COMMON EXTERIOR PAINT PROBLEMS: CAUSES, FIXES, AND PREVENTION

exterior painting problems

Keeping our home’s value may be the most important among all the reasons why we have home painting projects.  We want to make sure that it always looks new and that it keeps its appeal.  However, no matter how much you try to preserve its beauty, your home’s surfaces are exposed to challenging conditions that make it difficult to achieve and for your paint to last.

Let us talk about the most common exterior paint problems, what cause them, how to fix them, and what you can do to prevent them:

PEELING.  Layer of paint peeling off from the wall or from an earlier paint layer.

 Causes

  • Paint was applied to a wet or dirty surface causing poor adhesion.
  • Moisture from the interior of the house has seeped through the walls.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Scrape away peeling paint, then sand and spot prime the area before repainting.
  • Make sure to properly prepare the surfaces prior paint application.
  • Avoid moisture by making sure that your home is properly ventilated.

 BLISTERING.  Bubbles formed under the paint as it lifts from the surface.

 Causes

  • Paint was applied on an either too hot or damp surface.
  • Newly dried latex paint got exposed to moisture.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Scrape away blistered paint, then sand and spot prime the area before repainting.
  • Make sure to properly prepare the surfaces prior paint application.
  • Use high quality latex paint.
  • Do the painting job when the surface is not directly exposed to sunlight.
  • Avoid painting on both hot and damp surfaces.

 ALLIGATORING.  This happens when paint shrinks and begins to take the pattern similar to that on an alligator’s hide.  This is most common in oil-based paints.

 Causes

  • Paint was applied over a primer or coat of paint that has not yet fully dried.
  • Incompatibility between types of paint that are layered together.
  • As it is exposed to fluctuating temperatures, paint loses its elasticity over time.

Solution and Prevention

  • Remove all the paint even if it has not cracked everywhere.
  • Apply a high-quality primer before repainting the whole section.
  • Use types of paint that are compatible with each other.
  • Each layer of prime or paint should dry completely before the next coat is applied.

 EFFLORESCENCE.  This looks like salt crystals coming through the paint and is common in painted masonry.  

 Causes

  • Not enough time for cement or mortar during construction.
  • Heavy moisture coming through the wall  from inside of your home.
  • Surface was not properly prepared prior to painting.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Remove all loose materials using a wire brush and thoroughly rinse the surface before application of high quality water-based or solvent-based primer.  Wait for the primer to completely dry before applying paint on top of it.
  • Prevent the moisture from coming through the wall by eliminating sources (i.e. patch cracks on the wall, repair your roof, clean gutters and downspouts, etc.).

 CHALKING.  It is the appearance of chalky powder on the surface of the paint.

 Causes

  • Paint was over-thinned before application.
  • Use of low-quality paint with high level of pigment extenders.
  • Interior paint was used for outdoor application.

Solution and Prevention

  • Remove chalk residue, then clean the area with a stiff bristle brush and rinse thoroughly.  Let it completely dry before painting with high-quality exterior paint.
  • Use the paint only appropriate to the surfaces to be painted.

 SAGGING / RUNNING.  This is when paint appears like it is melting off the surface.

 Causes

  • Too much paint was used or the paint was over-thinned prior to application.
  • Surface was not primed or not properly prepared prior to painting.
  • Painting was done under very cold or high humidity conditions.

 Solution and Prevention

  • If you see the problem while the paint is still wet, use a brush or roller to redistribute the paint evenly.
  • If the paint is already dried, use a scraper or sander to even out the paint.
  • Paint with thinner coats rather than one heavy coat.  

 CRACKING AND FLAKING.  This is the splitting of a dry paint film.  The problem begins as a hairline crack, before evolving to flaking of paint chips.

 Causes

  • Surface was not properly prepared or was not primed before painting.
  • Paint was over-thinned.
  • Paint has not properly dried before applying another coat.
  • Poor adhesion of underlying  coats

 Solution and Prevention

  • Remove all cracked paint with a scraper or wire brush then sand the area and be sure to properly prime it before applying high-quality paint on it.
  • Use only high-quality paints and allow drying time between each coating application.
  • Make sure the surface is properly prepped and primed before painting.

 WRINKLING.  It is the presence of rough, crinkled paint that shows up when uncured paint forms a skin.

 Causes

  • Paint was applied too thickly.
  • Uncured paint is exposed to high humidity levels.
  • Top coat paint was applied to an insufficiently cured primer.
  • Paint film dried faster underneath due to extremely hot or cool damp weather conditions during painting.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Scrape or sand the wrinkled paint then properly prime the surface.  Allow the primer to completely dry before evenly applying top coat paint.
  • Avoid applying very thick coats of paint.

 MILDEW.  Typically brown or green, it is a fungus that grows on the paint film.  Soffits and Eaves are prone to mildew.

 Causes

  • The painted surface is in a damp area that does not receive direct sunlight. 
  • Low-quality paint that has no adequate mildewcide was used.
  • Previous mildew on the painted surface was not completely removed.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Thoroughly clean the surface by scrubbing it using a bleach-based compound, then let it dry completely before applying high-quality latex paint. (Be sure to wear goggles and gloves while removing the mildew.)

 RUST DISCOLORATION.  Reddish-brown stains on paint.

 Causes

  • Steel nails used to attach siding have popped up and come into contact with air.
  • Too much weathering or sanding has  worn away galvanized coating on nail heads.
  • Tannic acid from moist wood reacted with steel nails causing stains.

 Solution and Prevention

  • Use stainless or galvanized nails as much as possible.
  • If the nails cannot be removed, sand the heads to expose metal, use rust-blocking primer on it, then smoothen the area before repainting.

It may not be easy and may actually require a bit of work to keep your home looking new.  The good thing is, there are professionals on the field who can take care of the job for you.  If you are in need of Winnipeg painting services, All Weather Exteriors will make sure that all your painting needs are taken care of.

Stop stressing over home painting projects and let the experts make your home look as good as new.  You can count on All Weather Exteriors’ team of painting experts to provide you with quality Winnipeg painting service that you deserve.

Call us: (204) 510 2959
Send us an email: info@allweatherexteriors.ca

Photo Credits: www.thespruce.com

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