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House maintenance query

Protecting the outside wood

Diefenbaker
post 26.Jan.2013, 05:29 PM
Post #1
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Hej,
I'm still 5 years away from my eventual retirement to Sweden but am trying to plan for all eventualities before I finally move. I aim to buy my own house in Norrbotten and as I won't have a lot of money for the purchase it will probably be an old wooden one. I don't have a problem with that but I'll want to maintain it over the years and ensure it doesn't deteriorate. With that in mind I've started looking into what's involved as I'm a DIY buffoon at the moment and have found the North American websites to be very useful as so many of their homes, both new and old are wooden.
I was reading about wood preservatives and water repellant substances for the outside of the homes and I read that as long as water repellants are applied to bare wood every two years they should do a similar job to a wood preservative in keeping fungi and insects at bay.
My question is, do those of you that live in wooden homes really strip your wood bare every two years to reapply the water repellant? I was hoping just a quick sanding off of any loose paint and reapplying an outdoor paint every couple of years would do the trick but I don't want to cut corners and have the place rot away. Is that why so many houses on Hemnet have ladders against the walls because as soon as you've finished it's time to start again? rolleyes.gif
Is there an outdoor paint that you use in Sweden that gives good protection to the wood and doesn't need replacing every couple of years?

Thanks for reading
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Mb 65
post 26.Jan.2013, 06:04 PM
Post #2
Joined: 20.Nov.2006

Most houses are painted here. my house was new 10 years ago and the paint was in good condition when I repainted it after 10 years, I only repainted it because the colour had faded because it faces south.
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Johno
post 26.Jan.2013, 06:09 PM
Post #3
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

The ladder issue is easily explained. Apart from necessary regular gutter clearing if you have trees nearby, outside ladders must be provided to reach the roof apex and chimney because sweeping every couple of years by dropping a brush and weight down on a rope is mandatory.

As for painting, wood preservatives alone are unusual. Ultimately its wood quality that determines how well walls last eg larch wood is a better cladding. And having studied the ingredients of Falu red, I am convinced that it cant work at all unless the wood it is applied to is highly rot proof itself in the first instance. And factors like not having any wood touching the ground and big roof overhangs are imperative in the house construction.

Obviously best to continue with what you have, but the best latex paints are good for 10 years and then some. Or its oil paints, or ""lasyr" paint needing a bit more frequent retreatment. Nobody strips back and repaints. And for new planks or where old paint has to be stripped back, its vital to start with "grundolja."

See http://www.landora.se/foldrar/ute_systemmalning.pdf for an idea of how to do it and translate (eg with Google translate) to understand the basics as below.

"Systemmålning innebär att du målar fasaden i tre steg.
Först använder du grundolja som impregnerar.
Sedan lägger du på ett lager grundfärg och avslutar därefter med 2 lager toppfärg.
Om du målar enligt denna princip får du ett resultat som håller i många år."
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Diefenbaker
post 26.Jan.2013, 08:23 PM
Post #4
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Thanks for your replies and for clearing up the ladder issue, I didn't know about the laws concerning chimneys.

I'm relieved to know I won't have to be continually stripping old paint off to apply wood preservative and repaint every two years. I'd rather get things right from the beginning instead of learning from my mistakes and be faced with big repair bills later on.

Another, perhaps strange question has just ocurred to me. On many of the house photo's I've seen on Hemnet the kitchen tends to have a fridge that has cupboards built all around it, right up to the ceilling. That presumably means a replacement fridge would have to be the same size if the cupboards are to be left in place. I'd like to have an American style side by side fridge freezer so would want the cupboards taken down to make room for it. Are these cupboards usually connected directly to the ceiling above or does it just look that way? I'd imagine if they're connected it wouldn't be a small job to pull the cupboards down and repair the ceiling so it looks as good as new or am I wrong? Bear in mind I'm a DIY Buffoon at the moment but I will have lessons in DIY before I go.
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Diefenbaker
post 26.Jan.2013, 08:29 PM
Post #5
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

I'm sorry, I forgot to ask about the guttering just now. I had a house 20 years ago whose guttering buckled under the weight of the several inches that had fallen on the roof. I was wondering if you have similar issues with this in Sweden and if you have to do something to stop any damage occuring or is your guttering so much stronger that the plastic stuff we have over here?
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 26.Jan.2013, 08:34 PM
Post #6
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

QUOTE (Diefenbaker @ 26.Jan.2013, 09:23 PM) *
Thanks for your replies and for clearing up the ladder issue, I didn't know about the laws concerning chimneys.I'm relieved to know I won't have to be continually ... (show full quote)

Nobody strips and repaints their house every 2 years, rather every 10 years and no stripping, just painting.

Cupboards are generally connected to the wall and not the ceiling, as least for the new modular kind of kitchens. If you want to rearrange them you just use a Phillips screwdriver. Old kitchens may be more of a pain. Also, appliances usually come with the house when you buy it.

Gutters rarely fall down if properly cleaned now and then.
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Johno
post 26.Jan.2013, 09:04 PM
Post #7
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Guttering and down pipes on houses are always very strong and very rigid metal. Put up properly you can certainly lean ladders against guttering without any fear of damaging them, I certainly have. (I was going to say swing from them, but perhaps not). You can get plastic guttering for sheds etc, but any half decent house will always has metal.
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Johno
post 26.Jan.2013, 09:22 PM
Post #8
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Forgot the fridge question. With there being standard sizes for kitchen cupboards, many appliances are sized to fit under hard tops ie fridges, washing machines, dish washers, and with a width to fill the same space as a cupboard unit. And for free standing tall units, many have the same width and depth, just are much taller. Check any site selling appliances and look at the measurements.
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Svensksmith
post 27.Jan.2013, 12:13 AM
Post #9
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

There are several good books (in English) on home maintenance. I suggest you buy a few and read them. For the most part, what you read will apply to Sweden, although you may have trouble finding certain products from time to time. I remember having the hardest time finding J bolts when I needed them...of course, it could have been my poor Swedish causing a lack of communication.

Also, talk to your neighbors. It is a good icebreaker and most Swedes will be delighted to share their home repair knowledge with you. On those old, wooden houses, prevailing practice seems to work well. Some of those old beauties are one to two hundred years old. I was in one house in Kalmar that was 400 years old, according to the owner.
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Hisingen
post 27.Jan.2013, 12:49 AM
Post #10
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

And regarding the painting, it iis usually necessary to scrape off all loose paint prior to the undercoat, not so much sanding.
Uou should also check the nature of the paint you plan to use. There are currently certain paints that 'go mouldy' and blacken withing a few years. Göteborgs Posten had a table in their Consumer Section advising on the best paints for each respective region. I have that table on my other computer such that, if it is of interest, you can send me a PM and I'll send a copy to you.
We moved into the current house in 2003, and repainted last autumn, but due to the mould had to wash the whole façade three or four times in the intervening years. It is not an uncommon phenomenon, and some brands of paint are worse than others.
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Johno
post 27.Jan.2013, 10:31 AM
Post #11
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Concur with all of the above. And regarding "There are currently certain paints that 'go mouldy' and blacken withing a few years." When I first got our cottage, having only painted window frames fitted to our brick UK house, I thought that the option of semi gloss 'traditional' oil paint on wood trim would be fine because it was clearly "what the Swedes used". How wrong I was. A mould magnet. After going nuts having to wash down far too often, I did it the UK way and swapped to high gloss alkyd paint. Attracts very little mould and when there is some, it washes off easily. Its a learning curve alright.
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Gordy
post 27.Jan.2013, 10:57 AM
Post #12
Location: Skåne
Joined: 1.Oct.2005

We have used Swedish made Allbäck's linseed oil paint on the external woodwork of our new house. I can't saw how long it will last as it was only painted last year but is alleged to be very good, they export it all over the world from their factory just down the road from us outside Ystad.
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Diefenbaker
post 27.Jan.2013, 11:21 AM
Post #13
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Thanks for all the usual advice and information. The suggestion about asking the neighbors what they use was a good one, I was beginning to get the impression from the forum that the swedes are very private and had visions of them running a mile, or kilometre, when a crazy, nosey foreigner tried talking to them. I hope they're as keen to talk about their DIY knowledge as you are. The thought of damaging the ceiling if I have to remove the cupboards around the fridge was a bit worrying until I remembered that if I make a mess I don't have to worry, I've got no one to nag me and tell me off; an advantage of being single now. biggrin.gif

Sorry to be so inquisitive but I've remembered another question that pops into my head when I look on the Hemnet site. Most of the houses have very loud, 60's/70's style wallpaper that will have to be the first thing I remove when I finally move in. I've removed wallpaper from brick walls before and although it's a slow laborious job it's fairly easy to do. Is it as easy to remove from a wooden wall or is that the reason it's still hanging there after all these years because it's such an awful task to undertake? I'd like to clear the walls of all the wallpaper and just paint everything as it's much easier to put up and maintain.
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Johno
post 27.Jan.2013, 11:32 AM
Post #14
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Swedes dont move home too often and so those homes with the patterned wallpaper are when old folks have died and the house is being sold. Wallpaper stripping is the same everywhere. Having done it the dampen it and scrape it off method in Sweden, I just checked whether steamers are available there and found http://www.clasohlson.com/se/Tapetborttaga...ech/Pr407022000 . In wooden houses the walls are often plasterboard, obviously not plaster on brick/block, nothing wrong with that, except that a bit more care is needed not to over wet, or dig away the paper surface too much. Then paint it to your choice.
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Diefenbaker
post 27.Jan.2013, 02:22 PM
Post #15
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Thanks for that, I had the impression from somewhere that wallpaper tended to cling on to wooden walls more than brick but can't remember where I got that from. I'll try to remember your advice about taking it easy with the knife, I remember getting carried away before and digging chunks out of the wall. Are there any tool hire companies over there that would hire out things like steamers and rotavators for the garden? I don't really want to buy something I'll rarely use again unless I have to. I presume I'd have to have a personal number before I could rent anything though?
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