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How to Care For Your Paintwork

A periodic painting maintenance program not only keeps your properties looking fresh; it also allows us to spot potential defects before they become costly and widespread.

For the exterior, the better the finish, the better the visual impact and the higher your property value or rental income will be.

The more durable finish will require a lower level of maintenance and hence lower maintenance costs, whilst maintaining a high positive visual impact.

When you add up the cost of paint and the price of labour, painting like any other contractual work represents a considerable investment. So it makes good sense to extend the life of your paintwork for as long as possible.

How often should periodic maintenance be done?

Good quality paints have a relatively long life on interior surfaces and repainting is normally undertaken only when soiling has occurred or when there is a desire for a colour change. However, with external surfaces, the paint life varies with the environment, the degree of surface penetration, and the number of coats applied.

For buildings in sheltered inland environments, maintenance may only need to be performed once every one or two years. In coastal, industrial, or dirty, dusty city areas, maintenance may need to be performed as often as every six months.

Based on your environment, we will provide a tailored maintenance plan to suit your building. The plan factors in periodical inspections, regular surface cleaning, painting stains, repairs to cracks and gaps, and re-coating when required.

Early paint failure

Issues that contribute to premature paint failure are:

  • Cracking of masonry
  • Water penetration to┬áparapets, balustrades, balcony edges, & cracks
  • Failed balcony waterproofing
  • Cracking of cement render
  • Existing salt contamination
  • Efflorescence, and
  • Blistering and peeling of existing paint.

Protecting newly painted areas

Newly painted surface areas should not be cleaned without proper consultation as this could result in damage to paintwork. Avoid cleaning the paint finish until at least four weeks after application to ensure the paint has had sufficient time to fully cure. Cleaning of fresh paint film will damage the paint and this may require repainting to restore the desired level of finish.

Always test the cleaning method in an inconspicuous area to ensure the cleaning process you plan to use does not alter the finish of the paint.

Removal of dirt & scuff marks

  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove staining using a high-pressure water blaster. The exterior should be cleaned with a low-pressure water blast (less than 450psi) using a fanjet of cold water at a 45-degree angle from the wall (not perpendicular).
  • The fan of the water blaster should be kept a minimum of 30cm from the surface of the coating in order to avoid damage
  • Don’t use rough abrasives; stiff scrubbing brushes or harsh caustic preparations. These will ‘gloss’ or polish the surface resulting in obvious highlights, which can only be rectified by repainting.
  • Use warm water to which a small amount of mild detergent (preferably sugar soap) has been added. Apply the solution to the affected area with a soft cloth, or a soft bristle brush where the marking is particularly stubborn
  • Clean off the stain in a gentle, circular motion. Then remove all residues with a clean, soft cloth rinsed with fresh, clean water.
  • Having thoroughly cleaned the affected area, wash down the whole wall or ceiling to eliminate any chance of patchiness.
  • Generally, most marks will come off if using this method. Some persistent marks may remain, particularly if of a greasy type, such as black fingermarks around light switches. In such cases, a stronger cleaning agent is required, one that has been formulated with solvents for dissolving greasy marks. One such product is Ajax Spray n’ Wipe. The problem with most latex paints is that they are sensitive to solvents and will soften on contact. The Dulux Wash & Wear 101 range has been specially formulated to reduce stain penetration and is inherently more resistant to softening by use of Ajax Spray n’ Wipe and similar solvent-based cleaning agents.

Maintaining the facade

Contaminants, which settle on the paint film, can attack the surface and cause premature coating breakdown. Regardless of the substrate type, all exterior painted surfaces will benefit greatly from an annual clean.

  • For facades, a regular low-pressure water wash to remove dirt, dust and other contaminants should be carried out. The pressure should be adjusted so as to remove most surface contaminants, but without causing damage to the acrylic coating.
  • Persistent dirt remaining after water washing should be removed with a soft bristle brush or broom and warm water and a Sugar Soap Solution. Long-handled applicators, ladders, scaffolding, cherry picker or a swing stage may be required. Thoroughly rinse off immediately with low-pressure wash and allow to dry.

Maintaining interior surfaces

To maintain a freshly painted look on your internal walls or ceilings, clean them on a regular basis and to remove stains quickly.

  • Dusty areas or areas covered in loose surface dirt should be swept, dusted or vacuumed to maintain optimum appearance. Daily treatment is recommended for floors and eye level surfaces.
  • Areas nominated as soiled, stained, or ingrained with dirt should be washed with mild detergent using a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water once washed and allow to dry. Repeat the process to remove residual marks. When attempting to remove stains avoid excess rubbing as this may cause glossy patches. Those stains that resist mild detergent should be treated with domestic solvent cleaners such as Spray and Wipe.

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Sydney’s number one commercial painter servicing the North Shore, Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, Inner-West, South Sydney, and the CBD.

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