Durable Outside Decorating for Rented Properties

Durable Outside Decorating for Rented Properties

Last week I talked about why a building inspector won’t necessarily spot bad workmanship and why you should always have another method of verifying this. This week I return to specific maintenance jobs on rented property with tips on exterior decorating.

For gloss work on timber and metal, light colours and particularly white are more durable outside as they reflect sunlight so are less damaged by UV and getting hot. The same goes for plastic gutters. White will last longer than black, brown or grey. With magnolia walls it is also pleasantly neutral. The main drawback on busy streets is white shows more dirt. But a quick wipe over with a damp sponge and some detergent is a lot quicker than re-painting!

I’m happy to use inexpensive B&Q paint indoors, as own-brand paints are pretty good these days so I don’t see why I should pay almost twice just to have ‘Dulux’ on the tin. BUT when it comes to the exterior I don’t recommend skimping on paint. The overwhelming majority of the cost is for labour and scaffolding if appropriate, so you might as well splash out (sorry) on paint. I favour the Dulux Weathershield system which is formulated to dry slightly flexible.

Don’t forget, as mentioned in an earlier blog, to prime behind door and window frames and under doors before fitting them.

Eaves in PVC cladding

An alternative to painting fascias and soffits (the eaves under the roof) is to cover them with proprietary white PVC strips. With all the rubbing-down and prepping required for painting, this can be just as quick and last a lot longer. There’s usually no need to replace wood unless it’s very rotten indeed. The PVC will keep it dry so the rot will not progress further. It can be fixed directly to the ends of the rafters if the fascia and soffit is too rotten in places. A special exterior grade silicone is used to seal all gaps. The PVC covers will last many times longer than paint and are surprisingly quick to install. After a recent experience with one coming astray in strong wind, I now use 2” number 10 screws with white plastic caps siliconed to the heads, as well as the usual white-capped ridged pins to fix them.

Jayne asked about how to get rid of polystyrene tiles. Most things that apply to these design disasters also apply to artex, see my blog on this little horror at http://www.absolutely-brilliant-properties.co.uk/blog/2010/03/removing-artless-artex-from-london-flats  I’d try scraping them off first, if that doesn’t give a decent surface, you can’t really re-plaster onto a pre-painted surface and I would re-board and skim. If the plaster is bare of paint, you may be able to re-skim directly.

Next week I’ll talk about durable solutions to the problem of damp floors in rented properties.

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