As any homeowner knows, painted exterior surfaces will slowly degrade and must be re-coated from time to time to maintain their like-new appearance. The question is how often? And what are the signs one should look for when deciding whether or not to repaint their home? This article discusses common warning signs that your exterior coat of paint is failing and needs to be repainted.
First off, let’s discuss why it is so important to have a functioning protective exterior coat of paint. Most people don’t realize it, but the primary function of paint is to provide protection for the structural elements of your home and maintain the value of your property. Paint is designed with functionality first and aesthetics second. Paint protects your home from wind, dirt, weather, rot, UV damage, and many other elements which conspire to slowly destroy the structural integrity of your home how to maintain your home’s exterior by Hanover-Powerwashing.com.
Because of this it is important to repaint your home before your exterior paint fails. If you wait too long the underlying materials will become exposed to the elements and start to degrade. A simple paint job will become a much more complicated and expensive restoration job.
Signs that paint has already failed are fairly obvious: chipping, cracking, peeling, and blistering. If any of these conditions are present on the exterior of your property then the elements have access to the underlying materials and can wreak havoc. Moisture is a primary concern, because not only can it slip in though small cracks in paint finishes, but also because it can cause significant, long-term damage such as rot and further paint failure in the surrounding areas (think bubbling). If you live in a colder climate, moisture which has slipping into the substrate can freeze and expand overnight. The freezing of water is such a strong force that it can easily crack concrete and warp wood.
The idea is to keep an eye out for the signs that paint is about to fail so that you can avoid the nasty and expensive problems mentioned above. Signs that paint is about to fail include noticeable fading and chalking. Fading is simply a washed out appearance of the paint itself; colors will lose their luster and even whites will appear dull and gray-ish. Unfortunately since paint fades slowly it can be hard to notice just how dramatically the color of your exterior has faded, so make sure to keep an eye out for it as it is a sure sign of the paint degrading.
The other tell tale sign is chalking. Chalking is when the surface of the paint takes on a chalky, rough texture. If you run your hand over the paint on your exterior and come away with a chalky substance on your hand it is a sure-fire sign that the chemical bonds which hold the paint solids together is failing, and it is just a matter of time before some of the more extreme signs of failure set in.
So how long can you expect a coat of paint to last? The lifespan of your exterior paint should last between five and ten years, however it will ultimately depend on several factors including the number of coats applied, weather conditions, the condition of the underlying material, and the quality of paint used. The number of coats will dramatically increases the lifespan of the paint, but don’t go crazy painting coat after coat after coat, two coats is usually sufficient for adequate long term protection.
Harsh weather conditions, temperature fluctuations, and UV exposure can reduce the paint’s lifespan, as can a poor quality surface (i.e. one that is not properly prepped and primed). This will influence adhesion; paint will not be able to ‘bite’ into a substrate that is rotting or flaking. Finally, the most obvious factor affecting the lifespan of paint is its quality: a high quality paint will always outlast a lower quality paint.