It seems like we JUST did this, but the paint job completed in 2007 was flaking off and we began repainting the exterior in June of 2011. The big question is WHY is the paint flaking so badly in such a short time? We are confident a good quality of paint was used, and the painters were careful to prepare the surface by scraping and priming.
We believe it is because of excessive interior moisture in the unheated house during the winter. When you look at the house on a sunny winter day you can see water droplets running down the insides of the windows (also ruining that paint and damaging the wood of our 200 year old windows!). Since there is no insulation or vapor barrier, the moisture that comes from the dirt floor basement is free to penetrate the walls and lift the paint. Board member Abel Bates installed a blower in 2011 that exhausts basement air directly to the outside. It is too early to say for sure if this will prevent paint failure, but we can notice a great reduction in the former musty smell in the house, so the approach is promising.
The 2011 season painting was done by one young man, Matt Larrabee, who did an excellent job, including proper re-glazing of the deteriorated windows. He completed all windows on the first floor and all siding on the front face of the house. The job was completed in 2012 by Larry Greenlaw, who is a talented and experienced painter and all-around repair person. Unfortunately, his work uncovered more problems for us. Rotted structure at the sill level on the north side (facing the street corner) and the high single window on the same side too deteriorated to even paint. With these additional repairs, the total cost of the painting for 2011-2012 will likely exceed $8,000, more or less depleting our treasury.
*Note on paint donation: Both of the “Big Box’ stores in Windham as well as Aubuchon Hardware in Raymond were approached for donations but did not help us. We hope you will remember Sherwin-Williams’ support for their community when you are next shopping for paints or supplies.
Please help us in this effort by making a special contribution to the painting fund. We will gladly provide a receipt for tax purposes, so be sure to include your name and address. Contributions should be mailed to:
Hawthorne House Painting Fund
P.O. Box 185, So. Casco, ME 04077