When Can We Start Painting Our Exterior?

Spring has officially arrived, and the phone is ringing with requests for exterior painting. Actually, we have been getting those calls for a while and I am just now setting up appointments to look at them. Here in Indianapolis, our exterior house painting season is somewhat flexible from the standpoint of when we can do the work, but there are some general guidelines I like to establish so that our customers understand why I have cutoff dates in place.

There are several factors I need to weigh when considering the optimal months for Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 6.31.14 AMresidential house painting in the Indianapolis area. The first, not surprisingly, is temperature. The overnight temperature is more important than the daytime, because although we can apply paint when it is 50 degrees, if the temperature drops to freezing overnight, a latex paint product will not adhere properly and will fail in a short amount of time. Additionally,heat and humidity in the warmest months can be tricky with regard to proper drying times and can make for adhesion problems in the future. The following graph shows average temperatures in Indianapolis.


Daylight Hours
       As obvious as it may sound, the amount of daylight we get in Indianapolis is a factor in our ability to paint a home exterior.  In March, April, October and November, we really cannot begin before 9 am, even though the sun may be up.  Why?  There is typically some dew on the surface of the home as a result of the temperature differential from the previous evening.  Painting over a moist surface is a recipe for disaster, as the paint will ultimately fail.  Additionally, shorter days mean a longer window to complete the job, and that is not a wise and profitable means for running this type of business.



Another obvious factor is the timing and amount of rainfall that we receive in the Indianapolis area each year.  The graph displays average monthly amounts, with May being the wettest.  Not only does rainfall affect our daily schedule, but also once the rain has stopped, so does the wetness of the home itself.  A home may need a few days to completely dry out before paint can be applied safely.  Clearly, any weather report can be accurate perhaps half of the time.  There are days that call for an 80% chance of rain, and we do not see a drop all day, while a clear day forecast could end up with a downpour.  Pop up storms are particularly pesky as most paints (except for Sherwin-Williams Resilience) require an eight hour window before rain could potentially wash off of the surface.

This is the reason why we always need to have some interior work as a backup plan during the exterior painting season.

What is the optimal time to paint?

I recommend the best time for exterior house painting is between April 15th and October 15th.  There will always be exceptions, but I feel these are the safest dates to safely operate in the Indianapolis area.

Skilled Profesionals

When looking to hire an exterior house painter, do your homework and ask a lot of questions before accepting a low cost bid; what types of insurance does the contractor have?  General Liability and Workman’s Comp are a must, as guys will be climbing up ladders and probably on your roof.  If they have subcontractors, ask for a copy of the sub’s insurance papers.

Ask about the factors enumerated in the above paragraphs.  Be absolutely confident that the crew you hire will be reliable and responsible to take care of you home in a way that you would be comfortable with.  Don’t trust just anyone with your biggest investment.

And then call the professionals at Cornerstone Painting and Drywall to schedule an appointment.  You won’t be disappointed.