16 May 2022

Painting your new build home

Home care

Painting your new build home

You may be tempted to reach for the paintbrush as soon as you get the keys to your new build home, but it is actually important that you wait. A lot of water is absorbed during the build process, meaning your home needs some time to naturally dry out 💧

Some of the main materials used to build your home contain significant amounts of water. These materials include concrete, mortar and plaster. In standard construction types, you can see up to 8,000 litres of water used in mixtures and materials to build your new home.

With so much water needed to construct your new build home, it inevitably needs time to evaporate. This process is commonly known as 'drying out'. 

According to the NHBC, the drying out process can take anywhere up to nine months, at which point you may notice some minor cracks forming. This is commonly known as 'shrinkage'.

While moisture in new builds may sound scary, it is important to understand that moisture is natural in new homes and is not necessarily a reason for concern. 

Once your home is completely dried out, this is the perfect time to add your personal stamp to the walls and decorate using your emulsion of choice 🎨

What does shrinkage look like?

Shrinkage in your new build home is unfortunately not something you can avoid. Shrinkage comes in the form of small surface cracks in the paint or plaster and is typically found in high-traffic areas such as landings and stairs.

What can you do to reduce moisture in your home?

Although moisture in your new build home is inevitable, there are a few steps you can take to reduce things.

  1. Ventilation – a crucial way to regulate the air in your home. This can be in the form of opening your windows, using extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen cooker hoods. Some new homes also have mechanical ventilation systems integrated to help with circulation.
  2. Using breathable paints – rather than using paints such as vinyl, it is advisable to use emulsion that allows the walls to breathe through the paint especially during the first 12 months of moving into your new build home.
  3. Hold off on wallpaper – although tempting to add vibrant patterns to your walls, we suggest holding off until your home has had sufficient drying out time.

What to do if moisture continues to be an issue after the first 12 months?

If the issue persists after this period, or gets worse by showing signs of damp and mould, it may be time to contact your developer.

Many developers have a 'developer warranty' in place that covers any defects that occur typically within the first two years of construction – this is different to 'building cover' which is an insurance that covers any structural defects to the property typically within the first ten-years of construction. 


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