How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
How can I tell when it's time to paint the house?
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
“If you have a concrete block home, it’s easy to tell when when it is ready for repainting,” according to Frank “Buddy” Nappy, of Buddy’s Painting in Gainesville, Florida. “Rub your hand across the surface of the wall and, if powdered paint comes off on your hand, it’s time.”
Paint oxidizes as it ages, and the resulting powdering is easy to spot on stucco. But it also appears on cementitious sidings like Hardi-Plank, although a little later in the aging process. Wood siding holds paint more tenaciously, so signs that it’s time to repaint are deteriorated caulk, areas of peeling paint, and spots of wood rot on the trim.
We have included a few photos below of homes that need to be painted. Because it’s hard to capture deteriorated paint in a photograph until it is more advanced, most pictures are of homes that really need repainting, right away.
Mildew accumulating on paint surfaces.
This is an example of a gable end vent that was not primed before being painted. This deterioration happened after only five years.
Porch ceilings like this one tend to trap moisture and the paint will deteriorate faster than an exterior location.
Broken caulk lines and openings in paint finishes quickly lead to wood rot as seen in this porch post.
Rain water splashing back on exterior doors and trim usually causes mildew and paint distress.
Another porch ceiling, this one on an older home, with peeling paint.
“A good exterior paint job should last 7 to 10 years,” says Buddy, and he recommends removing any mildew—like in the first photo below—annually with a light bleach-water rinse/wash to extend the lifespan. “Mildew literally deteriorates the paint, and you want to keep it at bay, especially on the shaded sides of the house.”
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
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