How to Protect Your Interior Paint in the Wintertime

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How to Protect Your Interior Paint in the Wintertime

Written by: Jackson Systems



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The freezing cold of winter could be peeling the paint right off your house as we speak.

Unless you have specialty paint and a heat wave in the forecast, you don’t want to start replacing the paint at least until spring. When the roof overhang, which is generally more poorly insulated than the main part of the roof, accumulates melted ice it can seep into gutters and along walls, causing interior paint to fray and peel.

The USDA estimates that a family of four can generate three gallons of water vapor per day by bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and simply breathing. With less ventilation in winter, water vapor remains trapped in the walls and attic of a house. Without a proper vapor barrier,  water penetrates the coating and causes paint to foam and flake, especially around bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.

Most of these cold weather paint problems can be avoided with proper insulation, ventilation, and moisture barriers. So let’s go over the options available for supplementing your home with these 3 common home improvements.

 

Insulation

The first place to start with insulation should always be the furnace room. A quick tune up from your local contractor and an evaluation of the blower and furnace ducts can go a long way. This is especially true in older homes where the equipment may be dated. While a contractor is there, ask about the health of your filter system. A major part of proper gas furnace heating requires a clean filter, free of dirt and dust. A clogged air filter is one of the easiest ways to cause your furnace to malfunction.

Next, off to the attic. Everyone knows heat naturally rises, and to keep the heat in your home from leaving, you need to make sure your attic space has the insulation it deserves. There’s many avenues for insulating an attic. There’s stairway insulators and spray on foam insulators that can be DIY friendly for some simple additions to the home. If that’s not enough, you can go through a contractor that can properly evaluate any potential cracks or leaky spots where heat may be leaving your home. This can get pricey depending on the attic, Home Advisor suggests the process can cost anywhere from $1700 to $2100.

Our final recommendation for key insulation areas is those pesky doors and windows. These are the most common places you’ll find cold air bleeding into your home. These are the easiest to tackle by far. There’s a variety of weather stripping vinyl foam tapes, door seals, shrink kits, covers, etc. All great options for lining your windows and doors that are vulnerable to chilly wind gusts.

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Moisture Barriers

We’ve discussed how to control air flow in the home. Now, let’s dive into controlling the amount of water in your home. Snow is the main culprit during the wintertime. Stopping moisture and water vapor from seeping through and destroying the paint and foundation of your home is the end goal.

But as we touched on at the beginning, inside the home a family can generate a tremendous amount of moisture just with everyday tasks like bathing and cooking. This combination of moisture leaking in from the roof and indoor vapors rising through vulnerable areas of the insulation can create a perfect storm of mold and rot.

The answer is vapor and moisture barriers. Vapor barriers are very effective at reducing mold, saving energy, diminish the smell of mildew, and improving indoor air quality. Like insulation, these are usually jobs that require the help of a professional.

To properly utilize these barriers they need to be stacked and layered among insulation to improve effectiveness. Location is also a key factor. Crawl spaces, attics, basements, and insulation areas all can benefit from a vapor or moisture barrier. Call your local contractor to find out if your home needs reinforced with moisture/vapor barriers.

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Ventilation

Getting fresh air into the home during the wintertime can be a difficult task. The easiest method for getting fresh air circulating through the home is to open a window or door. The CDC recommends doing this for 20 minutes a day with ceiling fans on to keep air flow moving. This isn’t always possible for people living in extreme cold conditions, so let’s discuss some alternatives.

If pushing fresh air in through doors and windows just isn’t possible, picking up a UV light can drastically improve the air quality of your home. With the help of a contractor, these easy to install devices clean air as it’s circulated through the ducts. As an added bonus, UV Lights are highly effective at neutralizing unwanted bacteria and viruses in the air. 

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the exhaust fan. Kitchen exhaust fans are a great way to dump stuffy air out of the home, even when you aren’t cooking. Turn it up and let it go!

Need an exhaust fan? We carry a range of fresh air ventilation kits for the kitchen that can really make a difference if your home doesn’t have proper exhaust ventilation.

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In the process of revamping your insulation, ventilation, and moisture barriers to protect your interior paint, you’ll also drastically improve the home and everyone in it. Your family will benefit from better air quality, lower heating bills, and a safer indoor environment. Not to mention the value of your house can skyrocket with these simple changes. Protecting it today from moisture adds years to the integrity of your home and keeps your loved ones warm and safe from much bigger problems than just interior paint. 

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