Painting your home’s exterior is perhaps the maintenance project that homeowners dread the most. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, the task is expensive and nerve-wracking. If you’re like us here at The Paint Manager, you’re economy-minded, and consider any home improvement investment over $100 expensive. And although we pride ourselves on doing our jobs as quietly as possible, having people working on your property isn’t relaxing even under the best circumstances.
In Central Florida, the additional factors of intense heat punctuated by afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and hurricane season through November 1 compound the problem of finding a window of opportunity to accomplish this mission.
But first, let’s consider your motivation for painting your house. If you’re planning to sell, giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint is a sure way to boost curb appeal. This can also be the ideal time to update the colors to attract more interest among potential buyers. As with everything else, exterior colors go in and out of style – which means you want your house to look as up-to-date as possible. A newly painted house also creates the impression that the rest of the place has been regularly maintained and kept in good repair – and is therefore unlikely to present the new owners with nasty surprises.
If you’re planning to stay, this can still be a good opportunity to give your house an exterior makeover with an updated color scheme. However, your motive may be more than to create an impression – that is, you are regularly maintaining your home. Indicators that it’s time to repaint include:
- Flaking, bubbling or cracking paint – These conditions often signal dry rot, wet rot or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. Strong sunlight, extreme humidity, storms, blowing sand and ocean breezes can contribute to the damage.
- Hardened caulk – Caulking eventually loses its ability to expand and contract with your house. If the beads are hard and resistant when you press down, it’s time to recaulk – which typically means it’s also time to repaint.
- Fading paint – Perhaps the most obvious sign. Sun bleaching is common, and dark hues tend to fade faster than paler shades. However, according to Nationwide, fading on shady sides of the house indicates problems with the vapor barrier or with water intrusion. Look for stains dripping downward on the paint. If water-soluble materials designed for home interiors end up outside the house, it’s a sign of water leaks. If you can’t pinpoint the source, call an expert.
- Morphing paint color – Did your home’s color morph from sedate beige to pink? Blame ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can sometimes transform paint to an unexpected or undesired shade. To prevent this, make sure the paint is an exterior grade that can withstand UV effects.
- Patching stucco – Stucco exteriors were popular in Florida in the 1990s, but fell out of fashion due to problems with the material adhering to the concrete block it was applied over. To minimize costs without re-stuccoing the entire house, patch stucco cracks and repaint the whole house. Otherwise, homeowners will be left with streaks or a patchwork from paint that doesn’t quite match.
The quality of the paint and painting materials you choose makes a significant difference in the durability of your exterior paint. Selecting high-quality paints and painting materials will ensure that your paint job lasts longer. Equally important is performing detailed prep work, should you decide to go the DIY route. Clean and sand the surface so paint adheres to it properly. Apply two coats for greater durability and longer useful life.
Now comes the question: How often should your paint your house? Assuming you don’t wait for it to acquire a weather-beaten appearance, the answer is: It depends on some variables – your region, climate and weather conditions, your home’s construction materials and the quality of those materials.
For example, houses with wood siding may require a repaint every three to seven years; every four years if it is stained. Other time frames are:
- Stucco – 5 to 6 years
- Brick – 15 to 20 years if painted; occasional pressure washing if not
- Cement fiberboard siding – 10 to 15 years
If you are planning to have your home exteriors (and interiors) painted, and you need a professional home painting contractor, get in touch with The Paint Manager. Select the perfect color from our color picker page, or contact us for innovative house painting ideas!