Town Crier Articles

A Tom Sawyerish Ending to Our Fence Painting?
Posted on December 1, 2021 9:07 AM by Sarah Carey
Tom Sawyer bribed his friends to whitewash his Aunt Polly’s fence claiming it was fun. So WHERE and WHEN are New Town’s fence painters going to finish their “fun” job?
The fence behind the Goddard School and the fence on Olive Drive are the fences involved. This year there was funding for the fences to be repaired and painted. They were both repaired, scraped and painted in early summer BUT, the paint started to peel and pedestrians walking by had fun pulling off the peeling paint.
The fence on Olive Drive got a special treatment – the vegetation was also painted! Can you hear Aunt Polly yelling at Tom? “Painting vegetation – WHY?” Well, the vegetation has since been cut back and is ready for a second coat of paint – the fence, not the vegetation.
BUT paint over already peeling paint? Or is there a bigger issue? It appears that the fences are retaining water and the long-term solution is not apparent. The paint company Sherwin Williams has confirmed to Town Management that the paint was not defective - it is fundamentally the condition of the fences, they are not holding the coats of paint.
Per Tim Grueter of Town Management, the wood is wicking water up from the ground and is somehow transferring it across the beams.  “In looking at pictures of when the fences were built, it appears that the wood was painted after it was assembled, so there could be wood to wood contact on the post to beam connection.”  Humidity could play a role in the wood retaining moisture.  The paint that Certa Pro used bonded with the original paint that was on the fence, but the moisture is causing both the old paint and new to peel off.  Certa Pro has been working on pricing to replace the wood that is holding water with either new wood or PVC. 
When our holiday bunting is removed, the damage will still be present. Another challenge for our new management company. Fortunately, the vendor has not yet been paid for this work. Stay tuned…
Comment By: Richard Durst
Posted on December 1, 2021 11:40 AM
Thanks for the article summarizing this problem plaguing our fences, Sarah. There are solutions, short of replacing all the fence boards. I suggest that they research a Zinsser product that I've used in several climates with great success. It is called Peel Stop and it seals cracking and peeling paint very successfully. After scraping loose paint, you simply brush or roll it on.

REPLY: Thanks for the tip which we will pass along to Chesapeake Bay. In some places the wood fibers on the fence boards are actually separating and falling, but anything that saves repair money is worth a try.

Last Edited: 12/02/2021 at 07:43 AM