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Exterior Staining & Painting

Choosing Paint Colors for the Exterior of Your Home

It’s getting to that time of year, and you are starting to look at the exterior of your house to have it either painted or stained. Choosing the right exterior paint color is one of the biggest challenges that our clients seem to have. That is because it is such a significant investment. They don’t want to choose the “wrong” paint or stain color when it comes to choosing paint colors for the exterior of your home.  


Choosing Paint Colors for the Exterior of Your Home

When it comes to painting or staining the exterior of your home, the style plays a part in the color selection process. Because colors that work on the exterior of one house might not work on the exterior of another house. And that is because it might look silly or horrible on the exterior of your home. This is because there are five or six different styles of homes that we see in the Midwest. I have listed six different styles here.

  1. Contemporary Home Style
  2. Cape Cod 
  3. Colonial
  4. Georgian
  5. Tudor
  6. Victorian

How to Select Exterior Paint Colors for a Home

The Contemporary style home integrates beautifully with plants and is designed to flow with the environment. For this style of house, the exterior typically has earth tone colors on it so that it can match with nature. When it comes to picking out paint for this style of house, it is better to stick to a one-color or two-color application. It is best not to be overdramatic with a contrast between the two colors, but to be subtle. The subtle two-color look for this style of home is called tone-on-tone.

Cape Cod homes aren’t seen as often. But people love them for their simple and less ornate look. And with its larger lap siding, Cape Cod homes are often called quaint. Marigold, buttercup yellow, or a light yellow is one of the favorite paint colors for the exterior of a Cape Cod. It turns out to be very stunning. Often homeowners will even paint the corner boards or soffits the same color as the siding. While the dormers or shutters are often accentuated, it is the front door that is the star of the show in a Cape Cod home. The front door should make a bold statement. You can paint the front door a bright red, burgundy, cranberry, deep blue, deep greens, teal blue, charcoal, or slate, and all these colors look great with a yellow home. 

When it comes to the colonial-style homes, they are typically lighter. 7 out of 10 times, most of the colonial-style homes are either white or some version of off-white or Navajo white. But with this white, people typically do a very stark contrast color like a deep color for the shutters like deep plum, charcoal grey, or black. By contrasting the colors like that, it will help pick up the roofline better. Just like with the Cap Cod homes, the front door is the star of any Colonial home. It should make a real pop or impression with a bright, bold color. 

Home Tips: Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Generally, Georgian style homes are mostly brick with tall columns and white trim work. White is typically the primary color that is used on the exterior. And contrasting colors, such as black or charcoal slate, are used for the shutters. 

Tudor Brown is, believe it or not, the typical paint color that is found on the exterior of Tudor style homes. White or a Navajo white is what’s painted on the stucco panels and trim work. A tone-on-tone looks amazing as well. An amazing color to use on Tudor style homes is SailCloth by Benjamin Moore. When it comes to the Tudor style, people are often not huge fans of doing a contrasting color for the front door. 

Victorian-style homes don’t have hard or fast rules when it comes to color. You can pick whatever color you want and roll with it. The exterior paint color options are endless. There are Victorian-style homes that have as little as five colors and up to twenty different colors on them. Otherwise known as Painted Ladies, Victorian homes are another style that looks good with a yellow painted exterior on them. Yellow paint colors give such a classy and unique look to the house. My favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorne Yellow. Using white, blues, plums, blacks, deep black, or charcoal colors is a great way to accent the yellow. On a Victorian home, the color can be determined by the amount of money that you want to spend on the house. The more colors that you use, the more costly the exterior paint project will become. 

Lotz of Logic

Driving around the neighborhood is a great way to get ideas for choosing paint colors for the exterior of your home. If you find a house that you love the exterior paint colors on, make sure that their roof color matches the roof color of your own home. This is because the exterior colors have to blend well with the roof color. Keep that in mind as you look at other houses in your neighborhood. Once you have decided on what color(s) you want to paint your house, drive over to a professional paint store like J.C, Licht, which carries Benjamin Moore paint or a Sherwin-Williams store. As multi-billion-dollar companies, they have paint charts up for a reason. Now they typically will have the exterior paint colors selected for you as well the accent colors that go with the siding color(s). 

You can also call up an interior designer who specializes in color selection. Ask the designer if they are comfortable with picking out color choices for the exterior of your home. The designers are great to work with because they can take all the surroundings into account as well.  

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on choosing paint colors for the exterior of your home, give me a call. My team and I would love to be of service to the Northwest Indiana communities such as Long Beach, Beverly Shores, Lake of the Four Seasons, Schererville, Kreitzburg, Michigan City, Grand Beach, and New Buffalo, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Maintaining The Outside Of Your Commercial Building

From a customer’s viewpoint, the exterior appearance of the building, windows, doors, as well as the sidewalks entering into your business gives a powerful first, and often lasting, impression. So if you are the owner or manager of a company or commercial business then you know that maintaining the outside of your commercial building matters as much as the inside does. 


Maintaining The Outside Of Your Commercial Building

Good or bad. What sort of impression do you really want to make with your business? The first step is to take a good look at the outside of the building. Is anything falling off? Are the light fixtures rusting? Are the windows clean and does the landscape look nice? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Because you will need to be proactive and stay on top of it all in order to leave a good impression with the people who enter or drive past your business.

If you are renting the space that your store is in then make sure that you speak with the property manager that you are renting from. Hiring an outside service is a good option as well. So whether you speak with the property manager, hire a service or do the work yourself in small sections. You can properly budget for any items that might need to be fixed now or in the future. 

Taking Care Of The Outside

If you live in an area that sees large swings in temperatures or seasonal changes it is important to take a look outside to evaluate the property. Make sure that you take walks around the building regularly. So that you can look at everything from a customer’s state of mind and not just that of the owner.  Take note of things that you noticed at other businesses and keep them in mind as you walk around the building. By doing this it will help you find things that either need to be freshened up or replaced. 

Whether it gets done weekly, monthly, or bi-annually there are some exterior items that need to be maintained and can be forgotten about.

Pressure Washing And Cleaning Windows

Pressure Wash the Exterior of Your Building – Just like with your home, it is important to pressure wash the exterior of your building. This is a great way to keep it clean and to keep the spider webs away from the doors. Birds also like to make nests in the name on the exterior of the building. So pressure washing helps to remove them. While some people might find the nests quaint, you will have to look out for bird poop. Pressure washing the sidewalks and walkways to and from the front door is part of maintaining the outside of your commercial building.

Clean The Windows -It is highly recommended that you have a window washing company come out and wash the windows weekly. While you could have your staff do this job. It is a lot easier and inexpensive to hire a company to come and take care of it. And by using a company the windows can be cleaned without having to think or worry about it. 

Doors, Lights, And Exterior Paint

Doors & Door Handles – As part of making a good first impression it is important to make sure that the doors coming in and out of your building are in good shape. And you can either stain or paint them regularly. Because people touch their hands-on doors quite often they become worn down with time and use. Though if the doors look terrible it is important to know that you can change them out and install new doors. 

Lights – Just like with windows, exterior lights are another item that needs to be regularly cleaned. This is because bugs are attracted to the light and night and make nests and webs next to and around them. Dead bugs are also drawn in as well, which can make a mess and hide the light. So make sure that the exterior lights are rust free and are in a current style. And make sure that you change the light bulbs regularly.

Exterior Paint & Caulk – This step that needs to be addressed every couple of years, especially after every major storm or if you notice an internal water leak. Internal water leaks can be caused when caulk fails and dries out. Early spring is a good time to check for ice and snow damage. And early fall is good for after the leaves have fallen due to storms and wind. 

Lotz of Logic

By checking for water buildup or marks, cleaning gutters and clearing away any leaves and debris helps you to know what condition your building is in. Especially as you slowly start to change seasons. Making sure that you stay on top of taking care of maintaining the outside of your commercial building. We will help you in the future. Especially because it will make a difference to your patrons. As well as get you into the habit of having a continued dedication to your business and livelihood as well as the property. And by hiring someone to help you then you won’t be managed by your maintenance costs. Don’t forget to take a look at the interior as well. Because taking care of the interior is just as important as the exterior.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on maintaining the outside of your commercial building, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Is Sanding Your House Before Painting Necessary

Why do some homes peel? Is sanding your house before painting necessary?  You will find many reasons, but one of them is not getting the exterior of your house ready adequately before painting it. Find out what is probably the most important measures about sanding your residence prior to painting. 


Is Sanding Your House Before Painting Necessary?

There are quite a few painters who take short-cuts when pressure washing, caulking and scraping and sanding your house prior to painting it. When you are hiring a painter to come to do your home you want to ensure that you get a detailed contract. This is so that you know what the painter will be doing and so that you know everything will be done correctly. Whether you or a professional will be painting your house there are several steps that need to be followed. 

1: Properly clean the entire house with a pressure washer.

2: Remove any loose and flaking paint.

3: Sand the remaining edges down. A palm sander or a hand sander will get the job done.

4: Follow up with a good primer and paint.

Pressure Washing Your House 

Just like people and animals need them, houses also need ‘baths’ to clean them. This is what the pressure washer does. It gets rid of all of the mold and grime that has collected on the siding of your house. So it is important that you wash your house before doing anything else. If you don’t then nothing will stick and it will just come off sooner than expected.

Removing Flaking Paint and Sanding Edges Down

Just like with pressure washing your house it is important to remove any paint that is loose and flaking. By doing this you are also making sure that anything that didn’t come off with the pressure washer. This helps make sure that the new paint will go on smoothly and won’t look bumpy and uneven. A good tool to use for this is a Prudy 5-in-1 and it gets the job done right.

Older homes tend to have a thicker coat of paint around the edges. So it is important to sand down the edges so that all of the old paint is removed. A palm sander or feather sanding them by hand does the job. 

Good Quality Primer & Paint

Once you have pressure washed your house and removed all of the flaking paint and sanded the edges down it is good to follow all of that up with good quality paint and primer. Since painters often just paint over the old paint, the new paint starts peeling sooner. By painting over a clean smooth surface the primer and paint will stick to it better and will last longer. So always clean and prep your house before you or a professional begins to paint it. 

Lotz of Logic

After you have finished pressure washing, scraping and sanding your house make sure that you have done every part of it before you begin painting. This will help you figure out what might still need to be done or if everything is removed. Your preparation is one of the most important steps so it is always good to do it properly. This will make the new paint or stain last you for many years. So to answer the question is sanding your house before painting necessary. Yes, it is. Otherwise, your home will start peeling sooner.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on sanding your house, give me a call. My team and I have been serving South Barrington, Barrington, North Barrington, Inverness, Lake Zurich, Schaumburg, Elgin, Long Grove, South Elgin, Palatine, Wayne, Deerfield, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Pressure Washing Techniques | How To Clean Aluminum Siding

Is your aluminum siding looking hazy or chalky? If this is happening, then you have oxidation starting. Today we are talking about pressure washing techniques | how to clean aluminum siding.


Pressure Washing Techniques | How To Clean Aluminum Siding

Make sure you clean your aluminum siding no less than once a year. If you can afford it, clean it at the beginning of the spring season, following winter. And then once more towards the end of fall. This twice a year maintenance of the aluminum siding will preserve your property in excellent condition.

Keeping your aluminum siding clean regularly helps with something called oxidation. And oxidation means that the paint on your siding is breaking down. One way to find out if your home has oxidation is to move your hand across the siding. If there is a white chalkiness that comes off in your hand, then there is oxidation. And that means that the siding needs to be cleaned. A benefit to routinely cleaning aluminum siding is that it will be clean if you decide to paint your home.

Cleaning Your Siding

Ideally, you’ll want to wash your siding at least once a year. Twice a year is an ideal option. However, what are you cleaning off of your siding? Let’s take a look:

Before you start cleaning the above items off the aluminum siding of your house lets go over what supplies you will need to get started. First off you need a good cleaning product/agent that has oxalic acid in it. Hardware stores carry products with oxalic acid in them, and Simple Green is also an excellent product to use.

Using A Pressure Washer

The only way to apply the Simple Green or any cleaner is to use a pressure washer. When it comes to using a pressure washer, it is recommended that you use a gas-powered one. With the power washer, make sure that it has a wide tip fan and a 2,500-3,000 psi. An excellent tip to remember is to start slow and then slowly turn up the pressure. This will help you become comfortable with how the pressure washer works and what setting you like it to be on.

When using a pressure washer, it is important to remember to keep moving and don’t stop. If you stop in the middle of pressure washing, then a pattern will be left on your house. Getting too close creates a cleaning pattern, as well. So it is best to work the power washer in a consistent flow pattern. Whether it is up and down or left to right. Being consistent is important. Remember to keep your consistent flow pattern at a 15-degree angle downward while cleaning. This will keep the water from getting underneath the lap siding or between the seams. 

Lotz of Logic

Remember to clean your aluminum siding at least once a year. By following these simple pressure washing techniques | how to clean aluminum siding, you will do just fine. Again there are several different types of cleaning supplies and tools that will make the cleaning process more manageable. By cleaning aluminum siding right after winter and before fall, your home will be in good shape. So by using these pressure washing techniques, you can have a clean house to look at and love for a long time. And it is easy to use a pressure washer on a deck to give it a good clean.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on how to clean aluminum siding, give me a call. My team and I have been serving St. Charles, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Geneva, Batavia, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Benefits of Pressure Washing Alulminum Siding

You might be wondering why do I need to be pressure washing my aluminum siding? Well, today we are talking about the benefits of pressure washing aluminum siding of your home.


Benefits Of Pressure Washing Aluminum Siding

It is a good idea to pressure wash the siding of your home yearly to keep it clean. But what are you keeping it clean from? Pressure washing helps remove mold, spider webs, bird poop, algae, and mildew. By pressure washing aluminum siding gives it a thorough cleaning before painting the siding. When you go to wash the siding, it is important to remember that you don’t need to be aggressive when using the pressure washer. A light cleaning works just as well so that you don’t risk damaging the paint surface that is below the dirt. So it is a good idea to keep the pressure washer in the range of 200 to 500 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Start at the lower end and slowly increase the pressure until you get the right amount of pressure. This helps to cut through all of the gunk. It is also recommended that you don’t use a zero degree tip. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your siding. If the paint on the side of your house is in good shape and you are happy with it. Then cleaning off any accumulating grime and dirt is all that you need. Just doing that gives your house a clean, fresh look.

Using A Pressure Washer

While using a pressure washer, it is recommended that you use a pressure washer chemical injector when you apply the aluminum siding cleaner. A garden sprayer or pump sprayer works well if you don’t have a chemical injector. In general, it is recommended that a siding cleaner that contains oxalic acid to clean the aluminum siding properly. Another good option is Simple Green.

When you start to make sure that you apply it before turning up the pressure and make sure that you let the solution set on the side of the house for a bit and do its job.  As you go to wash it off, make sure that the pressure washer is at 2500 PSI and you keep it away from the house about 10-12 inches. You want to make sure that you stand far enough away that you don’t create a pattern on the siding. The trick to washing off the siding is to let to a solution, and not the pressure do the work for you.

This process may require you to clean and rinse the siding twice, but that is the best bet. Especially since it is better than leaving a visible pattern on the side of your houseRemember, as you wash the siding, make sure that you fan the water down. If fanned upward, it is possible to have the water get underneath the siding and bend it upward. So it is better to turn the siding downward.

Preparing For Painting

If you are thinking of painting your house, then using a pressure washer is a good idea. It gives the aluminum siding a very thorough cleaning. Using a more aggressive setting on the pressure washer removes all of the mold, dirt, and mildew. It also removes the chalky residue that oxidizing paint leaves. As well as any loose or flaking paint. This cleaning method is also more aggressive than the gentle yearly clean that was mentioned above.

For prepping paint, it is recommended that you have the pressure in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 3,000 PSI. And when using a higher pressure setting, it is very important that you watch the direction of the fan. Remember to always fan down the wall. Mainly because the higher pressure setting can damage the siding easier if it is fanned up. Don’t worry about leaving patterns on the siding while cleaning because you will be painting over them later on. And you won’t ever see the patterns. It is also important to sand down the edges and the rest of the surface so that the paint sticks to the house better.

Lots of Logic

When performing the yearly washing maintenance for your home, you really get to notice anything wrong with your home. By following these simple recommendations, the aluminum siding of your home will look great in no time at all. And by keeping your siding in good shape you will be able to tell if any problems start to arise. So by doing a yearly cleaning with a pressure washer, you can enjoy your new looking home for a long time. 

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on pressure washing the aluminum siding of your home, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Orland Park, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Tinley Park, New Lenox, Lemont, Orland Hills, Palos Park, St John IN, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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