Maintaining Property: Windows
Many modern homes have uPVC windows and doors, which for the most part, are virtually maintenance-free. However, if your property features wooden windows and doors, you will need to protect them from damage caused by rain, frost and the suns' UV rays.
Weather protection systems for wooden structures are either paint based or varnish based. In the past, most exterior paints were oil based, but nowadays many paints are water based, which allows for easier brush cleaning and less toxic residues and reduced heavy odors.
The technology behind varnish coats has also improved recently, with a vast range of colors and stains to choose from.
Whatever system you choose, the key to long lasting protection is preparation. The effort taken to remove all loose paint and sand down surfaces is well worth it, as it will save you time later in repairing damage due to badly applied paint.
The best time to renew your woodwork paint is at the end of summer when the least amount of moisture will be trapped within the wood.
Before starting the actual painting, you must spend as much time as necessary in the preparation of the surface. You will need a scraping knife, sanding paper and a sanding block for flat surfaces. If you are burning old paint off woodwork, make sure you can quickly and safely douse any small fires that may result. Paint stripper may be a better choice and remember to keep oil-based paint and white spirit away from sources of heat. Wear rubber gloves and protective glasses whilst working.
Exterior paintwork generally is applied in three layers. If you skimp on any of these, the wooden structures on your property will be improperly protected.
The first coat to be applied, after removing all loose paint and properly preparing the surfaces, is primer. Primer prevents the wood from absorbing all of the oil from the paint which would stop it protecting the paintwork.
The next layer to be applied after the undercoat has dried is the undercoat. Undercoat has two functions, it smoothes the surface, filling in small cracks and dips. It also provides a matt key to allow the final topcoat layer to adhere to the wood as well as possible.
Topcoat provides the weatherproof colored layer and is long lasting and tough.You can buy paints that combine both primer and the undercoat but these tend to be more expensive and may not last as long as the two layer system.
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