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How to Maintain Your Freshly Painted Exterior

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Hello, Dear Readers!


Newly Painted Exterior

Congratulations on the beautiful, new look of your home! You are probably so happy and proud to come back to a home that not only looks brand new, but it also has your personal touch to it! Well done! It looks amazing!

Now that the painters are gone and Your exterior is left to the elements, what's next?

Do you just sit back and enjoy the new look for a few years until it needs a refresh or do you feel like there is something you should do to make sure the painted surfaces look their best through the years? It's entirely up to you.


Unfortunately, the moment your house is repainted, your fresh siding and trim paint begins the slow process of aging. Bugs start crawling, while spiders start nesting RENT FREE! Additionally, the sun begins beating on the new paint work so the darker the color of your siding the more it will make a difference in terms of fading few years down the road. The rain is probably your best friend as it helps washing off some surface dust and pollen, but if you have caulking that was missed or it is cracking, water may make it's way behind the surface and do some damage to unprotected wood.


Now that I've scared you a bit and made you think repainting is pointless, let me give you some pointers on how to maintain your freshly painted exterior to make sure it looks its best for as long as possible.


Sun Fading Your Colors

To prolong the effect of sun fading your new colors, the two best things you can do are:

Firstly, make sure you get a high quality paint such as Sherwin Williams Duration, Emerald, or Emerald Rain Refresh. Generally, you can expect at least 6 to 8 years on average for color retention. PLEASE, avoid buying paint from the big box stores! Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore or Rodda Paints only! *Not sponsored by any of them*


Secondly, unless you absolutely must have a dark color for your siding, choose medium to lighter colors. Darker colors naturally attract more heat and when they begin fading, the sheen will be the first thing that will start disappearing, then the color

will lighten up. Also, the added heat from the darker color may increase the chance of caulk failing. In really neglected homes (over 10-15 years) with cedar siding or cheap trim, the wood can start warping.


Pro Tip: FOR VINYL SIDED HOMES: Make sure you choose "Vinyl Safe Colors" from the paint store as this will ensure your vinyl siding will not warp due to the heat.

Also, if you're considering repainting your vinyl window frames black, unfortunately this won't work for the same reason.


Regular Siding Washing

Once your house has been repainted, you may want to consider soft-washing your house once a year or two. This will ensure any dirt, pollen, bugs, bug-poop, and mildew is washed off.


Pro Tip: This is the perfect moment to mention that it is a good idea to consider laying decorative gravel around the foundation of your house. If you have only dirt or mulch directly next to your foundation and your siding is sitting low to the ground, chances are, you only need one or two heavier rains to see dirt splashed up on your new paint job. It really isn't a good sight! Dirt tends to stain colors, so the sooner you take care of it, the better.


If you cannot afford or do not want to pay for soft-washing your house on a yearly basis, the very least you can do is to grab a soft bristle brush for washing cars and trucks on an extension pole. Wet the siding down with water and house washing solution and scrub to as high as you see it necessary. See? Soft-washing in combination with gravel around your house doesn't sound as such a bad idea, does it?


Regular Inspection For Problems


Windows' Weep Holes

The number one problem that may occur on your home is premature caulking failure. Every once in a while, as you walk around the house, check around your doors and windows. The most frequent problem areas for caulking are right below the weep holes of your windows and between the window trim. Weep holes are designed to let the water that glided down the glass escape out after the rain. Every vinyl window has those. However, the water weeps right down the window frame and if there is even a hairline crack it, water will enter it and start soaking up the wood instantly. This can lead to all sorts of problems - from soft window trim to rotted sheathing. It's a costly repair!


Butt-Joints in Siding

Cracks in butt-joints in the siding are the second most frequent area to look out for. Butt-joints are the joint gaps, where two horizontal siding boards meet. If your home was built before 2008-10 most likely the butt-joints of your house are caulked due to the absence of flashing behind those gaps. After 2008-10, the new building code requires flashing to be installed, so butt-joints no longer need to be caulked. Caulking butt-joint gaps does not last very long due to the excessive movement of the siding from temperature fluctuations and even strong winds.

If your house was recently painted, it is possible you could re-caulk the cracks and touch up with paint, however the touch-up will be noticeable. The more the paint has

aged, the more noticeable the touch-up.

Unfortunately, research on the internet does not give a specific year for when this new building code came into effect, however, from personal observation this has appeared to hold truth.

If you know your house was built after 08-10 and you don't see caulking on your siding's butt joints look into the gap. Most likely you will see a piece of plastic or nylon. If that's the case, do not caulk the gaps.

By the way, we offer a service where we can cut out the caulking in the butt-joints and install aluminum or galvanized steel flashing with the siding on the house.

This will ensure you no longer have to worry about the caulking cracking prematurely and water entering behind the siding.

Joineries

Number three on our list for problem areas are any other places where siding meets trim or trim-to-trim joinery. You already read and I am sure you guessed what might happen if water gets in those cracks, so there is no need to really stretch it any further here. Just make sure you or whoever you hire to do your house painting is using a high quality non water-based sealant like OSI Quad MAX or OPTIMA from Sherwin Williams.

These two products are the best of the best and it is what siding professionals use.

Bubbling or Peeling Paint

If you see any of that, call back your painter company if it is within your warranty period. Hopefully, they can determine how to approach the problem. Sometimes, it could be a paint failure or moisture from underneath. If your painters are honest and knowledgeable, they will find the reason for the failure and fix it accordingly.


Keep in mind, if the problem is an underlying issue or an external factor that has nothing to do with your painter's craftsmanship, it will not be fair to expect them to fix it for free even if it is within your warranty period. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine the cause, so keep that in mind too.

Gutters & Downspouts

Last but not least are your gutters and downspouts.

With those you want to make sure they are clean, water flows properly and no leaks are apparent where they should not exist. Usually, those areas are inside and outside corners of your gutters, as well as any joineries along your downspouts.


How to Maintain Your Freshly Painted Exterior - CONCLUSION

Well, dear readers, that's really it! It sounds like a lot, but just like with your car, your home's exterior does require attention and love on your part to make sure it looks its best and it lasts until the next time it is ready for a full repaint.

As an alternative to a costly full-house repaint, you can choose to do a caulk and color refresh to the sides that take the most beating from the elements.

If you're reading this and you live in the Bellingham, WA or surrounding areas, please consider giving us a call next time your exterior needs the attention it deserves.

Please keep in mind, our phones start ringing off the hook in the Spring and we book out fast! Make sure you reach out sooner rather than later. We get too many people calling in July through end of August trying to find a painting company to fit them in. Near impossible!


I hope you found this read helpful!


Are you in need of exterior painting? Follow this link.


Sincerely,

Izzy Siskos

MOTIV Premium Painting

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