Exterior paint quality matters

Investing in an Exterior Paint Job? Invest in the Right Paint Too!

A great exterior paint job is made up of a few great ingredients. A terrific painter, meticulous preparation, and high quality paint. The right paint can extend the life of your exterior paint job by years. And when it comes to paint, you get what you pay for. Premium brands and lines of paint really do perform better. 

How long should my paint job last? 

The biggest question most homeowners have is one that isn’t as straightforward as it seems. A quick Google search yields a wide variety of answers. Some experts say 5-7 years, while This Old House says “two coats of top-quality paint over primed wood might last 10 to 15 years.” The reality is that paint life depends on lots of factors, including paint quality, prep work, surface condition, and environment. Here in Florida, you can expect to land closer to the lower end of that range, as all the salt, sand, sun, and moisture take their toll on even the best exterior paint job. Thorough prep work and high quality paint can definitely extend the life, but it’s unlikely to last 15 years. Think 5+ years for siding, and 7+ for stucco surfaces.

Why Does Surface Matter When it Comes to Paint?

Although paint quality and prep work are the biggest drivers for the life of your exterior paint job, the surface being painted also matters. The rough, porous surface of stucco grabs paint and holds on tight, so if your home is made of stucco, you can expect to get a few more years from your paint job. Paint over wood or fiber-cement siding may last 5-7 years here in the Panhandle, while stucco surfaces will hold the paint for 7-10 years. Trim usually fades and peels first–expect to paint the trim every 3-5 years. 

stucco holds paint longer than siding
This beautiful Florida home with a mix of stucco and stone is relatively low-maintenance. The stone will never need painting, and the stucco should hold paint for up to 10 years.

So What Paint is the Best?

We tend to like Sherwin-Williams paint here at Coastal Home Pros, and we love their Emerald Exterior Acrylic for wood and fiber-cement siding and trim. (We recommend bumping the sheen level up a notch for the trimwork to really make it pop.) The Emerald line is also great for brick or stucco, though you’ll want to be sure and specify a flat finish for masonry and stucco. But any major brand usually has a premium paint line, and they’re almost always worth the extra money if you can swing it.

Should I Use Masonry Paint or Elastomeric Paint?

You may have heard that some contractors recommend a masonry specific paint or an elastomeric paint for brick and stucco. We think a great flat acrylic paint like Sherwin-Williams Emerald or Duration–Benjamin Moore’s Aura–does the trick and keeps your surface breathing more naturally. But there are some instances where these more specialized paints can be the right choice. 

  • Masonry Paint has additives to make it bond more tightly, so it can extend the life of your paint job. On the flipside, this type of paint can reduce the breathability of your finish, potentially trapping moisture in your brick or stucco. You may also be limited in terms of colors and finishes. 
  • Elastomeric Paint also has additives that make it a thicker, flexible coating. If you’ve got cracks or other faults you want to cover or bridge, this paint may be the right choice for your job. But like masonry paint, elastomeric paint reduces the breathability of the finish. (This effect is more pronounced with elastomeric paint.) And in addition to the more limited options when it comes to color and finish, you are also stuck with elastomeric paint once you start using it. When the time comes to repaint, experts advise that you only cover elastomeric paint with more of the same. Regular acrylic paint will not adhere to the flexible, thick surface of elastomeric paint. 

Exterior Painting is a Huge Job–It’s Worth Doing it Right

An exterior paint job is a huge investment. Even if you’re trying the DIY route, paint and supplies can really add up, and once you factor in the cost of your time and peace of mind, the costs can skyrocket. We always recommend hiring a professional to make sure you get the best finished product. This is your home you’re talking about, after all, and you don’t want your curb appeal marred by an unprofessional job or peeling and faded paint. 

Let Coastal Home Pros

We’re local experts right here in your Emerald Coast and Panhandle communities. We tackle every paint job with care, professionalism, and terrific customer service. Give us a call to schedule an estimate or find out more!

Atlantic hurricane

Get Prepared with Coastal Home Pros

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane outlook on August 8. Their newest outlook indicates we should be prepared for an active hurricane season, with the potential for large numbers of storms forming in the Atlantic:

Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30% from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. 

hurricane outlook Atlantic 2019
With El Nino over, experts say our chances of hurricanes have increased.

With August and September being peak hurricane months, we thought now might be a good time to talk about hurricane preparedness. Today’s post will focus on long-term preparedness–tomorrow we’ll tackle short term issues when you know a storm is on the way.

Hurricane Shutters 101

Hurricane shutters add value to coastal Florida homes
Hurricane protection doesn’t have to be an eye-sore! These louvered shutters add style and protection to this coastal Florida home.

Impact-resistant shutters can be a great addition to homes in our hurricane-prone area, helping to keep the wind out of your home in the event of a major storm. WIthout hurricane shutters, wind can get inside your home and act in concert with exterior winds to break your house apart. To help prevent this, it’s important to make sure that you invest in quality, code-approved hurricane shutters. These type of shutters come in many styles and colors, and at many different price points. If you’re shopping for shutters, take some time to review the following checklist:

  • Do not mount hurricane shutters to the window frame. They should always be installed on the wall surrounding the window so that the force of any impact is transferred from the window to the sturdier wall. 
  • Make sure your shutters pass the 1994 Southern Building Congress codes. These codes ensure that shutters that meet the required specifications can withstand debris flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour.
  • Make sure your shutters are installed according to all the local codes, and make sure your contractor pulls all the appropriate permits. 
  • Interested in a DIY option? You can make your own effective plywood shutters, but it’s a huge job. If you’re going to go this route, start working well before hurricane season starts. You don’t want to be stuck half-way through the job as a storm barrels towards your home. Better yet, get a licensed and experienced local contractor like Coastal Home Pros to take care of it for you!
thick plywood can offer hurricane protection
Plywood can do the job in a pinch.

High quality shutters are incredibly important when it comes to protecting your home from hurricane-force winds. But be wary of allowing yourself to slip into a false sense of security. The best shutters can’t protect your home if you have other structural issues with your roof, walls, windows, or doors. 

Inspect your roof for weakness

We recommend having a qualified professional inspect your roof seasonally. During hurricane season, it’s important to check the following items:

  • Hurricane anchors and straps–are they properly installed and are anchored to the tie-beam?
  • Roof trusses–do they have adequate bracing, especially on gable ends?
  • Roof sheathing panels–are they properly attached?
  • Are your soffits, roof tiles, and flashing in good shape and prepared for storm winds and rain?

Check the Doors 

Once you know your windows and roof are solid, it’s time to check out your doors. Garage doors can be a big issue during hurricane season, as they are typically only installed on a lightweight track. Our Coastal Home Pros contractors can help you install a bracing system before hurricane season starts so you’ll be prepared.  Consider replacing old doors with new options that meet codes and offer extra reinforcement. And don’t forget that windows inside doors need protection during the storm, just like standard home windows. 

Coastal Home Pros Can Help

Following these pro tips will help make sure home is prepared for the storm well before it heads your way. Stay tuned for our next post, which will deal with short-term preparation tips that can help when the storm has a name and it’s headed your way. 

Coastal Home Pros is here to serve you in the Panhandle and Emerald Coast communities. Our contractors are experts in handling any type of construction and maintenance, from small handyman jobs to major renovation projects and more. We have specialized crews that deal with everything from fencing and decking to flooring and tile, and we know a lot about hurricane preparedness. Contact us today to see you we can help you get your home ready to weather the peak months of hurricane season!