It’s generally quite simple to get in the rhythm of regular home maintenance, especially when it comes to tasks that directly impact you on a day to day basis. Allergies acting up more than normal? Check those air filters. Smoke detector chirping? Time to change the batteries. But when it comes to large-scale projects that may not have an immediate, direct impact on residents, it can be easy to overlook necessities… like a new coat of exterior paint.
A fresh coat of paint is about much more than boosting curb appeal. Think of the exterior paint on your home as a coat of armor – the first line of defense against the sun and elements. If that protective barrier is worn down and not operating at full capacity, the potential for significant damage to the structure increases greatly.
How often you should paint depends on many factors. A middle-of-the-road rule of thumb is every 7 to 10 years…but if you live in an area with intense sunlight, close proximity to the ocean, or that has extreme weather systems, you may need to paint more often. The building material being painted matters as well – a stucco home in a region with intense sunlight may need to be painted every five years, whereas a home with vinyl siding in an area without intense sunlight might only need a coat of paint every 15 to 20 years.
If you didn’t build the home yourself, it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to know who painted it and how well they prepared the materials before painting. If the structure wasn’t cleaned and primed properly, the existing paint job may last less time than it should. If there is only one coat of exterior paint instead of two, there may be more wear and tear on the home because there is only one coat protecting against the sun and elements. If your home is a new build, it will likely need a new coat of paint after five years or so, depending on how they primed the materials and the quality of paint the builder used.
Because there are so many variables, it’s important to know how to read the signs that indicate it’s time for a fresh coat of exterior paint:
- Chipping, peeling, or bubbling paint
- Discoloration or fading
- Paint looks chalky
- Wood rot, cracking in stucco, or other structural changes that need repair and to be sealed
If your exterior paint is exhibiting any of these signs, it may be time for you to contact a professional for a quote. Don’t wait for the sun and elements to further damage the exterior of the structure - an experienced painter is your best bet to not only keep your home looking great, but make sure your investment is sealed, primed, and protected by a high-quality exterior paint job.