What Is Exterior Paint Failure?
Basically, it’s when the paint peels, blisters, or fades within 1-5 years. The main culprit of paint failure is moisture. This comes from either excessive amounts of sprinkler water, clogged gutters, or vapor transfer from the interior of the home.
Moist warm interior air can travel through sheetrock and can lay on insulation. When the warm sun heats up the siding the trapped moisture has to escape, through the siding, blistering and pushing the paint off.
This is typically found in older homes without a vapor barrier or new construction where the builder was forced to use an oil alkyd paint or stain during the winter elements in order to close escrow.
Oil does not freeze or run off the siding when applied in cold temperatures and rain. Oil alkyd is not permeable resulting in early failure and promotes mildew.
Another aspect to consider is that new growth lumber has farther spaced growth rings allowing for more moisture content in the siding.
Cedar, for example, has natural oils that can migrate to the surface, again, pushing off the paint film.
To determine if this is the case, simply smell the back of a peeled paint chip, it will have a strong musty odor.
Lumber that is allowed to be rained on before finishing can cause the wood to swell and protrude tiny hair-like fibers. These microfibers act as a wick, drawing moisture under the paint or stain.
This is especially important to think about here in the Pacific Northwest as it’s often wet conditions during construction.
Another aspect is to consider is the amount of ultraviolet radiation hitting the home. Just like our skin, UV rays can burn natural clear oil finishes. This turns it black and tinted oil stains appear as early as 2-3 years.
Also, chalking occurs in oil paints because of the oxidation of the oil. The oil dries out and the binder is exposed causing pigment runoff
What are the Remedies for Paint Failure?
In all cases the preparation, before painting, along with the product used is key.
All surfaces to be painted must be pre-treated with a mildewcide and power washed, and then allowed to dry 3-5 days.
All failed paint must be scraped, feather sanded, and bare wood to be primed with acrylic bonding primer.
Caulking must be applied to all voids to stop water migration and then apply 100% acrylic latex permeable paint.
In severe cases, it would be necessary to install aluminum ¼ ‘ wedges under the siding and install vents to allow the moisture from the interior to escape.
New growth lumber should be kiln-dried from the factory and a moisture reading should be taken before finishing, moisture must be lower than 15%.
Curing Paint Failure
Wood with microfiber needs to be sanded with 60 grit paper to remove wick like fibers.
The solution to sun-damaged oil surface is to prep and repaint with 2 coats of premium quality alkyd fortified acrylic latex coating with exceptional durability, mildew resistance, and color retention.
The premium paints are thermoplastic, allowing expansion and contraction with the elements, and 12-15 years of protection to your investment.
If you look at the cost over the lifetime of the paint, the quality paint actually costs less.
For example, if the cost of paint is $1000 and the labor is $4000, divided over 15 years, the cost is $333 per year.
If the inferior paint cost is $500 and the labor is $4000 divided by 3 years, $4500 spent every third-year results in $22,500.00 over 15 years.
Just something to consider!
Painting America is a full-service repaint specialist with over 30 years of experience. We have a very deep list of references available upon request.
You can trust Painting America to do the job right the first time.
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