exterior painting

The exterior of your home in the Woodlands, Texas is exposed to a wide range of damaging factors including the blistering sun, radical temperature shifts and rain. While quality paints are designed to withstand these conditions to some extent, each paint film eventually breaks down. However, if this happens too soon, it might mean that the paint used was low quality or the surface preparation process was less than ideal.

Either way, after a number of years, your exterior paint system may start to manifest a number of signs to indicate the beginning of paint failure. In this article, we will take a look at five of the most common exterior paint problems, their origins, and how to fix them. So if it has been some years since you last painted your exterior, look out for the following signs:

1. Blistering Paint

Blistering appears as small/medium bubbles under a paint film. This is most common on wood siding. It occurs as a result of painting under a hot sun where the solvent vapor is trapped underneath the paint film. Applying paint on a damp siding can also cause the trapped moisture to expand under the paint film. In some same cases, improper surface preparation can also contribute to paint blistering.

•Repair and Prevention: If it’s a wood siding, start by scraping away the blistering paint and then sand the wood. Repaint the surface after it has completely dried while avoiding direct sunlight and humid conditions. Consider improving ventilation and replacing any missing caulk around the doors and windows.

2. Chalking

Chalking is the formation of fine powder on the surface of a paint film. If you rub the surfaces of your wall, you will be left with a fine chalk deposit on your fingers. While a small level of chalking shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, excessive chalking can be an indication of paint failure. The fine powder is paint-pigments that is released as the paint binders break down.
Chalking can be caused by using cheaper-quality exterior paints, use of improper paint (e.g. interior paint being used on the exterior), paint that is applied too thinly, and improperly sealed painting surfaces.

• Repair and Prevention: Remove all the chalking by power washing before applying a new coat of paint. Once the surface has dried, paint it using high-quality latex exterior paint.

3. Peeling

Peeling is one of the most common problems with exterior paint jobs and often indicates advanced paint failure. This can be identified by the top paint film peeling off from the rest of the layers primarily due to poor adhesion.

Peeling can be caused by painting over a poorly prepared surface where things like moisture and dirt interfere with adhesion. If the underlying paint layer has poor adhesion, it will eventually peel off with the newly painted film. Using low-quality paint and painting over a wet surface will also cause peeling, sooner than later.

• Repair and Prevention: Scrape away the old peeling paint and feather-sand affected areas. Caulk where required, prime the affected patch and apply a high-quality acrylic latex exterior paint. If the damage is due to exposure to moisture, ensure proper drainage of gutters and the downspouts should be flowing away from your siding.

4. Mildew
Mildew is a fungus that grows on the paint film or caulking and can be identified by its brown, gray, dark black or green splotchy spots. It’s primarily caused by excessive exposure to moisture, lack of direct sunlight and poor ventilation. Failing to prime bare wood or applying paint to a surface that initially had mildew are also common causes.

• Repair and Prevention: Scrub the affected area vigorously with a household bleach solution of 1-part bleach to 3-parts water. Let the solution set on the cleaned area for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with clean water. Let it completely dry and paint with high-quality latex exterior paint.

Bottom Line
Whichever quality of paint you use, your exterior paint will eventually start breaking down after a number of years. However, you can extend the lifespan of your paint job by watching out for the emerging of paint failure problems and fixing them before they advance.

If your exterior paint has failed beyond minor repairs, or maybe you simply need a change of color or style, our professional painting crew can help. Give us a call today for more information or simply schedule a free estimate below.