Exterior paint will eventually deteriorate and fail. But you can prolong the life of your exterior paint job by doing it right the first time and performing some basic maintenance. For a high-quality, durable paint job, it’s critical that you choose the right materials, prepare walls correctly, and follow paint application best practices. What about maintenance? Is it enough to clean your walls once in a while? Should you also repaint them?
As a general rule, a homeowner should expect to repaint his home every 5 to 10 years. Despite common belief, sunlight, temperature variations, rainwater, and moisture aren’t the only factors that affect paint performance over time. The quality of materials used and the level of maintenance performed are two more elements impacting exterior paint.
To begin with, the choice of materials, including caulks, plasters, primers, and paints, must be made according to their characteristics and local weather conditions. For example, professional Jacksonville painting service providers recommend people living in Florida to use latex acrylic paint for their exterior painting projects. That’s because latex acrylic paint has a great fade resistance, retains flexibility longer, and breathes, allowing the water to evaporate, which means less blistering, peeling, and mold.
But how do you know it’s time to repaint your home? According to the best Jacksonville painting service providers, you should look for several signs, as follows:
- Cracking – Typically, cracking occurs when paint is applied on a surface that hasn’t been prepared properly, when low-quality paints are used, or when new coats are applied too thickly or before undercoats have dried completely.
- Blistering – Blistering is more likely to appear when painting in direct sunlight or extremely hot weather, when paint is applied on a damp surface, when a painted wall is exposed to high humidity or rainwater soon after it has dried, or when latex paint is applied on top of oil-based paint.
- Peeling – In humid climates, moisture can penetrate the paint and accumulate underneath it, causing peeling. Additional causes include inadequate wall preparation and using a low-quality paint, which fails to adhere properly to the surface.
- Wrinkling – Wrinkling usually occurs when applying thick coats of paint. Also, painting during extremely hot, dry weather may cause the top coat to dry too quickly and form a film, keeping the undercoat wet for a long time.
- Fading – All paints fade over time due to UV radiation and chalking (a whitish powder that appears on painted walls). Low-quality paints are less chalk resistant, losing gloss and fading earlier than high-grade paints.
If your walls are still in good condition, all you need to do is some basic maintenance. Use a brush to remove dust and clean water to eliminate stains and dirt. For stains that don’t go away, use water with laundry detergent. For areas affected by mold, mix bleach with water at a 1:3 ratio, wash the surface properly, and rinse thoroughly with clean water. For damaged areas, you can use some of the leftover paint for touch-ups. To minimize the difference between the old paint coat and touch-ups, apply an adequate primer in areas where you used caulk to repair cracks or holes, tint leftover paint to better match the paint on your wall, and then apply it in a thin coat, using the original application method.
Spring is upon us. Therefore, there’s no better time than now to clean your home’s exterior or repaint it. For professional advice or to hire a reliable Jacksonville painting service provider, contact us at Performance Painting by calling (904) 641-4800 or using our online form.