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How Cold Weather Affects Your Exterior Paint?

Winnipeg is often known for its harsh winters, and, unfortunately, the extreme cold is often the cause of several household issues. The exterior of your home will need to withstand wind, snow, and cold, including your exterior paint. The paint on the outside of your home isn’t just for show – quality exterior paint helps to protect your home from the elements, prevents moisture and rot, and can help deter insects and pests. Freezing temperatures, however, can negatively affect your exterior paint. Can you paint in the cold? Keep reading to discover what might happen when the temperature gets below zero and what you can do to protect your exterior paint job.

How does the cold affect your exterior paint?

We are accustomed to both cold winters and hot summers in Winnipeg and the surrounding area. These extremes in temperature can cause the surface of your home to expand and contract. This can cause your exterior paint to crack, chip, or peel. If snow or water finds its way into these cracks, it can lead to even bigger issues when the moisture expands and contracts. The humidity from inside your home can cause your paint to peel. Proper insulation and ventilation throughout your home are essential to preserve your home’s exterior paint. Weather conditions can also cause your exterior paint to fade over time.  

Can you paint your home’s exterior during cold weather?

Painting the exterior of your home when the weather is cold poses a few unique challenges, so, when possible, it’s best to wait until it warms up. That said, you may only sometimes be able to paint in ideal conditions. Avoid extreme weather conditions – you shouldn’t be painting outside your home when it’s very windy, snowing, or storming. If you’re painting and the temperature is below 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) these are some of the problems you might face and how to best prevent them:

– Your paint will not dry as quickly in the winter. Look ahead at the forecast and try to schedule your exterior painting for sunny days; that will shorten your paint’s drying time. (This differs from painting in hot weather, when you want to avoid direct sun.) Be sure to give your project plenty of time to dry completely before adding a second coat.

– Paint has a harder time adhering to a surface in the cold and can chip or crack. You can help avoid this by using the proper sealant before painting.

– The surface temperature of your home’s exterior may differ from the air temperature. Surface temperature matters, especially if your chosen paint has a minimum temperature recommendation. You can find out the surface temperature of your exterior wall by purchasing an inexpensive infrared thermometer.

– Using cheap, low-quality paint can ruin your project. When painting outdoors in the cold, you should always opt for the highest quality paint specially formulated for low temperatures. Always read the outside label and only paint at the temperature your paint is rated for.
While you might want to bundle up under a blanket during the harshest days of winter, the outside of your home cannot. Your exterior paint faces the elements daily, and the cold weather can affect your paint. Everyone can see the outside of your home, and if you’re looking to paint your exterior, it’s worth it to call on a professional. At Perry Wellington Painting we want your home to look its best. Feel free to contact us and our team of pros today.