Maintaining Your Exterior Paint Job
Inspect your paint coating at least once a year. Here are some paint maintenance tips that can help you extend the life of your exterior paint job and ultimately save you time and money.
Dealing with Mildew and Mold
Exterior paint can support growth of mildew, particularly after they have weathered for more than a couple of years. Mildew will most likely occur on northern exposure and in shaded and damp areas. Where mildew is found call your favorite painting contractor or do as follows:
- Protect plants and grass
- Apply a 3:1 mixture of water: household bleach to the mildewed area plus a one foot margin, using a brush or garden sprayer. Wear eye and skin protection and a respirator.
- Allow the mixture to remain on for 15 minutes or so
- Rinse off or power wash the area thoroughly
Dealing with Dirt and Chalk
Airborne dirt can accumulate on paint and discolor it. Dirt can then become a fertile ground for and a source of food for mildew. Chalky pigment can be released from the paint film as it weathers, resulting in fading of colours and unsightly streaky rundown. Both dirt and chalk can be removed by scrubbing or power washing.
- Scrubbing is best done with a mild detergent and a scrub brush, followed by thorough rinsing. Don’t use harsh alkaline cleaners such as TSP, as these can reduce gloss of alkyd as well as of some latex paints
- Power washing is a quick way to put a shine on your house at a fraction of the cost of repainting. If power washing, use care to not lift paint or to damage the substrate. It is an aggressive cleaning method and should not be used more than 1-2 times per year
Watch Out for Cracking and Peeling
It is important to check for this condition of exterior paint and to catch failures early, This way you wills minimize subsequent greater paint failures or make re-paints, if these are desired, less expensive. Examine the paint coating closely for cracking and peeling, and repair immediately.
- Check for open joints around doors, windows and trim; fill with good quality caulking compounds
- Peeling often start on caps, window sills and surfaces painted in darker colours; scrape and sand off the loose material, spot prime then touch up
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