A quick paint coating inspection and a few simple maintenance steps will keep your paint looking fresh and literally add years to the life of a paint job.
Inspect your paint coating at least once a year. Following are some paint maintenance tips that can help you extend the life of your exterior paint job and ultimately save you time and money.
Dealing with Mildew and Mold
Exterior Paints can support growth of mildew, particularly after they have weathered for more than a couple of years. Most likely to occur on northern exposure and in shaded and damp areas. Where mildew is found call your favorite painting contractor or do as follows:
- Protect plants and grass
- Apply a 3:1 mixture of water: household bleach to the mildewed area plus a one foot margin, using a brush or garden sprayer. Wear eye and skin protection and a respirator.
- Allow the mixture to remain on for 15 minutes or so
- Rinse off the area thoroughly
Dealing with Dirt and Chalk
Airborne dirt can accumulate on paint and darken it, dirt then becomes a source of food for mildew. Chalky pigment can be released from paint as it weathers, resulting in fading of colors and unsightly rundown. Both dirt and chalk can be removed by scrubbing or power washing.
- Scrubbing is best done with a mild detergent and a scrub brush, followed by thorough rinsing. Harsh, alkaline cleaners such as TSP can reduce gloss of alkyd paints and of some latex paints
- Power washing is a quick way to put a shine on your house. If power washing, use care to not lift paint or to damage the substrate. It is an aggressive cleaning method and should not be used more then 1‑2 times per year
Watch Out for Cracking and Peeling
It is important to check for this condition of exterior paint in order to catch failures early, and thus minimize subsequent greater paint failures and make re‑paints more cost effective. Check the paint closely for cracking and peeling, and repair immediately.
- Check for cracks around doors, windows and trim; fill with good quality caulking compounds
- Peeling often start on caps, window sills and surfaces painted in darker colors; scrape and sand off the loose material, spot prime then touch up