exterior painting

Why Your Exterior Paint is Bubbling and How to fix it.

If the exterior paint of your home in The Woodlands, TX is bubbling, you must be worried sick. Thankfully, this article will describe in detail what causes bubbling on your exterior and how to fix it.

Bubbling is the formation of “blisters” in the paint film which results from localized loss of adhesion and subsequent lifting of the existing paint film from the underlying surface. Loss of adhesion and blistering can quickly result to paint peeling and flaking.

Blisters can be formed in two main ways. There are those formed as a result of moisture being trapped within the substrate under the paint film. The moisture is converted into vapor when the surface is heated but cannot escape through the paint film. And then there’re those formed as a result of the solvent being trapped beneath the paint film during painting. If the solvent can’t evaporate when the surface is heated up quickly, bubbles form.

Moisture in the siding, poor surface preparation, surface contamination, and damp siding material can also cause bubbling. Bubbling is nearly impossible to predict –it may occur suddenly, or gradually over the course of many months. When painting areas that tend to be humid, such as the basement, you need to take extra precaution.

Painting an exterior just before it rains can be every bit as harmful as putting paint on a wall that’s already wet. If a storm is expected, refrain from painting for a total of eight hours: the four hours preceding its arrival, and the four that follows. A humid day can lead to water-filled blisters, which must later be scraped and touched up.

How to Minimize Bubbling

• Adequate surface preparation is critical: A Painted home exterior that receives direct rain and sun is usually under stress. If the paint job is in a bad condition and the paint coat is losing adhesion, it’s very likely that bubbling will occur if a fresh coat of paint is applied directly to the surface without proper surface preparation. So pressure wash, strip, sand, and apply the primer where necessary to ensure the surface is well prepared before painting.

• Allow adequate time for the surface to dry: You might be eager to see your new color of choice on the wall, but there is a lot more that goes on during painting beside just changing color –which requires skill and patience. After washing your wall, make sure that it’s completely dry before applying the primer. Equally, allow sufficient time for the primer to dry before applying subsequent coats of paint. Additionally, each coat of paint has to completely dry before you apply the next. Painting over a wet surface will cause moisture to be trapped in between paint films and cause bubbling.

• Where possible, choose lighter colors: The extent and rate of bubbling is influenced to a small degree by the color of your topcoat and prevailing weather conditions. Generally, dark colors will absorb more heat than lighter colors and will, therefore, put more stress on the topcoat due to frequent contraction and expansion of the siding material.

• Ensure that the paint and primer are compatible: Some paints and primers don’t always work together. You can reduce the chances of incompatibility and blistering by using the primer and paint from the same manufacturer. Additionally, only use primers recommended by the paint manufacturer –some paints go well with water-based primers while others go well with oil-based primers.

How to Fix Bubbling

In order to fix the blistering problem, the cause of the problem needs to be identified and addressed, followed by stripping off the old paint before a new coat of paint can be applied. Use the scraper to remove all the visible bubbles and any loose paint. And then use the sandpaper to smooth the bubbled paint area and 12 inches of the surrounding wall.

Wash the area using a scrub brush and soapy water, and then wait for the surface to completely dry. Once the surface preparation is done, apply a primer followed by an appropriate paint. Be sure to allow sufficient drying time between each coat.

Bottom Line

Paint blistering can make your home’s exterior look aged, tired, and unappealing. Thankfully, a little touch up can restore the glory of your exterior and prevent your paint job from being damaged further. However, if the bubbling is extensive, it’s a good idea to hire a professional painting contractor to repaint the entire exterior.