There are very few reasons not to absolutely love living in Houston. From the vibrant downtown life to the seemingly endless food options, there are so many reasons why people are drawn from all over our country to this incredible town. While the bayou in all its beauty is a draw for some, our mild winters and sunshine are a big reason why so many have called Houston home.
For businesses and commercial building owners, weather patterns determine how and when routine exterior maintenance can be scheduled. Specifically, when it comes to painting there are a few opportunistic windows in which professionals—like our painters at Streamline Painting & More—suggest to consider doing exterior work. To understand the factors that go into planning for exterior paint projects, we’ve broken it down into a few simple categories.
Factors to Consider
Humidity is a major player in how quickly paint dries. All paints contain solvents, which help paints spread smoothly and evenly. Evaporation of these solvents at a specific rate of time is imperative for the paint to have a smooth, even finish that protects your surfaces. When humidity is high (typically greater than 80%) paint is exposed to excessive water vapor which slows the curing process. For both latex and oil-based paint, this can lead to condensation on your surfaces which can damage the final product.
When planning exterior painting projects, professional painters know to look for days that will not exceed relative humidity of 80%. Thankfully, we see an average annual humidity of 75% with lower humidity in March and April and higher humidity in September.
Temperature is a factor that goes hand in hand with humidity in how evenly paint cures. Most paint producers recommend a drying temperature for application to be between 50℉ and 85℉. If paint experiences temperatures outside of this range for an extended amount of time it will not dry properly. Too cold, and paint will develop a skin before the lower layers dry properly; too warm, and the paint can dry too quickly and start developing bumps, cracks, and discoloration over time.
Your painting contractor should be able to plan according to the specifications from the manufacturer and plan accordingly to ensure that these drying temperatures are observed. Generally speaking, the months where we experience lows in the 50’s and highs in the low 80’s are March and April and again in October and November.
Weather patterns are another factor to consider when planning exterior painting projects. Choosing months that have fewer rainy days and less overall precipitation can ensure the longevity of your paint. Additionally, your building’s surfaces will need adequate time to be prepped before paint application. If there are rainy days in between prep work and painting, your surfaces will need to dry out completely to reduce the chance of water damage. Any exposure your surfaces have without a layer of paint for protection leaves your building vulnerable to the elements, so choosing a time that is least likely to have rain is imperative.
For Houstonians, this means finding the months of the year in which we have the least amount of rainy days and the lowest total amount of precipitation. January to April are months that typically meet these criteria.
Direct sunlight exposure during the drying process is another variable to consider. As the paint dries, it needs to be influenced by as few outside factors as possible. If paint is exposed to direct sunlight, the heat can cause it to dry too quickly, causing problems such as poor adhesion, cracking, and blistering.
Professional painting contractors know that it is best to avoid direct sunlight on exterior projects. On the day of painting, your contractor should start painting western-facing surfaces to avoid the morning sun and move to eastern-facing surfaces in the afternoon to avoid the setting sun. This gives your surfaces ample time to cure without being exposed.
Considering all the components at play when it comes to exterior painting, this spring is the ideal time to plan any exterior painting project. The experts at Streamline Painting & More have extensive experience in planning and preparing for your next project. From color choice to materials and more, we are eager to accomplish your next project all without interruption to your building’s day-to-day operations.