Painting During the Summer: How to Stay Safe
Painting during the summer seems to make sense. It’s hot, usually rains less than other times of the year, and the paint should dry quickly, speeding up the whole job, right? Wrong. We’re about to bust some summer painting myths, offer some ways you can keep yourself safe – and tell you how to get the best results when painting during hot weather.
Painting During the Summer: Is It Ever Too Hot?
In a word, yes. The perfect temp for painting home exteriors is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s some wiggle room in there, of course. For example, if you’re using latex, the paint works best between 50-85 degrees. But if you’re going with oil-based paint, you have a broader range: 40-90 degrees.
For any type of paint, however, a temp over 95 degrees is too hot. That’s because excessive heat can cause the paint to dry too quickly, creating an uneven finish. It can also keep the paint from bonding properly to the surface, which can leave you with cracked, blistered or peeling paint (not to mention a painting do-over).
What About Humidity?
The average size house takes three to four days to paint. When you’re planning your job, look at the weather for a string of dry, still days. Don’t paint within 24 hours of rain.
But painting during the summer has another weather watch-out: humidity. That’s because humidity can cause as many problems as rain. For instance, high humidity can keep paint from drying. It can also form condensation on the house overnight, leading to poor adhesion, streaks and fading.
Wind can also be an issue, causing paint to dry unevenly and blowing debris into the paint. High winds can even topple ladders. So don’t paint if the wind is over a gentle breeze.
When’s the Best Time of Day to Paint?
Painting in high temps isn’t just bad for the paint – it can also be bad for you, causing heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps and dizziness. So if you do paint during the summer, paint in the coolest parts of the day, morning and evening.
Also stick to the parts of the house that are in the shade, moving with the sun as you work. This not only helps you stay safer it also makes for a better paint job.
How Can I Keep Cool While Painting?
Working in the heat is no joke. Every year, thousands of workers suffer heat-related illnesses, and some will die from overheating. So, it’s vital to have a plan to protect yourself while painting during the summer.
Here are some tips for staying safe in the heat:
- Limit your time in the heat
- Go into the air conditioning to cool off regularly
- Learn the symptoms of heat-related illness and first aid
- Use a buddy system – have someone observe you for signs of heat-related illnesses
- Drink cool water frequently
Painting your house is a big job and hot weather throws in some additional complications. Why not stay inside and let a pro do it for you? Check out our exterior painting services. We also stain and paint decks.