Over the past couple of years a few companies have popped up in new England that claim to offer some sort of lifetime paint product. They say, “Never paint your home again!” or something catchy like that.
Sounds like a great idea right? But is it too good to be true? You may think the verdict is still out but if we had to put our money on 1 side or the other we would play all our chips on the side of “too good to be true.”
As exterior renovation experts in New England we see our fair share of houses. How well paint holds up has as much, if not more, to do with the surface to which the paint coating is applied as it does with the paint product itself. These types of “lifetime” paint products may work well on masonry that is not designed to breath, and they may even hold up in southern climates with more consistent air temperatures and moisture climate, but wood siding in New England is a completely different substrate. Wood siding in this climate has a tendency to swell and contract a significant amount in varying temperatures. Unless these “permanent” coatings have the exact expansion factor as the substrate they will most certainly fail. In this New England climate the temperature on the outside of buildings is far lower than on the inside of buildings the majority of the year. That means as the air tries to find equilibrium; warm, moist air is constantly escaping from the exterior wall of the house or building. Unless these “lifetime” paint coatings have a substantial perm rating (meaning they pass moisture easily), which they do not, the wet air will not escape properly. One of two things will happen. Either the air with significant moisture content will remain in the wall causing rot and mold. Or the moisture will force the paint off the surface as it tries to escape. Sure the paint will last forever, but it will be in your garden and mulch beds, not adhering to the wood siding on your walls.
If you still are not convinced that these types of products are too good to be true, just ask the company recommending them to show you one of their projects that was painted in this region of the country 8 or 10 years ago. I promise you that they will not show you one. And even if they do, I’m sure you will not be willing to pay 2-3 times the cost of a regular paint job for the results you see.
If you are considering this type of product for your home, we’ll be happy to discuss it with you and offer other painting orsiding replacement options that you’ll be much happier with.