When you’ve just emerged from a long cold winter and the days are starting to get longer and brighter, it’s customary to start thinking about giving your home a bit of a traditional spring clean. Usually this means beating dust from rugs, scrubbing the kitchen workspaces, polishing the bathroom tiles to a sheen and getting rid of the junk in the basement. Job done!
But is it? Get outside and take a look at the exterior of your house too. The winter snows and rains are sure to have taken their toll. Any leaking gutters, wet leaves and strong winds may have left stains and damp patches, or even caused more serious, underlying damage.
There are many things you should be looking for that will tell you if it’s time for a new paint job – but don’t just check the main walls. Take a look at the sidings and trim, and look all around the building. Damage may be worse on different sides of your house, depending which has more exposure to the worst of the weather.
Signs it’s time for a paint job
This is probably the most obvious sign that any house needs a new coat of paint. What’s more, if your paint is peeling, you could have bigger problems than your home looking a little run down – without the protection of paint, water can seep into wood and cause mildew or, in bad cases, rot. When you find peeling paint, you have to take action quickly to prevent further damage and avoid more expensive repairs later on.
Even if paint isn’t actually peeling, it doesn’t mean it is in a good condition. Even the most expensive paints will break down over time. Try running your fingers over the wood or brick work. You may find they are left with a chalky residue. This is called chalking – a sign that the surface of your paintwork is starting to deteriorate and will need to be redone.
Rot is a serious issue for anyone living in a wood or wood-panelled house and it pays to stay vigilant. Start by examining any areas exposed to damp and moisture such as under guttering and window and door sills, and remember that rot isn’t always visible. If you suspect it’s present, gently press against the wood. Rotten wood is softer and gives slightly under pressure. Suspect planks or panels need replacing as soon as possible to prevent rot spreading, and new wood should be painted right away to ensure future damp protection. It is also important to fix whatever is allowing water to get into the wood, be it a leaking gutter or broken pipework.
Repainting the exterior of your house isn’t just about damage control. Sometimes it’s just nice to freshen up the house and make it look brighter and cleaner. The ultraviolet light in sunlight breaks paint down over time, and brighter paints fade more quickly.
Painting your house also makes you a more responsible member of your local community. When buildings start to look run down, it can affect the mood of a whole area and increase the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Studies show that a well-kept neighborhood attracts less crime and, what’s more, houses in attractive areas fetch much higher prices when people want to sell their homes.
Time to make a change
Sometimes it’s just nice to mix things up and make a real change. Painting the exterior of your home a brand new color can make a massive impact – changing the mood and making it look more modern without having to make any big infrastructure changes. Most people paint when they’re trying to sell their home. But if you’ve just moved in, why not try a new color that matches your outlook on life?
It simply needs doing
Whatever color you choose, painting the exterior of a wooden home is something that needs to be done every five to ten years or so, simply to protect the woodwork. You may even have to paint more often than this if low grade paint has been used in the past. This is why it is important to use the best quality paints you can afford. Cheap materials cost you more in the long run. And if you’re buying a home, make sure you ask the seller when the exterior was last painted.
If you have found signs of rot, peeling or chalking paint, or simply want to make a change – then why not talk to the experts at Sharper Impressions Painting. We can advise you on your next steps and if you want a repaint, we have the most professional crew in town.