How to Maintain Exterior Paint
Repainting the exterior walls of your house is a daunting task, regardless of whether you do it yourself or you hire a professional painter. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to understand that we all want our exterior painting to look like new for as long as possible. Unfortunately, postponing a repainting project may result in more extensive damage that would cost a lot more to fix. This is why you must keep an eye on your exterior painting and schedule a repainting before it becomes too cumbersome.
Performing regular exterior paint maintenance works, you get some important benefits. To start with, you’ll have a great looking home at all times, even in-between exterior painting jobs. When you overlook this need for regular maintenance, the walls start to look a little run down and dirty after as little as two years.
Secondly, these minor annual pain maintenance jobs will extend the useful life of your exterior house paint, in order for you to put more distance between full repainting works. This can save you a load of time and money!
Maintenance Action No 1: Washing Of The Walls
Many of us are aware of the added benefits of washing our cars, apart from keeping them clean; frequent washing protects the car paint and makes it look better for a longer time. Washing the exterior walls of your house has the same benefit. You wash those walls to remove dirt, pollen, bird droppings, mold spores, mildew, and many other types of debris. This makes your house look cleaner, but also protects its exterior paint.
Washing your house is easy, provided that you have the right tools. Use a soft scrub brush or a sponge and give those walls a gentle scrub, followed by a rinse with your garden hose. If you have a mildew problem, consider adding a small amount of bleach to the soapy water.
Pressure washing is another great method to wash the exterior walls of your home. Nevertheless, this is a difficult job, so you’d better leave it to a professional, whether you have the pressure washing equipment or not. If you mishandle your pressure washer, you risk to injure someone or to deteriorate the paint. Knowing exactly how much pressure to apply is a matter of skill and experience. This is why a professional would probably do a much better job than you.
Maintenance Action No 2: Touch-Up Painting
Not all exterior walls deteriorate at the same rate. The ones that are exposed to strong winds or to direct sunlight are more prone to deteriorating than walls that are relatively protected. Also, the different types of coatings applied to the different walls in the past may influence the rate at which the paint deteriorates. This is to say that some walls will require more frequent repainting than others.
If you only want to fully repaint your home, you’ll end up painting some walls too soon to be worth the effort, as they may not look bad at all. Should you wait until all walls would need repainting, all areas exposed to higher deterioration would look shabby for quite a long while. Either way, you do have a problem.
The best solution is to undergo touch-up painting works on your exterior walls with a frequency of two years or so. You only need a couple of hours of painting once a year to make your house look fresh and clean again. You don’t need to do this yourself, if you don’t want to or you don’t know how to do it. Just hire a painter for a day job to help you.
Maintenance Action No 3: Landscaping
Your landscaping can have an amazing effect on the useful lifespan on your exterior house paint. Letting the house dry is one of the key things you ought to do to prevent landscaping from deteriorating your exterior house paint.
When the exterior walls are kept wet, they become a heaven for all kinds of fungi, molds, and bacteria. This also promotes wood rot. Eventually, insects will find their way through the wood, wreaking havoc on your home.
To prevent such problems from ruining the looks of your house, trim all trees, bushes and other tall plants that are near your house. Ideally, you should leave room for air flow and some sunlight around your house.
Also, check the sprinklers to see whether they get your siding wet. If they do, change their orientation to keep the spray off the walls.
Never allow dead leaves to pile up against the siding, as they are a source of moisture. Bedsides, they attract rodents and insects.
Last but not least, trim vines and ivy off your siding, as they can easily deteriorate the siding and the windows. Also, they would find available cracks to spread inside them and to grow even stronger. When pulled off, they leave ugly marks behind. If you are keen on having English Ivy or Trumpet Vine, direct them to grow on a tree away from your house.
Maintenance Action No 4: Clean Downspouts And Gutters
Gutters and downspouts channel away the water, keeping moisture away from your house. However, they only perform this role when they are functioning correctly. If you neglect them, gutters may back up and make the water overflow onto the exterior walls of your house. This leads to the wear of the exterior paint.
Maintenance Action No 5: Caulking
Anything that interrupts the siding is a potential leak point. This includes doors, windows and vents. When caulk splits or cracks, it allows air exchange (and therefore adding to your monthly bills) and water intrusion (which damages the paint). It’s best to have a professional painter check your caulking once a year and refresh it, if needed.