In the same way that you protect your plants from frost during the cold, you also want to protect them from paint spillage or other harmful chemicals during a home restoration project. Barry Toutman, the technical advisor of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, gives some tips on how to prepare your plants for what’s to come in these situations.
To start, you should tie up or trim back all greenery, making sure to leave a foot or so of space between the house and the plants. The reason why this gap is so important is because not only do you not want painters to be scratched by anything, but it takes thirty days for the paint to cure; meaning any shrubs, bushes, or trees sticking out could cause abrasions and make the paint wear off. What would be the point of a well-done project if it gets destroyed soon after?
On a similar note, it’s vital to remove any lawn ornaments that could obstruct a job, such as garden gnomes, hoses, or lawn furniture. These can get damaged or be tripped on in the middle of a project and no one wants that.
After the preliminary steps are taken, you should focus on wetting down the plants because this task makes it harder for anything to stick to them and will help keep them hydrated. However, if you soak the ground, this will make it harder for scaffolds and ladders to maintain stable, so keep the water to the leaves themselves.
Avoid chemical damage caused by solvents, paints, or cleaners by covering your plants with a light-weight, light-colored, breathable drop cloth. Be sure you don’t use clear plastic tarps for this, though, because they will lead to rapid heat build up and suffocate your plants. Also, don’t leave the tarps over plant material for any extended period of time, since they require sunlight. You can remove the coverings as soon as the work is finished and then recover them the following day.
Finally, shutting down an irrigation system until the paint dries is also a good idea, just to be certain that your house doesn’t get splashed with water.
While Pro Painters doesn’t do any landscaping work, we would be more than happy to help with your Houston exterior painting. We also offer a plethora of other Houston painting services, including power washing and roof coating, if your exterior needs a full refresher. Just reach out to us for a summer ready home!