface, lots of light is being absorbed as well as heat. When your house is painted a dark color, much of the radiant energy from the sun is absorbed and some of that heat is also being transferred into the interior of your home.

As your home warms up due to the heat you end up using more energy to keep it cool. Outside the paint is absorbing anywhere from 70 to 90% of the radiant energy from the sun. It’s not surprising that some of this energy is being transferred inside.

Painting your home a light color does not mean that it won’t get hot; however, it will be cooler with a lighter color than with a darker one. Unlike the dark colors that absorb a lot of light and heat, the paler colors tend to reflect light and heat outward. Consequently, less heat is being absorbed into the interior of the home. As the light and heat are reflected outward, your home stays relatively cooler. This means you’ll most likely pay less for cooling costs.

YOU’RE HOME DOESN’T NEED TO BE WHITE

There are many light colors to choose from that will yield the benefits of heat and light reflection. Even with white, there are many shades available. If it’s time to paint your home and you want to go with a lighter color to improve your cooling costs, you can choose a color that suits your taste and the style of your home.

LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE

In addition to the color of your home, you also should consider a few other things. For example, does your home have a wide-open southern exposure? If it does it will get the full brunt of the sun for most of the day. On the other hand, if there are plenty of shade trees around your home, you probably are not getting that much direct sun on your house. In this case, you can go darker if you like; the difference may not be that much.

CHOOSING COLORS THAT WORK

The style of your home may also affect the color that you choose to paint it. While the assorted styles may have certain colors that suit them best, within those color schemes there are sure to be light and dark combinations. If you want to go with a cooling light color, you can find a darker color to compliment it. The darker color can be used for the trim. You’ll get the benefits of using a light color to keep your home cooler and you’ll also have the elegance provided by a striking trim color. Don’t worry if you have trouble deciding on the right combination of colors. There are professionals to help with that.

GETTING HELP FROM THE PROFESSIONALS

Choosing the best color for the exterior of your home can be a daunting task. Perhaps you know what you like but you may be worried that you’ll get tired of it after a while or perhaps you are unsure if that’s a color that will work with your style house.

Painting the exterior of your home is a big project and one you really want to get right the first time. Asking for help with this decision is a wise move. Getting assistance from a professional can give you the assurance that you’ve made the correct choice.

The professionals may think of things you haven’t considered. Not only that, you can ask all the questions you need to ask, not just about paint color, but also about which paint to use. Some people want to make sure the paint they choose is environmentally friendly. A professional will be glad to steer you in the right direction.

Finding the right paint color for your style of home, one that suits your sensibilities, doesn’t harm the environment and that will last a long time can take a lot of time if you must do it by yourself. When you enlist the help of a professional, you have a person who has all those answers for you at hand. You also have a person who can tell you how dark you can go before you begin to lose the benefits of heat and light reflection.

If you are planning on repainting your home and considering the choices available for a cooler home, contact Guard Painting today!

Painting Vinyl Siding in Hendersonville NC

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Can You Paint the Vinyl Siding On Your Hendersonville Home?

This is a common springtime question here in the Hendersonville area, especially as folks with vinyl siding watch friends and neighbors invest in fresh, stylish exterior paint. Are you out of luck, doomed to watch that fading get more and more extreme? Thankfully, no. Painting vinyl is definitely possible, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

The Right Paint for Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is a unique surface, and it makes specific demands of your paint that not every product is prepared to meet.The key is to use a high-quality formula specifically developed for the purpose. As an example, take a look at Sherwin-Williams’ line of VinylSafe paints. Whether you’re switching to a darker or lighter color, the product needs to be formulated to adhere well and withstand the expansion and contraction that vinyl experiences.

Painting Vinyl Siding Calls for the Right Prep

Traditional clapboard siding requires careful repairs, patching, sanding, and more before fresh exterior paint can be applied. After all, a paint job is only as good as the level of prep time you invest - it’s more important than most homeowners realize.Your vinyl siding may not have sections of rot (that would certainly be bizarre), but prep is no less important. And, in this case, it takes the form of extensive, thorough cleaning. The vinyl needs to be immaculate.

Should You Hire a Professional Painter to Paint Your Vinyl Siding?

Yes.

Not only does a professional painting company have the tools necessary for thorough cleaning and prep, but also for application. There really is no margin for error. For the finished product to be smooth and even, the coverage needs to be flawlessly applied.

Contact Guard Painting For Your House Painting Needs

We’re here to help and would love to discuss your project. Contact us with your questions and goals today!

What colors last longest on your home's exterior in the Hendersonville and Asheville area?

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I relish the chance for a nice weekend spin around suburbs in mid-May, the shrubs and flowers in full bloom, up against those stone houses with their dramatic darkly-painted doors and shutters.

But this vivid, stylish look comes with a price. Those dark trim colors require a lot of maintenance and frequent repainting. For exterior trim or walls, lighter colors simply last longer.

The science is fairly straightforward: Ultraviolet light causes color pigment to fade. Darker colors absorb more UV light, and thus fade faster. Darker colors also absorb more heat and moisture, so they’re more susceptible to damage from those culprits too. And tans, beige and other earthtones hold up better than deep pigments like reds, blues and greens.

So after a few years, those dark and vibrant exterior wall or trim colors that provide so much drama and “pop” at the outset will… well, not pop. Some people are sort of okay with that tradeoff, but don’t anticipate that after even just one tough summer, darker and deeper colors can fade enough to become nearly impossible to match for touch-ups.

Unless you’re prepared to repaint your dark exterior surfaces every few years, then, it’s probably wiser to go with lighter or earthtone colors. This is doubly true for Southern exposure areas.

Another point in favor of lighter colors for exteriors: They can help make your home “greener”.

Comparing DIY vs Professional Painters

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As with any other home renovation, you have to carefully budget for home painting. It’s not always clear right away how much painting your home will cost. Prices vary from company to company, and several factors come into play when crafting an estimate, such as square footage, type of paint, other material costs, labor, etc.

In some cases, the cheapest solution may be to tackle the job yourself. Of course, if you decide to do it yourself, you’ll still have to incur the material costs and take care of all the labor. Plus, if you make a mistake, it’s on you to fix it. So, the cost of painting yourself isn’t set in stone, and it will cost more or less depending on if you hire a service or go it alone. To help you figure out the math, let’s compare some of the costs between a DIY paint job or a job done by professional painters.

Cost by Square Footage

Surface area is the main factor in determining the overall house painting cost. After all, more space requires more paint and more labor. Many painting services use square footage as an easy way to determine a quote, with all material and labor costs included. On average, painters charge about $2-$3/sq. ft. So, for a 1,000 sq. ft. space, that would cost $2,000-$3,000.

If you’re tackling the job yourself, you have to buy enough primer and paint to cover the job. A gallon of paint will take care of about 350-400 square feet, but two coats are often necessary. To use our example of a 1,000 sq. ft. space, you would need to purchase about 6 gallons of paint and 3 gallons of primer. Paint costs vary depending on the brand and finish. But on average, one gallon of paint costs about $60. To cover 1,000 sq. ft., then, you’ll have to pay about $360 for the paint. Primer is much cheaper (about $25 per gallon). In total, then, paint and primer might cost around $430.

You might note that $430 is less than 1/4 of $2,000. But there are plenty of other materials you’ll need for a DIY paint job.

Additional Material Costs

You don’t need professional painters to tell you that you won’t get very far without paint brushes, rollers, trays, tape, and drop cloths. Fortunately, most of these materials don’t cost too much on their own. You just have to buy enough of everything. At most, all of these additional materials will only cost another $50 on the higher end. Between these materials and the paint itself, you may still be under $500 for the 1,000 sq. ft. space. But then it’s time to work.

Labor Costs

The advantage of DIY painting is that beyond the material costs, you’re basically paying yourself to work. Otherwise, you’d be paying a painting company for the time it takes them to do the job. Of course, painting is hard work, and a lot of people would rather pay someone else to undergo the hardship and frustration involved.

Before painting even begins, you have to prepare the area. This involves removing furniture, laying down drop cloths, cleaning, etc. All in all, this prep work can take a considerable amount of time. For our 1,000 sq. ft. space, it might take 45 minutes to an hour to properly prepare the space. The painting itself may take another 3-5 hours, depending.

Overall, painting this space may take a full day’s work. Some painting companies charge by the hour, while others stick to the square footage method. Those who charge hourly might charge $30-$45 an hour. For six hours, that amounts to about $230 of labor on average. If we factor that into the DIY cost, the total job amounts to about $700-800 for 1,000 sq. ft. This is still much cheaper than $2,000. And remember that $230 is money you’re saving by doing the work yourself.

Damage Control

When hiring a professional painting service for an exterior or interior painting job, you’re in part paying for their experience. You can have peace of mind knowing that they will do the job efficiently and correctly. Plus, if anything goes wrong, the job should be under warranty. No matter what happens, you’ll be left with a great paint job for the agreed upon price.

Doing it yourself, on the other hand, means that any and all mistakes are on you. You may have to buy more paint for some touch-ups or redo an area entirely. You might accidentally fling some paint on your expensive furniture or carpet. Or, worst of all, you might get hurt on the job. Whatever happens, those costs (both time and money) are solely yours to pay. In the end, these errors may actually cost you more than if you had hired a painting service to begin with.

To DIY or Not to DIY?

No matter what, painting your home will cost you. If you know what you’re doing and you’re willing to incur some risk, you can save a good chunk of money doing it yourself. But if you want peace of mind, insurance, and warranty, consider hiring the pros. At Guard Painting we love seeing people take on home improvement projects themselves, but we also know that some jobs are more demanding than others. If you need a helping hand, give us a call at (828) 513-0718!

Tips For Hiring A Painting Company in Hendersonville NC

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Tips For Hiring A Painting Company

Hiring a contractor can be a big investment of time, money, and emotion. We have all heard stories of contractors who have turned into total nightmares. Projects can go way over budget, take far longer than expected, or just don’t meet the quality standards you expected to pay for. Not all contractors are created equal and yes, price does often reflect quality. With these two facts in mind, the following tips can help ensure a contractor that is a good fit for your project and your personality.

Get referrals

There is often no better recommendation than that of a past customer. Talk to friends, neighbors, or even internet testimonials. Please keep in mind internet testimonials are often cherry picked or all together fictitious. With contracting consistency is key. If a contractor did an amazing job for a person you trust, odds are they can give you the same experience.

Call several quality professionals

Did they answer the phone? Some contractors are notoriously hard to reach. You want to work with someone who is easy to communicate with. If a job has issues or an expectation isn’t met, communication is usually where things can go wrong.

Meet with the contractor. Are they on time for their scheduled appointment? Do they look the part, professional, organized?

The way in which a painting company approaches your initial meeting will often be a good reflection of how they approach your job once hired. Each and every step of the process should be approached with care and professionalism. First impressions go a long way. When you meet someone, trust your gut. Do you like them? Do you trust them to do a quality job?

Investigate them and their company

Assuming you like them, trust them, and like the way they communicate with you regarding your expectations for the project, look into their track record of performance. It’s impossible to please everyone and often the most negative customers make the most effort to smear your reputation. With a little due diligence it’s pretty clear what past customers generally think about the quality of the contractor, their workmanship, and professionalism.

Get bids

Price isn’t everything and price does reflect quality, nonetheless, you want to keep your contractor honest by getting three bids from similar companies.  Most bids from a qualified contractor or estimator should be relatively similar. Make sure the proposal they present is clear and all work to be performed is clearly defined in writing. There will be price variance, but it shouldn’t be so extreme as to make you feel uncomfortable.

In addition to price, what terms does the painting contractor offer?  Is financing available? Is the down payment reasonable?

Often times, too large of a down payment can be a red flag. Fly-by-night contractors often demand huge down payments and then are never seen or heard from again. Expect an initial deposit of 20%-25% on average.

Once you feel ready to make a decision, consider the following; who do you like, who has the most consistent track record, and who has a reasonable price with terms that fit your needs.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to trust the qualifications of the contractor and if you enjoy their personality before you hire them. Work with a contractor who knows their business, is professional, ethical, and most importantly is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure YOU will be happy with your choice to trust them as your painting company. Customer service, qualification, and confidence in your choice are key. Happy hunting.

The Importance of Prep Work; Before Painting Your Hendersonville NC Home

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If you’ve ever painted a surface, you know how important the proper prep work is to a job well done. If you don’t properly prepare whatever surface you’re painting, whether indoor or outdoor, the paint won’t take. It may flake off, it might be difficult to apply, it may leave streaks, and overall, the effort will be wasted. Therefore, take the advice of a painting company in Hendersonville that knows: prep work is a solid 50% of the work needed for a smooth, long-lasting paint job.

Primer

Priming the surface offers a clean slate. Imagine applying paint to a canvas that already has paint on it. That’ll be much harder to do than applying paint to a blank canvas. The same idea applies to walls, ceilings, window frames, and more.

Choose a high-quality primer to hide imperfections in the surface. On new drywall, use a water-based primer. For heavily-stained walls or walls with paneling or smoke/water damage, use an oil-based primer.

Sanding

Before you even apply primer, you need to make sure that the surface is ready to take paint. For surfaces like wood, splintering, warping, and weathering create a rough, uneven texture. This makes for a splotchy, tacky-looking paint job. A good painting company knows that you must sand down certain surfaces to even it out, allowing for a smooth application.

Use a paint scraper on any flaking or cracking paint within reach. For small flaws, you can use sandpaper and rub it down by hand. If you have any large areas of imperfections, an electric sander is your best bet.

For dimples or holes, apply spackle or another smoothing compound and wait for it to dry. Then, gently sand it smooth with sandpaper so that it blends seamlessly with the rest of the wall.

Choosing the Right Paint

Once the prep work is taken care of and you’re ready to apply the main coat, you must make sure that you’re using the right paint. Using the wrong paint — for example, using indoor paint outdoors — can be a waste of time, money, and effort. Indoor paint in the hot sun will fade, flake, chip, and weather away in a short period of time. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re using the right formula for the area you want to paint.

Comparing Painting Contractors in the Hendersonville NC Area

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I’ve been there before – you receive 3-4 quotes from different painting companies.  Each contractor has a different methodology and structure for the bid and bid process.  Amidst all the variations, how do you make any sense of this?  The key – try to align the quotes to achieve an “apples to apples” comparison.

If you’re looking for a reliable painting company in the Hendersonville area, contact us or sign up for a FREE Estimate today for more information.

COMPARE YOUR PAINTING COMPANIES

Once you have all the bids compiled, you’ll likely have a wide range of pricing to consider.  Here’s how to decipher the bids:

  • Make sure everyone is applying the same number of coats

  • Make sure everyone has the same scope outlined and make sure it’s clearly documented before you sign the contract.  If it’s not in writing, they aren’t liable to do the work – this adds confusion and likely unplanned expense

  • Understand what types of paint each contractor is using.  Call the paint provider (Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc.) or a trusted friend or family member that has knowledge of paint to get feedback on the quality of the products

  • Prep work – this is an underrated portion of every paint project – make sure the contractor is preparing your home (fixures, porch screens, ect.) and surfaces properly, prior to painting.

Once you’re comfortable that you understand what all the bids are comprised of, it’s time to select your painting contractor.

House Painting Final Walkthrough Checklist - Hendersonville/Asheville NC

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We had our house professionally painted five years ago when we were residing in Fayetteville NC.  When it came time to approve the work the painters looked at us with this sort of blank stare and asked: “Everything good?”.

My reply, “Yeah, I guess.” I thought we’d have a formal inspection to knock out any punch-list items.  I didn’t really know what to look for at the time.  After the job was done, I found many “light spots” on the walls that we ended up taking care of ourselves.

We have a better process here at Guard Painting. Call us today for any of your exterior painting needs in the Hendersonville and Asheville area.

A CHECKLIST FOR YOUR FINAL INSPECTION

Regardless of the house painting contractor you hire, there should be some sort of “walk through”, or inspection that is conducted to make sure the paint job is satisfactory to you and the company.

Here are my 5 tips for your final inspection:

  1. BE HONEST AND DON’T BE SHY

    • Many people are uncomfortable telling a house painter “this doesn’t look so good”.  Don’t be shy, we’re never perfect even after we’ve completed our inspection.  Here at Guard Painting, we want you to be happy.  We depend on your honest feedback.  This allows us the opportunity to rectify minor issues and touch ups, because they happen.

  2. IT’S BEST TO CONDUCT THE FINAL INSPECTION DIRECTLY AFTER THE PAINTERS ARE DONE:

    • For purposes of efficiency and ease of touch-ups being uniform in appearance.  The sooner you touch-up a surface after initial paint application, the higher likelihood the touch-up won’t be visible after it’s been completed.  Touch-ups that aren’t uniform result in having to re-paint walls, which typically results in an unplanned expense.

  3. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS PRESENT FOR THE INSPECTION:

    •   The more eyes you have to find light spots or issues during this process, the better

  4. LIGHT SPOTS – WHERE ARE THEY MOST COMMON?

    • Around window frames.

    • Around fixures.

    • Where the gutter system joins with the house.

    • Around any problem areas identified before the project.

    • Around shutters.

  5. LEFT-OVER PAINT & COLORS

    • Make sure the house painting contractor leaves you the extra paint for touch-ups.

    • Make sure your painting contractor leaves you with the colors you used for the paint.  This is very helpful if you ever need or decide to re-paint your home the same color.

It’s critical you have an opportunity to inspect the work your house painting contractor did for you prior to final payment.  Follow these guidelines and you’ll be fine! Happy painting!

Contact us today for your free painting estimate.

When To Paint Your New House In The Hendersonville/Asheville Area

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Buying a new home in the Hendersonville - Asheville area?  Wanting to paint it?  Great, keep reading……

I often receive calls from clients who are preparing to close on a home they’ve just purchased.  Initially they’ll call to schedule the estimate with me, however, after asking them “when they’d like the project to start”, or “why are you painting”, they tell me they’re buying a new home that closes on the 20th, they’d like to meet me at the house on the 21st, and start the job on the 22nd.

I typically respond with, “That is all great news!  However, we currently have a 2 week lead time.  Can we meet sooner so our schedules align and we can guarantee you a spot for the 22nd?  We work on a first come, first served basis and have a 2 week lead time.”

The client has so much going on with the purchase of the new home, they aren’t necessarily considering all the variables associated with painting the house.

Here’s my 3 tips for getting your new house painted:

  1. WHEN TO GET ESTIMATES

    • We recommend contacting your real estate agent roughly 3 weeks before you are scheduled to close on the home.  Ask them to coordinate a block of time with the seller so you can meet with your painting contractor for a quote, at your new home.  This allows ample time to receive the quote from us, digest it, and make a final decision on what you want painted, when, and with whom you are going to contract with.

  2. WHEN TO PAINT

    • We recommend you have the home painted before you move in.  This strategy works in your favor in 3 ways:

      1. Less stress during the project – we aren’t disrupting your current living space & habits

      2. Less risk of damaging furniture or other belongings as the home is vacant

      3. Reduces your investment – vacant = no moving furniture around = saved time = saved $$$

  3. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    • Closing delays – we recommend allowing yourself a 2-3 day window to account for any delays with closing.  No keys = no access for you or us.

What is the main consideration?  Timing – allow enough time to meet with us and consider possible lead times.

We look forward to working with you and congratulations on your new home purchase!

Quality vs. Price

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This is a question all homeowners consider heavily when they’re in the market for a paint job, and frankly, is a topic we are constantly educating our clients on.  What’s more important – quality or price?

It depends on your situation.  Our market is extremely competitive – there are painters literally at every corner.  We are not the right fit for everyone.

We often ask our clients:

“When this project is completed, how will you know you hired the right painting contractor?“.

HERE ARE THE MOST COMMON ANSWERS WE RECEIVE:

  • Uniform finishes

  • Clean job site

  • Straight Lines

  • Good Communication

  • On Time & On Budget

  • Respectful Crew

This is a great list – as you can see price is not listed.  If you have contractors that are charging considerably less than another, there is usually a reason why.  Are they checking all the boxes that are important to you?

Reasons your contractor will charge a higher price:

  • Experience – It’s one thing to be a great salesperson, it’s another to execute on the promises made.

  • Skilled craftsman and labor  

  • Use of High Quality Products 

  • Exceptional Customer Service

  • Organization

If you’re wanting to work with a painting contractor that checks all the boxes and will be worth the investment, visit https://www.GuardPainting.com to schedule a time to speak with us.

Cost To Paint A Brick House In Hendersonville / Asheville NC

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COST TO PAINT A BRICK EXTERIOR HOUSE IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH?

Have you watched the HGTV Hit show “Fixer Upper”?  Have you watched an episode where they paint the exterior brick on a house and thought to yourself, “That looks awesome, what a transformation!”  I want my house to look like that!  Buuuuuuutttttt I wonder if I can afford it?”  You’re in the right place!  How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Brick Exterior House in Hendersonville-Asheville?

The obvious answer?

IT DEPENDS ON THE FOLLOWING

  1. Size of the home

  2. One story or two

  3. Number of windows

  4. Number of colors – the more colors the more time it takes to paint

We love painting brick – why?  It gives the home a completely new look and feel.  We love to see the look on our clients’ face when they see it for the first time.  There’s nothing better in our business.  Painting brick is one of these types of projects (painting kitchen cabinets has similar impact).

The first time you paint your brick can be expensive

The main contributor is product usage.    It’s no secret that brick is a very porous surface that absorbs like a sponge.  What does that mean?  It’s going to suck in the primer – to achieve proper coverage and uniformity we have to make sure the primer covers well.  This will help the paint cover well and have a uniform appearance.  Masonry primer is actually more expensive than paint.

Brick Priming

The Good New is…..

You only have to prime your brick once – every time you repaint the home, it’s a simple paint job at that point.

Watch Out For…..

Contractors that will try to save you money by not priming the brick first.  This can be very enticing and have a very high future cost.  I’ve seen this many times.  Contractor wants to sell the job and does so at far cheaper price but, they’re not priming first.  Why is this important?  Brick (and your paint in this case) has to hold up to all the natural elements of the mountains of NC……heat, rain, ice, snow….the list goes on.  If the brick isn’t primed, your paint job likely will not hold up very long.

WHAT IS THE COST TO PAINT A BRICK EXTERIOR HOUSE IN Hendersonville/Asheville NC?

For an average one story home.

   $5,000-$7,000

For an average two story home.

  $9,000-$12,000