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When to Repaint Your Home's Exterior

Very few of us enjoy the project of painting our home’s exterior, but it is an important part of homeownership to protect your investment. Keeping your home in excellent shape through repairs and maintenance is crucial if you want to keep its value high. A home that sports a fresh coat of paint helps make the house more inviting and appealing to look at. This, along with keeping your bathrooms and kitchen updated, plays a significant part in keeping the sale value of your home up.

Home exteriors should be painted every 5-10 years depending on the surface, quality of paint used, the preparation work before the last paint job (properly prepped surfaces result in more lasting paint jobs), and your home’s climate.

Cold weather can be harsh for the exterior of homes. The heavy snow followed by the freezing and thawing process can cause damage to the exterior paint. This makes warm months a great time to inspect your home and see if it’s due for a paint job.

Wood surfaces typically need to be painted every 3-7 years or stained every 4 years. Aluminum siding needs to be painted approximately every 5 years, and stucco lasts between 5-6 years. Painted cement fiberboard siding and painted brick will both last 12-13 years, depending on the quality of paint job, and unpainted brick simply needs regular pressure washing (just be sure to paint the trim on a regular basis!).

Not sure how long it’s been since your house last had its exterior painted? Here are 7 signs to look for to know when your house needs a new coat of paint:

  1. Peeling paint. If you see that your paint is bubbling, cracking, or starting to peel, one of two things is happening. The first is that your home wasn’t painted correctly to begin with. The second is that the weather has taken a toll on the paint, and it should be reapplied. These problems can be signs of other issues, like mold and dry rot, so be cautious. Paint begins peeling when moisture makes its way under the surface of the paint, releasing the bond between paint and surface. It is also a sign that is far past time for a new paint job, as your home’s structure is now at risk to moisture. Failure to fix paint when it first begins to peel could cause the wood beneath to become more exposed over time. Rain, mold, mildew, and the resulting wood rot could then lead to structural damage that is far more expensive to fix than just repainting. Keep in mind that paint doesn’t just improve the look of your home, it also protects it from the elements.
  2. Chalky residue. Before paint begins to peel, there are some warning signs. Chief among them is the chalky residue it may leave when you rest your hand against it. Be sure this is the paint though, because dusty roads, nearby construction, or even mold can lead to chalk-like residue on the exterior of your home.
  3. Gaps or shrinks. If the boards on your home’s exterior look like they’re shrinking or if there are gaps beginning to form between boards, that could be a sign of dry rot. If it’s been too long between paint jobs, moisture may be getting into the wood and causing serious damage. It’s not your eyes playing tricks on you — have a professional come out and look at the boards right away.
  4. Cracking stucco. Some people choose stucco because its coating has a longer longevity than wood siding. While that’s true, stucco still needs maintenance paintings to protect the surface. If your stucco is beginning to show hairline cracks, it is time to paint. Remember, any blemish in your home’s exterior surface allows moisture to get in and cause damage.
  5. Caulk is cracking. Take a look at the caulk between your boards. If it is dry, brittle, or cracking, it is time for an exterior paint job.
  6. The color is fading or outdated. We’ve discussed that exterior paint isn’t just for aesthetics, and the same holds true with fading color. If your paint color is fading, it is a sign of sun damage that is weakening the integrity of your paint as a protective surface. As a tip, dark paint tends to fade more quickly, so if you prefer less maintenance, choose a light paint color. There are some house colors that are here to stay. Neutrals can remain in style for a lifetime. However, over time, you may outgrow pink heart designs on the side of the garage or the bright lavender shutters and doors. You may have also bought a home with colors more reminiscent of a 1960s vibe. Whatever the reason, repainting can help make your house truly feel like home again.
  7. Your home is a 5-year-old. If your home was built over 5 years ago and has not been painted since, it’s time for a paint job. During new constructions, a single coat of paint is typically sprayed on to the house. Don’t wait longer than 5 years to have your home painted a second time by a professional exterior house painting contractor.

Contact Color World Painting today by requesting an estimate or calling (888) 324-0313 to schedule your job.