Many of the best commercial painters in Fremont see painting brick or masonry exteriors as a major project not just because of the amount of time and effort involved. Painting such permanent surfaces requires preparation and paints that may be slightly different from the usual painting projects.
While painting on brick or masonry also involves the same cleaning, repair and painting, the coatings and the tools used may be a bit more different to those used for regular painting.
If you think that it’s time that your business’ brick or masonry exterior needs a fresh coat of paint, it’s highly recommended that you should hire a professional commercial painting contractor. However, if you’re currently cutting costs or if you have the luxury of time before the actual painting project commences, you or your utility staff may do the surface prep work before your contractor arrives.
Doing the prep work on your own will also save the workers a lot of time – they won’t have to spend too long in the work area especially if you intend to keep your business open, resulting to less inconvenience to your customers. However, you may have to discuss this with your contractor first.
The following are a few things you should do to prepare for the arrival of your contractor:
1. Clean the surfaces
A clean exterior surface is a key for a flawless paint finish. No matter how good the quality of your topcoats and primers are, they will still fail to stick to the surface if it is dirty. If your business facility has its power washer, you can use it to get rid of excessive dust, dirt, soot, cement or mortar. If some encounter some areas that are infested with mildew, use a bleach solution or mildewcide to kill them and inhibit them from growing again.
Bricks, concrete, and masonry, in particular, tend to bear efflorescence which is an ugly sight. Efflorescence consists of white deposits and occurs when the water leaves salt deposits behind on the surface. Removing efflorescence typically involves simple washing or power washing. But if efflorescence has spread extensively across the surface or has become more stubborn, alternative measures such as cleaning chemicals or sandblasting is used.
Let the surface dry after washing and rinsing. Once dried, use a TSP solution to get rid of the grease or oil and enhance its adhering properties.
2. Remove any peeling paint
Remove any peeling and loose paint by scraping it away gently with a metal scraper. Of course, you can do that only when the surface has been completely dried after washing.
3. Fix any damages
Check the surfaces if they have any holes, cracks, fissures, etc. Use a spackling compound to patch up these surface flaws. Let it dry. Then sand off the excess spackling compound to make the surface smooth and even.
When your contractor arrives just in time after you have cleaned and prepped the surface, they may start priming and painting the brick or masonry surface:
1. Priming and sealing
Brick and masonry are porous surfaces, which means they tend to absorb rainwater and moisture from the air. That is why priming and sealing them are highly advisable and even necessary. Some primers are specifically formulated for brick and masonry. Primers will make the new topcoat adhere tightly and uniformly to the surface. Sealers also act as primers in a way – they prevent porous surfaces from absorbing rainwater and moisture, and also to prevent the old paint from showing through the new topcoat.
If professional painters are working on new or older brick or masonry, normally use latex masonry primer or sealer. If they are working on a previously painted brick or masonry, they only seal areas where the old paint has been removed during surface prep work, or by natural means such as weathering.
Once the primer or the sealer has dried, it’s now time to paint the brick or masonry. Painters may use a type of paint that is different from the usual. Again, brick and masonry are porous surfaces, so regular exterior paint may be easily absorbed. Therefore, elastomeric paint must be used.
Elastomeric paint is much denser than regular paint – up to ten times thicker. It is also more flexible since it is formulated with “stretchy” materials. A brick or masonry surface can experience physical shifts in response to the changes in weather or climate, as well as structure setting. An elastomeric paint will be able to “adjust” to these shifts since it is stretchable.
Aside from painting, staining is another option. A brick or masonry surface requires the same steps of prep work before staining as it does before painting, except the priming and sealing part.
There are significant advantages of staining brick or masonry. One, it offers a more affordable and less troublesome fix than painting. Two, staining is the best option when you need to make the repairs to match the rest of the wall. Three – unlike paint which takes away the porous nature of brick or masonry, stain absorbs into and bonds with the brick or masonry, allowing it to breathe. Four, it keeps the natural texture of the brick and masonry much intact. And finally, stain offers longer-lasting results since it doesn’t chip or peel, unlike paint.
Sure, you can do all these above-mentioned things in a DIY way. But if you’re dealing with a large area of brick or masonry such as the exterior of your business, it is best to hire only the best commercial painters in Fremont as they get the job done in a fraction of the time it would take you. Besides, they know how it takes to deliver a flawless paint finish that will make your business looking more clean, professional and attractive to your clients and employees.