While choosing wall colours for our homes, apart from the personal preferences, the external weather condition and the surrounding environment require equal prominence. The colours, style, and coatings should be able to withstand the external temperatures, rain, sunlight, and other extremes (if any) of the local climate.
In a tropical country like India, buildings witness soaring temperatures and are continuously exposed to harsh weather extremities. Environmental acids, smog, sand and silica deposits/particles affect their properties, and they run a higher risk of damage. North India is mostly cool and dry during winters but experiences extremely hot summers, whereas South India has high temperatures throughout the year along with certain humid regions.
Climate is one of the major considerations. Temperature fluctuations can cause the external paint to expand in the heat and contract in the cold. Over time, this can lead to a crack in the paint. The UV light can also affect the paint and allow it to fade quickly. Some materials used for wall cladding also expand and contract with the change in temperature leading the paints to peel in the due course.
Understanding the climate of a particular place and choosing the paint that can withstand the temperature is essential. There are paints specifically designed to sustain heavy rainfall, to regulate indoor temperature depending on the outdoor condition etc. For instance, acrylic paints work better in humid conditions than oil-based options. For regions that experience excess rainfall or high humid levels, high-quality waterproof paints or wood stain finish are good options. Quality acrylic latex paints or enamel coatings contract and expand better with climate fluctuations due to their elasticity and are more durable as they resist flaking, peeling and chalking.
Exterior wall cladding is a high-performance solution for guarding the building against external weather interactions. Choosing the right material for external cladding is as important as picking the paint of our choice. Materials like wood suffer dimensional stability as they expand and contract with changing seasons, so carefully choosing the material is crucial.
Colours enhance the look and feel of a structure and even influence the feelings.
While choosing the colours, it is good to avoid black and other dark colours as they tend to absorb dust and dirt and require frequent maintenance. But, dark colours provide a sense of dignity and can hence be used to highlight the important features of the house. Also, a combination of a pale shade of dark colour and light colour can enhance the look. Warm colours such as yellow, red, orange or hybrid colours tend to keep the interiors warm. Cool colours on the other hand such as blue, green, violet and their hybrid colours can reduce the heat in the interiors and keep it cool.
Some of the popular exterior paint colours for Indian homes include Grey and white combined with golden brown, orange and grey, rust and grey, olive green and dark tan, brown and red with creamy white, yellow, blue and cream with grey, warm shades of yellow, white with blue or indigo, chocolate and ash, to name a few. These colours can effectively reflect sunlight and help keep the interiors cool.
To enhance the durability of the external paints, choosing specific seasons for painting is essential. For the paint to dry, it is important to have a dry, sunny day. If it is raining or humid, it will take longer to apply and dry, and the paint will also deteriorate faster. Painting in relatively cool weather brings down the drying time, but painting in extreme cold conditions can cause colour changes in the paint. Similarly, excessive wind can cause the paint to dry too quickly where the paint integrity is compromised due to weakened bonds. Also, the wind carries dust and other particles that might get stuck to the wall. Hence, careful consideration of the weather condition while applying the paint is important.
Periodic maintenance is a must to ensure the ongoing functionality and unblemished look of the paints. High-quality paints are easy to clean and offer washable qualities. This saves the cost and effort of repainting the house every year. Climate-optimized paints and finishes for specific weather conditions can withstand temperature fluctuations and do not demand high maintenance. When we choose superior-quality paints suitable for the local climate, we are investing in products that can last at least a decade. High-quality paints offer qualities like full coverage to the surface for a longer time, chalking resistance, blister resistance, colour retention, and so on.
Eco-friendly paints and finishes are materials that contain little to zero air-borne chemicals or gases. These low-level toxic emissions are termed Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). They get into the air we breathe and can greatly affect our health including visual and respiratory impairments, dizziness, headaches etc. VOCs when emitted in great quantities are harmful to humans, the environment and the atmosphere. As environment-conscious beings, it is imperative to choose paints that have zero or negligible VOCs, are mildly scented/ odourless, are Greenguard certified, made from locally and sustainably sourced components.
With such mixed features, it is important to carefully study and discuss the environmental implications, durability and performance of the paint with the architects and builders. Good quality paints when combined with the best wall cladding solutions act as a protective layer for the walls, and slow down the wear and tear process over time.