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Being a first time homeowner is exciting however, it can also be incredibly overwhelming when you’re not sure what upkeep your home needs or even where to start.  Spring will be here before you know it and that honey do list could be pretty daunting before you know it.  We’re going to be doing a series of tips for first time homeowners to help ensure that your protect your investment and don’t waste time or money on unnecessary projects.  Knowing when it’s time to paint the exterior of your home can be a little tricky but it’s critical to the maintenance of your home.  Here are our top tips for signs that it might be time to paint your house.

What to Look for – Exterior Paint

  • Wear and tear on trim – Trim tends to be the first place you’ll see failing paint on your home.  This is especially true for the trim around garage doors, porch trim, and around doorways.  There are some cases where you can get away with simply painting the trim on your home and leaving the body color but that is limited to when your home was painted relatively recently (think 1-2 years).  If your home was last painted 3+ years ago then you’ll want to go ahead and get the full exterior taken care of.  Why?  If you paint just the trim it will make the body color, or the paint on your siding, look dull and you won’t be happy with the contrast between the fresh paint and the aged paint.
  • Siding and/or trim pulling away from the house – Siding and trim is something you should definitely be paying attention to.  Woodwork can add up quickly so staying on top of any boards that need to be hammered back in or replaced is critical to the health of your home.  Allowing this to go too long will cause water damage to the siding which can lead to even bigger problems.
  • Warped boards – Just like we mentioned above, this is a sign that the barrier your paint creates has to protect against moisture has been compromised.  Warped boards mean that water has gotten under the paint and those boards will need to be replaced, primed, and painted as soon as possible.  Don’t let this one go long as it can allow moisture to reach other boards and cause more expensive damage.
    • Pro Tip – Make sure you check your gutters to ensure they are carrying the water away from your home and you have proper drainage as this could be the culprit.
  • Bubbling paint – When you notice those little (or large) bubbles that form in your paint it is probably due to heat, moisture, or a combination of the two.  The best thing is to remove the failed paint, prime the surface, and repaint.  Again, it’s best to do a full side at a time so the color matches.  If your home was painted recently you can probably just do the side affected by the bubbling.  If it’s been a few years you’ll probably want to just repaint the whole home so there is color cohesion.
  • Fading – Due to the 300+ days of sunshine we see here in Colorado this can be a real challenge for most homeowners.  Dark colors tend to fade the fastest but don’t be fooled by lighter paints.  Both light and dark paints have the potential to fade and look dull.  For lower grade paints on a home you’re looking at repainting every 3-4 years.  A high quality product, although a bit more expensive, should last you a minimum of 6 years.
  • Chipping and peeling – Next to fading this is probably the most common issue to see with painting.  Typically this happens on paint jobs that are 4+ years old as the paints composition has broken down.  The best thing to do here is scrape off the old paint, prime, and repaint the area.  Again,  this will look best when you are doing at least one full side of your home, if not the entire exterior.
  • Keep up with Jones’s – Most of the time, homes within a neighborhood are built around the same time.  If you notice your neighbors are getting their homes repainted then it might be time for you to look at your own paint.  As the houses around you are painted it will make your home’s paint defects more and more obvious due to the contrast.  Avoid the reputation of the neighborhood eyesore and stay on schedule with your exterior work.

Exterior paint is the barrier that protects your home from outside elements like sunshine, weather, moisture, and pollution.  If your exterior house paint has been compromised and you’re seeing these signs, it’s in your best interest to get this project taken care of as soon as possible.  Leaving failing paint unaddressed can dramatically increase the cost of repairing and repainting your home down the road.  Keep an eye out for damage, stay on top of touch ups and repaints and you’ll see how easy it is to keep your home looking brand new.