Protecting Uncoated Moldings from the Rain

Mouldings should be kept away from rain and snow.

Ideally, mouldings should be kept in a sheltered place until ready to use, such as in a garage. Sometimes, this just isn’t a possibility because the garage bay is still under construction! In situations where the mouldings and trim may be left outside for a few days it’s important to at least keep the mouldings up off the ground (using a skid like in the picture, or a few 2″x4″s) and cover it well with a tarp to keep them from being rained on.

All moulding, sills and trim products leave the factory in their standard cement-coating, which is not designed to be exposed to rain and high moisture for long periods of time. A white substance known as efflorescence will start to appear when the cement is exposed to water, or even high moisture for extended periods of time. While a little of it won’t cause much harm, it’s a hassle to have to clean off and is better avoided altogether. Concrete molding products having been exposed to efflorescence on site are typically not accepted for return.

Once installed, the cementitious coating of the moulding product needs to be painted with an exterior-grade masonry paint which will act as the protective outer-layer against the coating. This masonry paint can be purchased from most hardware stores (such as Lowes, Home Depot or Home Hardware) in the colour of your choice. Because of the limitless choices of colours, Decoramould does not ship moulding products already painted, and once painted, products can not be returned.

The option of painting your mouldings, columns, window/door trims and sills means that you can design your home however you like. Some home owners like their mouldings to be the same colour as the wall, while others will choose a colour a few shades darker or lighter than that of their wall. The more adventurous of the bunch will choose a colour that contrasts with the wall for visual effect, such as a white trim on a red-brick wall.

While being applied, the paint will slowly absorb into the cement coating surrounding the styrofoam core to form almost a monolithic single layer. This is one of the reasons that Decoramould uses a 1/8″ coating instead of a 1/16″ coating, which tends to form a weak bond with the protective coating.  As with all paint jobs, the surface should be dust/dirt/water-free to get the best possible adhesion, and 2 layers is sometimes required. Once painted, mouldings should be maintenance free for decades to come.

In situations where the mouldings are fully exposed to the elements or in high humidity areas of the country, mouldings should be checked every few years to ensure that the paint is not peeling or cracking. Poorly done transitions between the mouding and the wall or not fully protecting the trim with paint can result in moisture getting in and the paint to deteriorate. In these situations, all that’s required is to sand the damaged paint off and to re-apply a new layer (or two) of the paint.