Wednesday, December 2, 2020

House Works: Your questions on—’breathable’ exterior paint, basement heating, deck posts

House Works: Your questions on—'breathable' exterior paint, basement heating, deck posts

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Q What’s the best way to paint the brick of my house? I want to change the colour from dark brown to light cream.

A Bricks can be painted, it’s just important to use a type of paint that allows moisture to pass through it. This is called “breathable” in the paint industry and there’s a reason it’s essential in Canada. Regular paint can trap moisture within the brick, leading to flaking and falling apart of the brick as that moisture freezes in winter. Brick can also be stained, but you can’t stain a darker colour to make it lighter, as you want to do.

As for painting methods, due to the rough and porous surface of brick, brushing is the best application technique. Expect to use three to four times the amount of paint to cover rough bricks as you would a smooth wall of similar size.


Electric heat in basement?

Q Is it a good idea to use electricity to warm up a basement in a home that has natural gas? Our basement is always cold in winter and my wife wants to install the kind of electric storage heater you wrote about back in 2015. Am I right to oppose the use of electric heat in this case?

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