Spring is in the air. In Colorado, that means the frozen rivers will begin melting and we’ll see a few more afternoon storms (snow storms and otherwise) coming through. If you’ve protected your home from the harsh winter elements, you’ll want to continue that protection through the spring, when the primary concern is melting ice and precipitation, which can cause innumerable problems for any structure and prevent you from making the home improvements you’re thinking of.
First, a few general tips for securing your home for the wettest months of the year, then, ways to get around the weather for your next paint job.
Protection from the Water
Where you live in Colorado and the Mountain West makes a huge difference for how to protect your home. Mountain homes will be dealing with melting and re-freezing snow. Eastern plains homes might have more trouble with storms and sudden downpours. Front range homes might have to deal with the annual spring meltdown sending cold water into their property from the mountains. Here are a few general tips to remember when the snows start to melt and rainfall becomes more frequent:
- Check foundations. Now is a great time to check for shifts in and around your home’s foundation. If you know the ground beneath your home is particularly susceptible to erosion, it makes sense to have it checked once per year.
- Check rooves. After the winter months, you should have a decent idea of how your roof is holding up. Patch any leaks and look for more subtle problems, such as sagging areas and patches of moisture where the wood could weaken and invite mold.
- Check gutters. The moisture attacking your room needs a place to go, so make sure your gutters are clear of the leaves and other debris that may have accumulated there over the fall and winter. Clogged gutters can lead to more water sitting on the roof than what it’s designed for, which leads to all kinds of problems.
- Check exterior paint. Your house’s paint coat does wonders for keeping moisture away from the vulnerable wood on its exterior. Make sure there are no areas where the paint is peeling and beginning to separate from the wood. You’ll want to cover any holes in the exterior paint before moisture gets into the wood.
Painting in the Wet Season
No, we don’t have monsoon season here in Colorado like in India or even Arizona, but painting in the springtime here can be tricky. Because the weather is so unpredictable, you have to remember a few rules of thumb and a few tricks to get the job done.
First of all, never use oil-based paint if you think it will be exposed to moisture of any kind. Oil and water molecularly hate each other and repel one another. If water infects oil-based paint, it will break it up and cause it wash right off if undried. The other main key to painting in wet weather is to avoid it outside. Paint needs to dry for at least four hours before it can withstand water pounding it. If the weather report can’t guarantee a four-hour dry period, don’t bother painting anything outside.
On the inside, humidity can play a role in keeping paint from drying. Luckily, we don’t typically have to deal with that here, but keep in mind that the wetter the air is outside, the longer your paint will have to dry on the inside.