Monday, 7 November 2016

Getting to the Bottom of Peeling Paint

Few things are as troubling to a homeowner as a case of peeling paint. As ribbons, or even sheets, of paint pull away from a wood exterior, so too goes the protective layer that keeps Mother Nature at bay, and with it, the attractive appearance of the home.
Needless to say, peeling paint is not to be ignored. It’s a sign that something is terribly wrong. But what? And what to do about it?
There are at least half a dozen reasons that paint can peel. Some of these can be traced back to the day the paint was applied, while others can occur over time. Possible causes of peeling paint include:
  1. Failure to properly prepare the surface before painting – for example, applying paint on top of a dirty or mildewed surface, which can interfere with the ability of the paint to properly adhere to the home exterior.
  2. Use of a lower quality exterior paint that has less-than-ideal adhesion and flexibility characteristics.
  3. Applying latex paint in weather conditions that hinder the formation of good paint film – painting on extremely hot or very cold days, for example, on in windy weather.
  4. Applying an oil-based paint to damp or wet surfaces.
  5. Rain, humidity, and other forms of moisture penetrating the walls through uncaulked joints, deteriorated caulk, a leaking roof, or others areas, causing wood to swell and paint to lose its adhesion.
  6. Excess humidity or other forms of moisture within the home escaping through the exterior walls. (More likely if oil-based paint was used; latex paints are more forgiving in this respect, allowing water to escape without affecting the paint film.)

The best way to solve the mystery of peeling paint is to eliminate as many possible causes as you can.
If you believe that exterior moisture is the culprit, take steps to cut off the source: repair your roof if necessary; caulk open joints and gaps in the exterior of your home; make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean; and cut away any vegetation that is too close to your home.
If, based upon where the peeling has occurred, you suspect that the cause is moist air originating inside your home, consider installing vents or exhaust fans, especially in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas. Also consider using dehumidifiers.
Then address the paint job. First, remove all the loose and peeling paint with a scraper or wire brush. Next, sand any rough edges on the paint so that they are as smooth as possible.
Prime areas where the paint is completely gone to the point that bare wood shows. Finish your project by repainting with a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint. This type of paint has excellent adhesion and is extremely flexible. In addition, it will allow water vapor to escape without harming the coating.
So, if you encounter peeling paint on your home, don’t pull out your hair. Instead, put on your detective’s hat, try to get to the bottom of the problem, and take corrective measures. That’s the proper way to deal with peeling paint and get your home looking great again!

Top 10 Paint Touchups That Can Help Sell a Home

If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, it can pay to touch up the painting. The higher perceived value of a well-maintained property is well documented, and there’s no simpler (or more economical) way to give that impression than to freshen the paint.
Where should you start? Here’s a “Top 10” list for your touchups:
1. To get prospective buyers knocking on your door, make sure it’s well painted. That helps make a great first impression.
2. Next, size up the entrance hall, where would-be buyers get their initial glimpse of your home interior. Clean every surface and touch up walls where the paint shows marks or nicks. Even better: Apply a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint throughout.
3. Kitchens and baths receive special scrutiny, so give added attention to these rooms. Touch up as needed and put extra effort into the powder room, which more than a few will visit while touring your home.
4. Size matters when it comes to the kitchen. To make yours look bigger, paint the kitchen in a very light color, preferably off-white. At a minimum, remove food stains from the walls and remedy water spots by applying some primer and a coat of touchup paint.
5. Check your windowsills, especially if the view is special. Prospects may stop to gaze out, and you don’t want to spoil the moment. Sand, prime, and paint any sill where people may delay their tour.
6. Look over your woodwork. You can quickly touch up marred or chipped paint on floor molding and chair rails.
7. Scrutinize areas that come in frequent contact with soiled hands – especially door frames and door edges, window frames, and the walls around your light switches. If the areas are smudged or dirty, you may be able to clean them if you used a glossier paint; if that doesn’t work, then do touchups.
8. Take the same approach with cabinet doors: Scrub them clean of fingerprints, if possible, or touch up those that are painted. Pay special attention to your kitchen, where everything should be spotless.
9. Ceilings marked with water stains are a red flag for prospective buyers. If you have one or more of these potential deal-breakers, make sure that your roof is sound, then take time to carefully prime and re-paint.
10. Finish your touchups by scrutinizing every remaining section of wall and woodwork, looking for stray flecks of paint as well as other marks and stains. Conceal them all with some touchup paint.
By following this Top 10 list of paint touchups, your home will be good to go… and “show”!