Is it time to paint your home?
Now that there is a little more day light when you get home from work take an opportunity to walk around your home and look at the condition of the exterior. A common misconception is that you don’t paint your home until you see the obvious signs of fading or peeling paint, you can save yourself a lot of money in prep work by addressing the paint before it fails, which is why it is a good idea to clean the exterior of your home every couple years.
Below is a list of common paint failures and solutions to these problems. If you have any questions about any or you would like me to come out and take a look at what you have going on please don’t hesitate to call (253) 691-6198 or email tyler@CascadeRenovations.com.
Common Paint Failures and Solutions
Molds, Mildew, and Moss
Once you have peeling paint the substrate (wood, siding, etc.) has been exposed to the elements and begins to accumulate mildew, molds, moss etc. these can be identified as dark black spots or streaks in or on a painted surface or bare wood (not good) the those fungi are eating your house and rotting your wood! This is common on fascia (trim), soffits (eves), and cedar shakes. If addressed soon the damage is reversable by taking the proper steps to clean and prepare the surface for the new top coat, however on a massive scale you can be talking hours upon hours of prep and possibly having to replace that wood ($$$) all of which could have been avoided by simply adressing the issue sooner. Simply pressure washing the mildew away makes it look clean when indeed the spores are rooted into the wood and once painted over it will look good for a year or two but will likely peel within one season here in the Northwest. It is imperative to clean those areas with a detergent that will kill those spores to prevent them from coming back. Bleach has been the go to solution for these issues as it’ll kill most anything, you can also use “30 seconds” or a house wash, but big news to you may be that those solutions are comprised of mostly bleach, with a few fragrences and some thinners to make them more tolerable.
Solutions: Treat the area, agitate it with a bristle brush to work in the treatment, then either rinse or pressure wash clean. Let the area dry for a few warm days (up to a week at times around here), then you will need to sand the area smooth, prime it with an oil based primer so that the wood really soaks up that primer (oil is more thin than latex and seals wood more effectively as well as blocks tannins to prevent discoloration) once the primer has cured the surface is then ready to be topcoated with your choice of product and color.
Yep you guessed it, areas that are blistering look like bubbles in your paint. This is caused by the top coat loosing its adhesion to the substrate yet still maintaining its elasticity trapping air and water against the substrate. Blistering on homes with fully cured paint (6+ months) is typically the first step to peeling paint (once the blister “pops” the paint opens up and begins to peel. Blistering in the Northwest is typically found on south facing walls and wall with a lot of direct sunlight or heat on them coupled with a moisture problem on the home. What happens is moisture somehow gets behind the paint (including but not limited to: bad caulking, incomplete painting, a leak in the roof, or a leak from a faucet, also found on exterior walls with bathrooms behind them) the moisture is absorbed in the wood and once the warm sunlight hits it the moisture warms up and evaporates outward but gets trapped by the layer of paint, the moisture then just lives there until the paint fails cracks and the water goes on its merry way leaving the wood exposed to the elements.
Solution: Identify the moisture problem and correct that so the problem doesn’t persist, scrape the loose and peeling paint, treat it with bleach, let dry, prime and top coat.
This is the easiest paint failure to spot as the paint has failed and is peeling away, left uncorrected it will continue to work its way accross the surface until it reaches a seam where it cannot continue. This leaves your home open to the elements, the wood will wet and dry, discolor and begin to rot.
Solution: Scrape the loose and peeling paint, treat the area, pressure wash, prime and topcoat.
Fading and Chalking
This again is all in the name, fading paint can be spotted from a long way out, what you may not know about fading paint is that once a paint starts fading the paint has lost its ability to hold itself together and begins loosing pigment. When this happens you can often swipe your hand or fingers accross the surface and get a chalky residue on your hand. If you have a serious chalking problem it may not be corrected by simply pressure washing, you can tell as once you pressure wash or wet the area it will be slimy. A new coat of paint is not going to adhere to that well at all, as latex itself is a water based substance so all you are doing when you paint a very chalky surface is sticking wet paint to a slimy surface. Once it dries the top coat will be solid on the outside but have a very weak “bite” into the substrate and you will see the surface fail far before it should.
Solution: You should begin with pressure washing to see how bad the problem is, hand scrubbing the substrate with a detergent will help and then pressure washing clean again. The objective is to get as much of that chalking substance off of the house, once it is as clean as possible, let the area thoroughly dry and then whole area will need to be primed with an oil based primer so that it soaks in and locks that loose stuff up. Once the area is fully primed it can then be top coated.
There are many other types of paint failures, if you have any questions about your home please give me a call, I’d love to come out and asses the condition of your home and give you solutions to fixing them, I’m currently scheduling work for this summer season so if you are looking for a high quality paint solution please let me know!