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How Often Should You Paint a Home's Exterior?

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Exterior paint does more than make your house look pretty. Paint is a sacrificial layer. This material absorbs the beating of the elements and preserves the underlying structure. Consequently, you will want to schedule exterior painting work often enough to maximize that protective value. How often is that, though?

The Generic Answer

One estimate puts the estimate between four and 15 years. Another puts it at five to 10 years.

However, answers about the service life of exterior paint don't generalize well. Remember, your home's paint is a sacrificial layer. It suffers exposure to dirt, wind, pollution, precipitation, and the sun's rays. Conditions will vary dramatically by region. In addition, there are microclimates within regions. Paint will perform differently if your house is behind a hill and your neighbor's house has less protection.

Your living situation will also affect the paint's lifespan. Kids and pets, for example, are more likely to damage paint than adults. Someone who does lots of DIY work close to their home increases the odds of damaging the paint too.

Also, the previous work matters. If the last homeowner decided to save some money by not calling paint contractors, do not be surprised if their work doesn't last. Poor workmanship or cheap products can significantly affect the lifespan.

Signs That the Paint is Failing

Suppose you suspect the paint is failing. Perhaps it has just been five years since any painting contractors visited the house. How can you tell if there's a problem? There are several potential clues.

The strongest evidence is chalking. As paint breaks down, the pigments come to the surface and dry. If you run your finger along the paint, you will feel a chalky powder that's a faded version of the paint's original color.

Cracking is another sign, especially in regions where temperatures swing dramatically. Expansion and contraction can cause paint sections to separate. The cracks are also sufficient to let water through. Cracking is a major sign that it's time for an exterior painting project.

Fading is another sign that UV rays have damaged the paint. There is also a good chance that faded paint is drying. Look for other signs, even if you're willing to tolerate the faded appearance.

Peeling indicates that the paint no longer adheres to the underlying material. It also allows water to get through. Treat peeling as a sign to call painting contractors soon.

Contact an exterior painting company like Multicolor Painters LLC today.