Moisture bagging: does the phrase ring a bell? If you’ve ever lived in an older home and had to deal with decades-old paint, it’s likely familiar.
Here, we’ll discuss moisture bagging and humidity-related damage to paint. We’ll also provide some residential painting solutions for moisture bagging to improve the appearance of your Colorado home.
What Exactly Is Moisture Bagging?
When an impenetrable coat of paint traps moisture transpiration coming from inside of a home, it causes moisture bagging. This effect makes the coat of paint lift from the surface that it was applied to, giving it a bubbled appearance. Moisture bagging keeps pain from looking smooth and uniform.
Moisture bagging is more common in humid areas, but it can occur just about anywhere. Even with the dry air here in Colorado, homes (namely older homes that haven’t been repainted for many years) are susceptible to moisture bagging.
How To Handle Moisture Bagging
If moisture bagging has occurred in your Denver home, there’s no way to undo it. You can’t stick paint back onto a surface after it’s already cured! So, you’ll need to remove the paint that was impacted by moisture bagging and repaint the surface. To keep moisture bagging from happening again, you can follow the preventative tips that we’ll provide in the next section.
Removing the Paint
To remove paint that has experienced moisture bagging, you’ll start by scraping off the loose paint. You can use a paint scraper or putty knife for this task. Then, you’ll need to sand the surface so that the new paint will adhere to it. Sandpaper will do the trick.
The next step is to repaint the surface with humidity in mind. So, let’s go over some tips to prevent moisture bagging from happening again.
Preventing Moisture Bagging
Use Moisture-Resistant Paint
If you’re in a humid or high-moisture area, your best bet for preventing moisture bagging is to use moisture-resistant paint. Moisture-resistant paints have particularly hard finishes, which prevent humidity from affecting the paint formula.
For interiors, paint with a satin, glossy, or semi-gloss finish is the most moisture-resistant choice. These types of paint are most commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens, given that these rooms are typically subject to humidity on the regular.
The exterior of your Colorado home will need to endure more extreme humidity than the interior. So, it’s typically a smart choice to add another protective layer with a top coat or sealer. Specifically, clear polyurethane top coats work well to protect exterior paints against wear-and-tear, including moisture bagging.
Painting in Humidity
Painting in humidity can be notoriously problematic. Paint can’t fully dry and harden (cure) if the water or oil within it doesn’t fully evaporate. In humid conditions, it takes longer for water and oil to evaporate. If you’re painting in humid conditions, this means that the paint solvent will evaporate faster than the water or oil. Thus, the paint won’t be able to completely cure.
If you’re painting in humid conditions, you can follow these tips for the best possible results:
- Before you start painting, check the surface for moisture. If moisture comes back on a paper towel when you press it into the surface, the humidity in the air is high. Wait to paint until the surface is dry.
- Paint during the hours before the day’s highest temperatures. This typically means that you should start painting in the late morning. At this point, any moisture from the last night will have dried, and the rising heat will allow the paint to dry.
- Instead of completing just one or two coats, opt for multiple, thin coats of paint. These thin coats will have a better chance of drying completely in humidity than a thick coat of paint.
Improve Circulation in Your Home
You can prevent moisture from damaging your home’s paint job over time by working to lower humidity levels in your home. Operating fans and opening windows (especially in the bathroom after showering) may seem like small steps, but they’ll improve the circulation of air throughout your home, ultimately lowering humidity levels.
Moisture bagging can be a frustrating problem for Colorado homeowners. But, by working to lower the impact of humidity on your home, you can prevent future damage to your painted surfaces.