Worcester Decorators FAQs.
At Worcester Decorators, we often find ourselves being asked questions about how best to approach a specific painting and decorating task, and what to do with damp walls and cracked plaster and ceiling mould in badly ventilated bathrooms. Here, we have decided to compile a few of the most frequently asked decorating questions and to give a quick explanation as to the best approach and how to deal with them.
1. When is the best time to paint the outside of your house?
1.1. Seasonal issues to consider for external paint work.
1.2. Type of paint for exterior painting and decorating work.
1.3. Preparation for exterior painting.
2. What paint should I use in the bathroom?
2.1. Types of paint for bathroom decorating.
2.2. Bathroom decorating problems.
3. How Worcester Decorators deal with wall papering problems.
3.1. Torn wall paper.
3.2. Lifting wall paper.
3.3. When to wall paper a new build?
4. How to deal with a damp wall?
4.1. Understanding damp and its affect on decorating and paint work.
(Penetrating and rising damp).
4.2. Dealing with condensation and damp walls.
1.0 When is the best time to paint the outside of your house?
One of the aspects of our role as painters in Worcester is painting the exterior of houses. We often get calls from potential customers wanting to know when the best time to paint the outside of the house is. Here we look at timing and other tips for the perfect external renovation.
1.1 Seasonal issues to consider for external paint work.
When you consider when to paint a house, you most likely think about when it is best for you. A nice, warm, sunny day with not too much wind and of course no rain. Worcester Decorators has worked across a wide range of buildings and it absolutely key to use the right type of paint. This is because exterior paint works best in certain conditions – namely that the ambient temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and that the relative humidity is below 80%. In other words, it is warm without being too hot and not too humid. The reason for this is that if it is too cold or too humid, the paint either won’t dry or will take an excessively long time to do so.
The other consideration about when to paint outside is the surface that you are painting. For example, plastering, rendering and masonry can be several degrees cooler than the ambient temperature around you. So if the day is just warm enough to paint, consider that the surface you are painting may actually be too cool for the paint to dry properly. This means that from April through to around September is generally the best times to paint the exterior of the house though avoiding the high humidity of July and August may be required.
1.2 Types of paint for exterior painting and decorating work:
The other big factor in the success of the job is the type of paint used – exterior paint is a different category of paint to that used inside the house. Our experience as painters and decorators in Worcester include a wide range of house styles, from Georgian houses in Barbourne through to new build houses. However, there are generally two types of paint for houses that will be ideal for any of these properties – textured and smooth. Smooth is generally easier to apply and is great for hiding minor blemishes while textured paints are great for older walls that have seen some damage over the years and are ideal for hardworking finishes.
1.3 Preparation for exterior painting:
Once you know what type of paint you want to use, the next step is to prepare the area. Our normal process is to clean the area to be painted, removing loose paint and surface dirt. If there is any major damage that needs repairing, this would then be done next and any repairs would be sanded down to create a smooth finish. The final step is to seal and prime any porous surfaces so that the paint doesn’t simply soak into it. Once this is all done, then the house is ready for exterior paint and a new, fresh look.
2.0 What paint should I use in the bathroom?
The bathroom, alongside the kitchen, are the rooms that are the most hardworking in the house, with heat and moisture at much higher levels than other rooms. This means that the walls of these rooms need special care to withstand their workload. When it comes time to decorate, if you are use Worcester Decorators, we will likely sort the paint for you but if you want to look at colours yourself, a basic understanding of paint types is the first step.
2.1 Types of paint for bathroom decorating:
In most parts of the house, emulsion is the paint that is used. Emulsion comes in a range of different finishes such as matt and silk as well as variations in-between such as eggshell, soft sheen or satin. Matt has a non-reflective appearance and is great for uneven walls while silk creates a shiny finish and is great for high use areas such as halls, staircases as well as for kids’ bedrooms. You can also get one-coat emulsion that needs a single coat to cover the walls as it is thicker than normal paint.
Bathroom paint is a specialist type of emulsion that is designed to withstand the moisture levels in a bathroom and also to help prevent mould. This is a common problem in bathrooms, especially if the room doesn’t have the right amount of ventilation. Bathroom paints tend to be scrub resistant and have a mid-level of sheen. Typically, they take around 1-2 hours to dry.
2.2. Bathroom decorating problems.
The most common problem that we in Worcester Decorators run into involve the use of a normal paint in the bathroom and a lack of ventilation. One property we visited in Diglis Basin had no real ventilation in the bathroom– and this meant that mould spores had formed after the steam condensed on the walls and the ceiling, creating ugly black patches.
While mould spores are a real problem, they aren’t an incurable one. The solution is to scrub down the areas affected by the mould to ensure that all of the spores are gone. A water and bleach mix is the best thing to use for this. Once the black patches are gone, leave the area to dry for a time.
Once it is dry, then the room is ready for painting with proper bathroom paint. The anti-mould element in the paint will prevent the spores from accumulating again in the future, though good ventilation is always recommended. Even if this means leaving a window open a small amount, this air flow combined with the right bathroom paint will make for a mould-free room in the future.
3.0 How Worcester Decorators deal with wall papering problems.
Let’s face it, we’ve all done it – moved a piece of furniture and bashed it into the wall, only to see a huge rip in the wallpaper appear. Or sometimes the problem comes at the beginning of the process when you come to put up the wallpaper for the first time in a new home and something goes wrong. As Worcester painters and decorators knows from our experience, we have seen plenty of examples of when papering goes wrong or problems occur!
3.1 Torn wallpaper:
Without a doubt, as a decorator in Worcester, one of the most common issues we are asked to deal with is the torn wallpaper. No matter how careful you are, wallpaper can be torn – moving furniture, dropping something that impacts the wall and the most common culprits, kids and animals. Once wallpaper is torn, it may seem like a major issue that will result in the entire wall needing re-papering, but this isn’t the case.
Firstly, carefully pull back the section of paper that has been torn. Then apply either some white glue or border adhesive to the section, using a small brush that allows you to get right to the end of the tear without forcing it any further apart. Be careful that you don’t get any of the adhesive on the front of the wallpaper as this will spoil the look. Smooth the paper back into place and use a slightly damp sponge to run around the edges and remove any adhesive that may have squeezed out.
3.2 Lifting wallpaper:
As with any adhesive, wallpaper paste does try out over time. It may have been a cold winter so the heating has been on full or a hot summer when suddenly you notice that an edge of wallpaper has lifted, leaving it vulnerable to further tearing. Repairing the problem isn’t a big issue and we at Worcester Decorators would recommend that if you want to try and fix it yourself, then you will need a border adhesive or a white glue.
As with fixing the tear, apply the adhesive to the section of wallpaper that has lifted, using a small brush. Smooth it back into place and use a lightly damp sponge to remove any adhesive that leaks out. The final step in this process is a little different – use a caulk along the seam where the two sheet join to seal them together.
3.3 When to wallpaper a new build:
When you first move into a house, the urge is to get the wallpaper on the walls immediately but when the house is a new build, it is advisable to wait. Our experience decorating new properties in St Peter’s in Worcester is that around six months is a wise period to wait before papering walls. Some builders might say around two months but it's better to be safe than sorry – wallpaper on walls that aren’t dried out and completely ready will only result in a terrible mess.
4.0 How to deal with a damp wall?
If there’s one problem that strikes fear into the heart of any homeowner, it’s the idea of damp in their house. Damp and mould can appear in any part of the house so a watch should always be kept out for it. And if it does strike, then it need not be a panic situation.
4.1 Understanding damp and its affect on decorating and paint work.
We all know prevention is better than cure and this applies to damp. So understanding what can cause it can be a big help to preventing it. There are three types of damp – condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp. To know how to treat it starts with understanding what type you have.
Penetrating damp happens when water seeps through the walls of the house and tends to show up after strong rain. It can also happen from a leak in the guttering or if your house has rendering, a crack in it allowing water to seep in. large patches of this kind of damp can mean the bricks of the house have lost weather proof facing and are allowing water in. Cavity walls reduces the chance of this happening.
Like its name suggests, rising damp appears on the lower parts of walls, up to around one metre high as well as to solid floors. It happens when water is soaked up from the ground. Most modern houses have a waterproof barrier in the walls, around 150mm from the ground, called a damp proof course, that stops this but if it is breached, rising damp can still occur.
The most common type of damp is caused by condensation and is also the easiest type to deal with. In fact, most decorators and painters in Worcester will be able to deal with the problem. Warm air in the house causes moisture to evaporate into the air and if there is no ventilation, then fresh air can’t circulate in and replace this water-laden air. When the humid air comes into contact with a cool surface, it then deposits the water – often on walls and windows inside the house.
4.2 Dealing with condensation and damp walls:
While the first two kinds of damp are quite big jobs to deal with, condensation is a job that a good quality painter in Worcester can handle for you. The first step is to isolate why the condensation is happening, normally due to a lack of ventilation. Organising a fan or other means of ventilation in the room will help deal with the cause but what about the effect?
The first step is to remove the water from the room. Once the walls have dried out, then a sealant will be added. This stops any damage from the damp that has already happened and helps protect the walls against future outbreaks. The decorator will then paint over the walls with a paint of your choice to restore the look of the room.
Once the problem is removed and a solution is in place, simply monitor the walls for signs of re-occurrence. Look at your loft insulation as well as if this isn’t up to standard, as it can create cold spots that increase the chance of condensation forming once more.