Written by Richard Thompson
Paint maintenance is no different than roof, landscape, pool or asphalt maintenance. A good plan requires periodic inspections, timely and proper surface preparation and repair in addition to quality paint applied at recommended intervals by a knowledgeable professional. Here are some areas that should fit in a good paint maintenance plan:
Surface Preparation. Properly prepared surfaces will resist the wood rot common to the cool, damp climates. If the wood fence, trim or siding gives easily to finger pressure, the wood is rotten beneath the existing paint and should be replaced prior to painting. When replacing rotted trim and siding, inspect for dryrot in the underlayment, studs or joists by probing with a screw driver. If the wood is soft, additional repairs will be necessary to stop the dryrot from spreading. DO NOT cover it up with new siding or paint. Dryrot is a wood cancer that grows best in dark, wet environments. Only use knowledgeable contractors that are experienced in dryrot repair and abatement.
Chalking. If wiping your hand across a painted surface picks up white residue, the paint is chalking and it’s time to repaint. If the chalky surface isn’t removed with a power washer, a special primer can be added to the paint.
Sprinkler Overspray. Keep sprinkler heads on the landscaping and off the buildings and fencing. Over spray causes a lot of paint damage like mildew, cracking, paint peeling and rust. Sprinkler heads get misdirected for a variety of reasons. Make sure your landscaper is made aware as soon as possible to correct the situation.
Wrought-iron Fencing. Repainted every two to three years or whenever rust starts to appear. Wrought iron used as fencing around landscaping is exposed to constant watering. If it is not maintained regularly you will end up replacing entire sections of fencing. Wrought iron rails will probably last longer than fencing because it will be exposed to less water in those areas. However, you will want to paint these areas every three to five years.
Wood Fencing. The average repainting period for wood fencing is between five and seven years. As with any type of fencing, constant exposure to watering causes these areas to deteriorate more rapidly than your eaves and trim.
Wood Trim & Siding. Semi-transparent stains on wood siding will need to be recoated every two to three years. Solid color stains will last five years, and good 100% acrylic paint in these areas will last five to seven years.
Stucco. If your stucco is not painted you will want to power wash it annually to eliminate the staining that occurs from roof runoff, mildew and pollutants. Power washing may not work for severely stained stucco and may require painting with a good 100 percent acrylic paint.
Plan Ahead. The painting season is rapidly approaching. If you are planning to paint this year, get your paint bids now and book the job. When good weather hits, good painters are hard to find, less price competitive and may not be able to fit you into the schedule.