14 Jun Why Use Microporous Paint on Timber Doors and Windows?
When you choose timber doors and windows, such as our expertly crafted entrance doors and sash windows, you’ll enjoy numerous benefits. For example, timber is beautiful, full of character, durable and helps to regulate the temperature in your home thanks to its superb insulating abilities. So it’s really worth looking after – and one of the best ways to do this is to use microporous paint to give doors and windows an attractive, long-lasting protective coating.
If you’ve already browsed our product range, you’ll have noticed that the JTP Joinery team are firm believers in this specialist paint. But if you haven’t encountered microporous paint before, you may be wondering what it is and why it’s such a fantastic friend for exterior doors and more.
With that in mind, let’s explore microporous paints in detail, paying particular attention to why they work so well with timber doors and windows compared to ordinary paints.
How Wood Responds to Atmospheric Changes
In order to shed light on what makes microporous paint special, we need to consider how the timber your entrance doors and windows are made from responds to atmospheric changes.
As the educational resource Woodworking Clarity points out, wood is a hygroscopic material. That sounds complicated but just means it absorbs moisture, such as water vapour from the air on a humid day. As a result, it swells slightly. This is particularly common during the summer, as warm air carries more moisture than cold. When the humidity level in the atmosphere drops – a frequent occurrence on dry wintry days – wood loses water vapour to the air and shrinks slightly.
The effects of humidity levels are more noticeable with softwoods (such as pine) than hardwoods (like oak). That’s because the latter are denser, so it takes longer for moisture to penetrate or leave them. Nevertheless, wood movement is a normal, natural process for all woods. Indeed, the absorption and expulsion of water vapour can be compared to breathing.
High-quality timber doors, windows and other products are designed to accommodate a degree of wood movement so that they don’t warp or get stuck. The purpose of this swelling and shrinking is to ensure the internal moisture level of a timber front door, for example, matches the level in the atmosphere. You could say that the wood strives to exist in harmony with its environment.
Microporous Paints Let Timber Breathe
Because timber needs to ‘breathe’, so to speak, it’s sensible to paint doors and windows with a breathable substance. That’s where microporous paint comes in – it’s like a breathable skin for timber. As a result, it’s kinder to doors and windows than many standard paints, which can stifle the wood by creating a less breathable coating or seal.
The term microporous refers to a substance with microscopic openings, also known as micropores. Microporous paint’s micropores allow water vapour to enter and leave a timber entrance door, for example, as and when required (hence an alternative name for this kind of coating is moisture vapour permeable paint). That’s good news for both the timber and the paint itself.
Because the timber is able to breathe and regulate its moisture content, it’s highly unlikely to get soggy, rot or become a home for fungus. The microporous paint is therefore highly unlikely to lose its ‘grip’ on the timber and peel off. Moreover, it’s durable enough to withstand wood movement and general wear and tear. In some cases, coatings of microporous paint ‘can last up to 20 years before needing to be repainted, while traditional paint may require repainting every 5-7 years,’ says Deluxe House magazine.
In a nutshell, microporous paints look after the health of your timber while also keeping doors and windows looking their best for longer.
An Effective Barrier against Rainwater
Although microporous paint doesn’t stand in the way of water vapour entering or leaving timber, it does act as an effective barrier against water in its liquid state, such as rain. Liquid is unable to pass through the micropores, so the paint prevents timber doors and windows becoming waterlogged.
Another benefit of using microporous paints is they’re more environmentally friendly than many alternatives, as they emit lower levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Devon’s Timber Doors and Windows Specialists
Elegant, sturdy and secure, our bespoke entrance doors and windows are designed to enhance your home.
Thanks to our factory-applied three-coat system and range of microporous paint colours, you can rest assured that the timber will look stunning for years to come.
Looking for superb Devon timber doors and windows? Contact JTP Joinery today.