How long has it been since you last painted the exterior of your home? Spring is the perfect time to spruce up the exterior of your house and take care of some of the most common problems we, as painters, see when visiting customers’ homes. There are many conditions to a property that would indicate that it is time to consider a re-paint. These are some of the principal signs you might see that would assist you to making that decision.
Very often mildew will set in on a North or East side of a house or on a deck. This is caused by moisture not evaporating therefore creating mildew. Mildew is dark black or has gray spots and paint will not adhere properly to it. It first must be removed with 50/50 mix of bleach and water thru a garden sprayer and then power washed. The bleach and water kills the mildew on contact. This condition is common after a particularly wet winter or a wet summer.
#2 Warped Siding
The condition of Warping to siding is common for south and west exposures. This is caused from moisture content accumulating in the boards naturally and the sun baking the siding causing a warping effect. This cannot be nailed or screwed down to flatten out these areas. This just causes additional damage and warping. Very often this condition can be arrested by proper application of paint to the bottom edge or lip of the siding board. This condition is even commonly seen with James Hardy concrete board siding as well, especially at higher altitudes. The only way to cosmetically improve the look of warped siding is to replace it. Otherwise, proper prep and quality Paint will suffice.
#3 Swollen Siding
Most often to North and sometimes East exposures to homes you will see siding swell and delaminate as these elevations accumulate moisture, ice dam and just generally have issues with water not evaporating naturally. This causes more swelling; nail pop and dry rot in general. As moisture wicks up into the siding it will swell, warp and delaminate. Proper scraping, primer and paint to these areas is key to avoiding further damage and having to replace the siding. Once the siding splits badly to the middle, you will have no choice but to replace the siding as a split cannot be effectively caulked. The freeze, thaw cycles will just cause the caulk to twist, turn, become unsightly and again expose this area to more moisture.
#4 Nail Pop
Nail pop is caused from moisture getting behind a countersunk nail and the freeze; thaw cycles causing the nail to eventually protrude out from the house. This is why appreciably countersunk nails greater than a ¼” need to be caulked in. In addition, nails that are re-set and there is nothing for the nail to re-set into need to be pulled and the hole should be caulked. You should never over caulk Nail Heads however as they will flash thru the paint and cause an unsightly final finished product. We would advise to never be talked into caulking all of the nail heads on your home or intentionally counter sinking the nails.
#5 Wax Bleed
Wax Bleed is a condition of which arises when the sun bakes on Masonite or press board type siding where the paint has weathered away, leaving just color or pigmentation to the face of the board and the wax content on the board is drawn to the surface. This is most common to the West and Southern exposures but can be seen on the East depending on the intensity of morning sun. It will most often have the appearance of oil or look greasy to the Siding. Dirt and dust will stick to it and it will be spotty and unsightly. If unattended, it will only get worse. While caused from weathering, this condition is not fading. It must be cleaned/power washed and encapsulated with an “oil base” primer. Once primed, the surface is now in proper condition to have the finish paint applied. If wax bleed is left unattended or not primed when the house is painted, the paint will not adhere properly and will fail. It’s like painting wax paper; paint naturally does not want to stick to wax.
#6 Dry Rot
This condition arises to often unimpeded infiltration of water to a Board where moisture is trapped and causes a fungus to set in, cultivate and grow side to side or behind the affected area. It must be removed or it could cause substantial structural damage. You can often just push your finger right thru this type of damage and just patching over or caulking in dry rot will only cause further damage and do so in an accelerated way. This is why a good quality elastomeric caulk should always be used to open voids that will flex with temperatures and keep moisture out of points of entry to surfaces to be painted.
#7 Chalking Paint
This is again most common on the West and South facing elevations of your property. Your layer of protection or the paint again has weathered away and you can just run your hand across the surface and the pigment or color will simply wipe off and remain on your hand.
#8 Fading Paint
The UV in Colorado is severe and will damage most any color over time. All elevations to a property will fade differently making touching up after even a year or so nearly impossible. All Surfaces including metal or vinyl siding, stucco and Hardi-board surfaces will be need to be re-painted at some point because of this naturally occurring condition.
#9 Cracking & Staining Stucco
Cracks to stucco must be bridged with a quality elastomeric coating that will expand and contract over this surface. Once the crack opens up to the point where it cannot be bridged then it must be re-finished with stucco aggregate corner to corner and this can be very costly. A good quality elastomeric coating will also resist further staining from pollution and run-off that if so common with stucco. Standard exterior acrylic paints do not bridge cracks to stucco!
In our Colorado climate, homes need to be re-painted or experience significant fading every 5-7 years. Don’t buy into long warranty programs. You will be disappointed. Your painting contractor should take the time to talk to you about your house’s real needs. Hopefully this article has educated you and next time you speak to a painting contractor you’ll have the upper hand on negotiation! We hope these tips will assist you in your quest to have your home painted by a quality contractor and make a solid purchasing decision. Most often, the lower priced bids will lack details and will most often not address what we just discussed above significantly impacting the life of the project and your return on investment. Choose the right contractor who cares, gives you comfort, provide a sensible fair price and have a history of doing things the right way. Consider these things when reviewing the cost and expectations of any painting project. It is important to note that no matter the condition a building, good prep, good paint and great people will make all the difference!
Please call Stellar Painting & Remodeling at 720-981-7827 for additional info or fill out the easy form on the contact page to schedule a free estimate.