What Happens When it Rains in the Middle of Exterior Painting?

What Happens When it Rains in the Middle of Exterior Painting?

Many years ago, at some point in the mid to late 90s, we were painting a home I believe in Northern RI (I want to say either Lincoln, RI or Cumberland, RI) and while we were working on the home, we got caught in a flash rainstorm.

It was one of those that pop up out of thin air, most likely on a day that there was minimal (30% or less) chance of rain.

Although my memory is a bit foggy of the exact details, I do recall that I was not onsite at the time but received a frantic call from the crew that they were caught out there.

There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

Everything was fine one minute and then the next minute ‘BOOM!!’ total devastation!!

The crew was completely drenched.

Not only were they and their equipment soaking wet, but the newly painted side of the house that they had been working on caught the brunt of things as well.

The Client happened to be home at the time and was distraught (as you might imagine).

He realized that the rain appeared out of the abyss, attacked our crew and his newly painted home, and was sympathetic, but understandably upset, as this project that he had such a sizeable investment in just took a whack from wet weather as it was in the process of being painted.

What a DISASTER!!!

…or was it?…

These types of things happen on occasion.

As much as we do everything we can to avoid them from occurring, they still rear their not so pleasant head every now and again.

I often say that meteorologists do not get paid to get the forecast correct, we as Contractors get paid to get the forecast correct.

Meteorologists get paid to provide their best scientific analysis as to what the weather is going to do, however their paycheck is not dependent upon the correctness of this forecast.

When a Contractor is working on the outside of someone’s home however, you best believe that they get paid to get the forecast correct.

If they do not get it correct, it can be financially ruinous to their business.

Picture the roof of someone’s home being off as it is in the process of being replaced, and then the Contractor getting caught in a rainstorm without things being watertight – YIKES!!!

Although perhaps not as dramatic, the same concept is true when painting the exterior of a home.

In the 3 decades of being in the business and the hundred of homes we have worked on in Southern New England, I have yet to see an exterior paint job that was actually “ruined” by getting caught in the rain.

Even the example we have discussed here, the paint job was nowhere near unsalvageable.

After things had dried out, we simply had to go back and recoat the side we had been painting as the paint had set up and was merely ‘water-marked’, but thankfully easily fixed with another coat of finish paint.

Still costing us a bit out of our pocket to redo obviously, but not requiring as much aggravation as first thought to correct.

Even in the craziest of circumstances, after allowing things to dry out, we may have to prep the surface slightly in order to proceed to the next step in the process, but never more than that.

We have instruments called ‘moisture meters’ which we can plug into the side of a home after a storm if we ever had a question as to whether or not an area was in the safe zone (a moisture content measurement of 15% or less) to proceed with work on.

With today’s technology being much more advanced than in the mid to late 90s, it is much easier to guard against damaging effects from pop up rainstorms, as well as to guide us (as necessary) as to how to best move forward if we indeed do get hit with one of these unnerving surprises.

Although certainly not fun, I believe there is solace in knowing that all is not lost if Mother Nature decides to throw a soggy curveball at any of us while we are in the middle of painting the exterior of our homes.

If this were the opposite, I would surely have much stronger ‘Chicken Little’ feelings every time I felt even the slightest drop of rain. LOPCO Painting

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