Signs It’s Time to Repaint Your House Exterior

Are you looking at your paint and wondering how long it’s been since the last time you painted your home? Does the exterior of your house look like it needs a new coat of paint? Here’s what to consider before heading out to get that paint.

When was the last time you changed the color scheme on your front door or did some other major change? Changes in color can really add a fresh feel to your homes exteriors and lift the spirits of those who live there. When we move into a new space, it helps us if we “own” it right away, even more so if this is our first house and/or first home. This doesn’t mean that painting every couple years is a necessity but keeping up with outdoor changes often is.

If your house has a flat roof or no gutters, water can pool in two locations on the exterior of your home – underneath the overhang and around the foundation. This water can cause damage to both, from rot to rusting and mold growing under eaves and within soil-tight siding . These problems can be costing you money in terms of repairs and structural issues. Keeping up with inspections is important for these areas but also necessary to really keep an eye on moisture levels so that any potential damage can be stopped before it causes larger issues. Painting will keep it looking good from the outside while you’re watching for these bigger problems. A fresh coat of paint acts as a barrier between your structure’s materials and the elements.

Is your home starting to look dark? It could be time to paint your exterior. Darker colors absorb more energy from sunlight, and when darker-colored houses get hot in the sun, they can become hotter than lighter-colored homes in direct sunlight. In other words, a little white paint can lower your air conditioning costs on those sweltering summer days..If you have vinyl siding on your house, make sure it still looks brand new or has a long way to go before needing replacement. This material lasts anywhere between 15 and 35 years depending on manufacturer and which aspect of its life cycle is being discussed (installation, warranty period for manufacturing defects , etc.). The longevity depends largely on how well the product was installed and maintained. All vinyl siding products have a “limited lifetime warranty” against manufacturing defects, but it is recommended that you check with the manufacturer of your particular product to see how their warranty is rated prior to painting.

If there are signs of water damage on your exterior walls such as peeling paint, cracking, blistering or missing paint; mold or mildew growing in shaded areas; discoloration around doors and windows; etc., this may be an indication that moisture has seeped behind the surface and started causing structural problems within the wall cavities (oils reacting with wood laminates, rusting through metal fasteners inside the wall cavity). These problems can sometimes be caught early if you keep up with your yearly HVAC maintenance checks.  However, more often than not, problems with the interior of your house are discovered during a repair when an electrician or plumber has to drill through walls or ceilings. This is why it’s so important to keep up with these inspections and tune-ups.

It’s not that we are trying to make you feel guilty about painting; however, knowing how long it’s been since others have come by for a visit can be helpful in figuring out if now is a good time to paint or maybe even replace. There are financial benefits as well as longevity issues to consider here too. If you’re looking at another year before selling and/or need a new roof in that time frame (most roofs last 10-20 years, depending on type), it makes sense to wait until after you’re rid of this home if those are the only two reasons for painting. As we mentioned, the vinyl siding has a 15-35 year warranty (depending) and while it is always recommended that you check with a manufacturer prior to painting their product(s), in most cases you will not void your warranty by painting at home – so there’s no reason not to freshen up that color now!

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