It’s inevitable, exterior painted surfaces will either have to be repaired and/or repainted, depending on the age, construction, and frequency of homeowner maintenance. Typically, new construction homes need to be painted sooner than one might think. 6-7 years is the usual rule due to poor materials used during the construction phase. However, most individuals appear to wait too long between paint cycles creating opportunities for wood rot and water damage.
A good way to inspect your home is to examine it with a pair of binoculars or telephoto lens. Here are some tips on what to look for when determining whether your home needs painting/repairs:
Signs of fading and discoloration of the painted surfaces.
Wood damage determined by rippling effect on exterior surfaces or actual damage. The wood becomes spongy.
Opening of caulk lines at joints and trim work.
For stucco surfaces be aware of hairline or larger cracks. This allows water in and makes stucco surface look splotchy, especially noticeable after it rains.
Remember the longer you wait and allow damage to set in the more expensive it will be to repair it. It’s better to have the painting done as soon as you notice the first signs of fading and discoloration, that way you avoid expensive repairs.
We put together a video showcasing repairs we made to a house that waited too long and required extensive wood replacements. In the end, we made it look beautiful as well as optimally protected with expertly applied quality products.
“How could I have so much wood-rot on my home?” It’s always surprising for a homeowner to discover their extent of wood damage. The obvious damage stands out to most people with wood that is visually deteriorating. Wood-rot only occurs when the wood absorbs moisture multiple times (Formula: WOOD + WATER = WOOD-ROT). This can be prevented by visually inspecting your home twice a year for cracks and/or caulk-lines that have opened up. Be aware of damage to the edge of the roofing shingles as this may lead to fascia wood-rot. Since most rotting occurs from moister damage inside the wood, it is seldom noticed during a casual inspection. Many homes have both exposed and hidden damage.
This obvious wood-rot was caused by the roof shingles not extending far enough to prevent water back-flowing onto the fascia.
To locate wood-rot the best tools for inspecting are a good pair of binoculars and some type of pointed tool (pen or screwdriver) to poke suspected areas. The areas of most concern are at the base of door casings, trim around windows, joints on the fascia (board at roof line), and occasionally joints on the siding. Begin your inspection by looking for wood that appears cracked or discolored. The tool will penetrate any rotten area even if it appears good on the surface.
Most wood decay is less obvious and only can be detected once you have a trained eye. With your binoculars examine the upper fascia, trim, and siding. You will be looking for a “waffled” surface. The latex paint may still look good, but you will notice indenting on the surface that runs 2 or 3 inches along the grain of the wood. Usually this occurs at wood joints where the caulk lines have opened, thus allowing moister to enter.
When replacing the wood it should first be primed, and the joints sealed with a 60-year rated paintable caulk. High-quality caulk tend not to shrink or crack and are more pliable over time. The most important suggestion I wood make is to use premium paint with a color-fast formula. When you have a lot of wood damage and cracking it is best to apply two-coats to all painted surfaces. Following these steps should ensure long-lasting protection for your home.
If you would like to have our “trained-eye” take a look at your home and give you a free estimate for repairs and painting give us a call. Our estimates our always free: 210-403-3232.