The First Step to Correcting Common Paint Problems: Determine Why it is Failing
The First Step to Correcting Common Paint Problems from our Painter Experts
House painting usually involves solving one or more of the common paint failures described below. CertaPro Painters® of Willamette is expert at all the required preparation techniques and specialty materials that must be used in a good paint job to address these common paint failures. See if you can identify what is occurring on your home and our painter experts can discuss exactly what we will do to fix it when we meet at our estimate appointment.
Alligatoring paint failure
Alligatoring is patterned cracking in a paint film that looks like the regular-shaped scales of an alligator. These paint failures can be caused by having a very hard coating (oil-based enamel, for example), applied over a softer coating. When the softer under coat expands and contracts with temperature changes, the top layer, which is not as flexible, cracks.
Blistering and bubbling paint failure
Blistering is the appearance of bubbles on the painted surface. They are usually caused by moisture which can come from several sources. High ambient humidity or high surface temperatures when painting, interior moisture trying to escape from a house that does not have a good vapor barrier, and when a solvent-based paint (oil/alkyd, usually) is used and the second coat is applied before the first coat has sufficiently dried.
Chalky paint failure
Chalking is a layer of powder, usually the same color as the paint, sitting on the surface. As house paint normally ages and wears, a small amount of chalk is expected and reflects the natural aging process. However, when poor quality house paints (cheap resins, highly pigmented) are used, this aging happens too quickly and the surface becomes highly chalky, indicating that the paint film is no longer serving as the barrier between the house and the elements as it was designed. It should be rinsed off and/or a specialty bonding primer should be applied as part of any good paint job.
Cracking and flaking paint failure
Cracking and Flaking usually start as thin, hairline cracks in the paint film which grow over time. Causes of this peeling paint problem include cheap house paint with poor adhesion and flexibility, poor surface preparation, and paint being applied too thinly.
Efflorescence paint failure
Efflorescence (also called mottling) is a common paint failure found on masonry and cement surfaces. As moisture passes through the masonry or cement, it gathers salts from the mortar, which are then deposited between the substrate and the paint film. The house paint is then sitting on a loose bed and cannot adhere correctly.
Fading presents as poor color retention and is caused by high UV exposure. Thus, it is usually seen on the southern and western sites of the structure. Some colors are particularly susceptible to fading – bright reds, yellows, and medium-to-deep blues.
Mildew on house siding
Mildew grows on house paint films that are damp a large portion of the time or which do not get any direct sunlight. A paint job applied over mildew does not solve the problem – it grows right back thru the new paint. Mildew grows more commonly on oil paints and poor quality latex paints than on high quality latex paints. Unprimed wood surfaces also result in more mildew growth than painted wood surfaces that were primed prior to painting.
Rusting nail head thru paint
Nail Head Rusting appears when non-galvanized nails have been used. The ferrous metal begins to rust, which comes right through most coatings. This is a materials/preparation issue, not a paint issue. Non-galvanized nails should be countersunk and then have a waterproof caulk applied to seal moisture from the nail head.
Surfactant Leaching thru Paint
Surfactant Leaching happens when certain chemicals common to almost all latex paints and which are intended to evaporate during the drying process condensate on the surface instead. They show up as light tan/brown drops or runs and can be either sticky or soapy in texture. This normally appears when paint is drying in a relatively humid environment and they do not represent any long term problem with the paint job. They can be washed or rinsed off with no effect to the paint film. Adding additional coats does not solve this problem.
Tannin bleed through paint
Tannin Bleed-through occurs when tannic acid in redwood, cedar, and cypress is brought to the wood’s surface by moisture. This can happen when the wood has not been thoroughly aged or sealed with a primer. Primer sealing is advised for raw wood on any paint job.
Vinyl warp due to dark paint
Vinyl Siding often warps when it is painted a color darker than the original vinyl color. Darker colors absorb the sun’s heat, in turn expanding the underlying vinyl, which often cannot return to its original shape once it cools down. Vinyl siding should not be painted a darker color than the original siding.
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