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Can it be too hot to paint exterior?


Mid July and the summertime temps are hitting 90 plus degrees with 70% plus humidity, and that's in the shade. Here, I want to discuss areas of both concern and precaution to help ensure a high quality paint job whether as a DIY project or hiring a professional painting contractor.

How does this type of hot, humid climate effect an exterior painting project? What kinds of issues could result from painting in extremely hot conditions? First, Painting in hot weather is not a 100% no no. Todays paint technology allows for painters to work in both hot and cold weather extremes. However there are still very important factors to consider--such as drying too fast. Imagine a mud puddle after an early morning rain shower. Then the sun comes out and the temperature soars to 93 degrees. By the end of the day the puddle is not only dry but there's hundreds of cracks throughout because of drying to fast. Paint drying to quickly has the same result, though you probably won't notice unless you use a magnifying glass. Why is that a problem? Because all those tiny cracks hold moisture and moisture plus a food source (actually house paint itself) plus warm conditions encourages mold and mildew growth in the summer. In the winter, those same cracks that harbor moisture can freeze in cold weather causing the paint film to weaken and eventually peel or flake off.

Another issue to be aware of is productivity. Plain and simple when it's that hot and humid no one, homeowner or professional, can be as productive as in a more work conducive climate. As a professional painting contractor we can't allow or afford less than perfect weather conditions to prevent us from working. So how do we stay productive while at the same time ensure the best possible outcome for workers and the finished paint product?

One thing is to start earlier in the morning, generally around 7:00 am and quitting work earlier in the day around 3:00 pm. Also, not working in direct sunlight, moving around as best as possible to work on the shady side of the home is best for both painter and drying paint. Painter and paint needs to stay hydrated, not allowing either to dry out to quickly.

Bottom Line: Even in hot and humid summertime conditions with a little caution, common sense and todays high tech premium quality paint products, homeowner and professional alike can produce a long lasting, relatively maintenance free exterior painting product.