|Extensive Splice Repairs - Source:|
Firstly, preparation of decorated surfaces. Even if timber is in the early stages of decay, it is still necessary to deal with the decay before applying the decorative finish. There is not much point in just painting over decaying timber (and I have seen this many times), and hoping that the problem will somehow rectify itself! In these situations, depending on the extent of decay it may be necessary to cut out effected parts and introduce new timber (something called a splice repair), if the decay is less serious it may be more appropriate to remove areas of decaying timber and then fill with a good quality timber filler, or in serious cases it may be necessary to replace the whole component. Whatever the circumstances the repair must be appropriate depending on the extent of decay.
Secondly, quality of materials – It is essential that the correct products are used when undertaking external decorations. You only need to visit one of the large national DIY outlets to see that there are numerous manufacturers who provide a range of products for all sorts of applications. This seemingly unlimited choice is sometimes the problem. Many people do not read the labels properly (sometimes not at all) and end up buying a product that is not appropriate. A common example of this is where internal quality gloss paint is used for external applications.
The other issue in respect of quality of materials is cost. The quality of products can vary significantly and the cheapest price very rarely represents best value. It often proves to more cost effective to use more expensive products because they are likely to be better quality and therefore last longer. More expensive products do not always guarantee this however a little bit of research into a product (nowadays with the internet you can read other customers reviews) will help you to decide. Using well know established brands may also be worth considering. These again may prove to be more costly, however they are well known brands for a reason!
Finally, quality of workmanship – You do not need to be a trades person to undertake decorations to your building, as most people can lift and use a paintbrush! This may be true for applying a finishing coat and works of a simple nature, however a little more knowledge is required when undertaking the majority of external decorations.
Depending on the surface to be decorated, after preparation, it may be necessary to apply an undercoat or primer, followed by a number of finishing coats. Certain products will also come with a list of ‘manufacturer’s instructions’, which must be followed in order to make the finish effective. Failure to understand and apply an appropriate level of workmanship will result in a sub-standard finish, which will undoubtedly require addressing much sooner than you would want. I would suggest that poor workmanship was the most common factor for many of the external defects that I come across when undertaking inspections. Therefore, in some circumstances it is likely to be more cost effective to employ the services of someone who has got the correct level of knowledge and expertise, than you attempt the work yourself to try to save a few pennies.
Decorating externally on a routine basis is fundamental to maintaining and improving the serviceable life of building components and materials. For the purposes of this article I have considered external joinery, however all materials/components should be considered in a similar way. Nature gives us the choice of whether to ignore our buildings externally and let them deteriorate or to undertake regular maintenance and improve their life expectancy and aesthetical appeal. We have no control over nature but we do have control over how we react to it. I will again finish with the following question - Why Is Regular Routine Property Maintenance So Often Overlooked?
The video below shows a method of repairing a timber window frame which has suffered wet rot decay. If the timber had decayed any further it is likely that a splice repair would be necessary.
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