Proper Exterior Paint Prep – How to Avoid Costly Home Repairs

Preparing the exterior of your home for a new coat of paint will save you time and money. Many people skip the preparation step because they mistakenly think a new coat of paint will seal and cover the imperfections of the old paint. However, without proper exterior paint prep, new paint can make the situation much worse, causing you to have unnecessary and expensive home repairs.

Just painting over the old coat can cause bubbles and cracks in your new coat of paint due to loose paint layers, dirt, and chemical reactions. This lets moisture in and can lead to a number of costly home repairs, including mold remediation and dry rot repair.

You can avoid costly home repairs by following a few simple exterior paint preparation steps.

Prepare Properly to Ensure Proper Paint Adhesion

Do not try and rush the project by prepping poorly. Very often homeowners ignore the important parts of prepping their home for an exterior paint job, such as sanding the old surface for good paint adhesion, replacing key metal flashings, and caulking holes and trim.

Even properly taping or protecting areas you don’t want to get paint on, such as windows and porches can save time and money. Can you imagine the horror of having done the project only to find out that the paint didn’t stick, or you spilled paint all over your new concrete patio? Unfortunately, many a landscape doesn’t recover from the paint job either.

Make Sure Key Metal Flashings Are in Good Repair

Make sure your home isn’t missing the key metal flashings that offer protection from rain and ice damage. Don’t rely on caulking and good luck.

Fascia boards should have metal flashing that extend from under the roof over the fascias. This is especially important for directing water into the gutters. This flashing should be installed if it is missing.

Windows and doors should also have flashing, called drip edge. This is installed during the initial construction in newer homes. Many older homes are missing this flashing and rely on the caulking to create a water proof seal.

Look at Existing Paint for Hints of Problem Areas

The condition of the paint can indicate where possible problems are. Peeling or blistering can point to water leaks are. Leaks can also show up as discolored areas. The existence of persistent moisture will cause peeling and can involve mold and mildew.

Fully remove the mold and mildew then repair any sources of moisture before moving forward with priming and painting.

Make Sure the Weather is Right

Always check the weather before beginning your exterior painting project. Rain can kill a project on several fronts. It can dilute the paint and contaminate it with impurities. And it can make the primer crinkle and crack when the wall dries or cause moisture filled bubbles in the paint.

You also want to make sure the temperature is warm enough for the paint to dry and cool enough so the paint does not blister. You will want to find a day when the weather is mild so that you can be sure the paint adheres and dries properly.

Use Top Quality Paint

Unless you want to paint your exterior every year, don’t buy cheap paint. You may incur an extra expense when buying premium paint, but it is well worth the extra time you will save. Paint seals and protects the exterior of your home from the intrusion of damaging moisture.

Make sure you have enough paint. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have enough materials the first time around. Not using enough paint doesn’t save you money. It leaves your home vulnerable.

Test an Area For Color

Finally, do not start painting until you have done a test area with the colors you have chosen. While making sure you like the colors you’ve chosen doesn’t avoid future repairs, it does make you feel better about your home.

Often, paint might look great in the store but doesn’t look so well when applied to your siding under different lighting conditions. You will want to take the time to test the paint, let it dry, and look at it from a distance to make sure it matches and looks good. Don’t be that guy that paints his house pink and doesn’t realize it until the end!

Painting the exterior of your home can be a very simple task and a fairly inexpensive DIY project if you take the time for proper exterior paint prep. You can always buy another tarp but can’t easily buy another patio or afford to replace your landscape.


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