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How to avoid peeling paint callbacks.

Paint Problems

How to avoid peeling paint callbacks.

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    Harry Whitver

    Problem: Surface Signs

    Blistering, peeling, wrinkling, rusting, chalking, and chipping. Sounds like a summer in the sun, but it’s actually a laundry list of exterior coating problems often caused by a low-quality paint, inadequate preparation or moisture protection, applying the paint to a dirty or wet surface and/or outside the ideal temperature range, an uneven or too-thin application, or something below the surface.
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    Harry Whitver

    Solutions: Fix It

    Once you find out what you’ve got (blistering, efflorescence, chalking), you’ll gain a better handle on what to do. That said, most repairs involve sanding or otherwise removing the affected area down to the bare surface and sealing it with an exterior-grade vinyl or similar spackling—perhaps more than one coat if it shrinks during curing. Sand the surface and apply an oil-based primer-sealer before painting the prepped surface.
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    Harry Whitver

    Solutions: Avoid It

    Moisture infiltration is almost always the culprit, so mitigate the majority of potential problems by using kiln-dried framing lumber (no more than 13 percent moisture content) and managing incidental water and moisture vapor away from the wall and behind the finish cladding. Apply an exterior-rated, high-quality paint to a clean, dry surface with a sprayer to get adequate coverage and recommended thickness.

Painting is one of those callbacks that almost always falls under the “regular maintenance” clause of the warranty. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility, right? And, if your painter is doing his job, the exterior coats on your new homes should last well past the service call statute of limitations.

Unless he isn’t. Then, the tell-tale signs of a poor paint job might start to crop up sooner than they should (if ever), causing you to respond—if not be on the hook to repair—to calls from homeowners asking why their new homes look like heck after such a short time. And if you want to rescue that referral, you may have to do more than give up the name of your painting contractor.

Beyond that, and as paint problems become prevalent, you may have to take a look at your finish specs and perhaps even down to your building practices to root out the causes. A good paint job is, like a house, an assembly of methods and materials done right and in sequence, from the kiln-dried studs and moisture barriers to the quality of the cladding, its surface preparation, the right type of paint, and its application—the failure of any one of which can lead to problems.