Birds singing, sun shining, and people out and about are all signs that spring is here. You go outside to enjoy the weather, take a look at your house and can see what Mr. Winter Weather did to your exterior. There are several things you may notice: chipping and peeling, mildew growth, caulking problems, gutter issues, and worn stain on decks, fences, pergolas and trellises; these are all things that could be potentially harmful to your home.
Chipping and Peeling
There are two signs you need to spruce up your exterior paint; there are obvious mass coating failures, or there are small amounts of chipping and peeling, which expose the wood underneath. These are both signs your top coat isn’t protecting the wood from weathering. Paint works the same at protecting your siding and trim as the way your skin protects your body.
There are several other ways to tell if your home needs to be painted and renewed; the color is fading and is noticeably lighter, the light colors are turning gray, and/or deep colors are losing their base and depth. Also, if you find chalking on the surface of the paint, it may mean you need to get your home power washed and painted. To test for chalking, rub your hand over the siding surface; if it leaves paint residue on your hand this is a sign the paint is breaking down and ready to be re-coated.
Caulking failure can also be extremely dangerous for your home. The caulk can pop-out or split open leaving you with three potential problems:
- Loss of energy efficiency.
- Weather and insects can enter where failure occurred.
- Moisture can get behind the wood and paint, which leads to peeling of paint, rotting of wood and mildew growth on the surface and inside the home.
Caulking is also important cosmetically; if it is done properly, it will look seamless with your paint and will be tight and secure. The look will be more complete and your home will instantly benefit from a solid and intricate caulking application.
Other Problem Areas
During the winter months, snow and ice can settle into your home’s gutters with the potential of moisture getting behind the fascia. A few ways to tell if your fascia needs a new paint job are: water stains, peeling and blistering of the paint, and bowing of the wood. If you notice these warning signs, it is best to have someone come out and fix problem areas.
The snow, ice and cold weather can also be a detriment to the staining on decks, fences and trellises. Seeing exposed wood means it is time to protect the wood for spring; you may see heavy wood graining or see fibers in the wood, but they both require the same maintenance.
The tips outlined above are a good guideline to use when determining what type of work your home may need after a harsh winter. Whether it is a new paint job or getting your home power washed to eliminate mildew along with a few “touch-ups” to take care of those problem areas, each improvement you make will help your home stay beautiful longer. A good painting contractor will provide an honest and detailed quote for what painting and preparation your home may need. Quotes should be free and you should always meet your contractor to walk around your home, so that the contractor can point out and explain issues and solutions.