What do you really see when you are considering Painting your House? How long has it been since the last exterior paint project? In this climate Homes need to be re-painted or experience significant fading every 6-8 years. Don’t buy into long warranty programs or promises of life-extending beyond that. You will be disappointed. Houses in Harsh Climates will typically start to see a failure to Horizontal Surfaces usually within a yr. or so and vertical services could start experiencing signs of erosion of paint film and weathering as soon as 3-4 yrs. While the proper application is critical and quality of paint counts, paint is still just a protective liquid that is highly susceptible to an extreme, varied climate. Be careful with Exterior Flat Paints or Stains as they will give you shorter life with their inability to combat weather vs. more durable Satin Finishes. Your Contractor should take the time to talk to you about what your house really needs vs. just throwing a widget type bid out there and attracting you with price only. Here are some common things to look for that will require some special attention.
#1-Exterior Paint- Mildew
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 Gray spots and Paint will not adhere properly to it. It must be removed with 50/50mix of Bleach and Water thru a Garden Sprayer and then Power Washed. The Bleach and Water kill the Mildew on Contact. This condition is common after a particularly wet Winter or a wet summer.
#2-Exterior Painting- Warped Siding
The condition of Warping to Siding is Common for South and West Exposures. This is caused by 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-Exterior Painting- 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 are 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-Exterior Painting- Nail Pop
Nail Pop is caused by 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 the 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 causing an Unsightly final finished product. Absolutely never be impressed or talked into caulking all the Nailheads on your home or intentionally countersinking nails.
#5- Exterior Painting – 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 the Morning Sun. It will most often have the appearance of Oil or look greasy to the Siding. Dirt and dust will stick to it & 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.
I hope these tips 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, non- market valued bids will lack detail and will most often not attend to the type of things mentioned above significantly impacting the life of the Project and your return on investment. Choose the right contractor who cares, gives you comfort, provides a sensible fair price, and has a history of doing things the right way. Painting is not just Painting and no two companies are the same no matter where you find them!