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Why Does Exterior Paint Peel?

Why Does Exterior Paint Peel?

In this blog, we primarily focus on project ideas, inspiration, and spotlights. We love sharing our passion and hopefully fueling your own creativity.

Today, we’d like to get a bit more technical, but bear with us! We’re going to explore an important question we often hear from homeowners in Rhode Island. And, it’s not only an important topic/question because of the immediate problem it represents, but also because the answer sparks a much larger conversation about house painting as a whole.

Here it is: “Why is my exterior paint peeling?”

Let’s unpack the answer.

Why does exterior paint fail? Here are 4 common reasons

1. Poor surface preparation

A quality paint job starts long before a single paint can is opened. Preparation is everything, and rushing through this crucial step can compromise how well the paint adheres to the surface. Even the cleanest of homes accumulates dirt, dust, mold, and mildew on its siding, and all can get in the way of your paint securely bonding. That’s why surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned (often pressure washed), then scraped, sanded, and primed.

2. Larger moisture issues

Moisture can wreak havoc on exterior paint. It might be water infiltration from leaks or improper drainage that cause the paint film to lift and peel away over time. Or, right at the point of paint application, high humidity levels hanging in the air can prevent the paint from curing correctly in the first place. These common problems can be addressed at the source by making necessary repairs, or by applying specialized moisture barriers and sealants as a proactive measure.

3. Temperature fluctuations

Extreme temperature fluctuations can strain the paint on your home's exterior. This expansion and contraction of the underlying materials can lead to cracking, peeling, and blistering of the paint. Prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays only accelerate this paint degradation.

To mitigate the effects of temperature fluctuations, it’s important to select paint that’s suitable for your specific climate. Some paints are better formulated to withstand a wide range of temperatures than others, ensuring better durability.

4. Low-quality paint products

Cheaper paint might be tempting, but there really is a difference. Better quality paint is made with better quality ingredients, and this translates to superior performance. The long-term benefits and extended lifespan far outweigh the higher upfront costs.

How can you help your exterior paint last as long as possible?

how to avoid exterior paint failure

Here are a few practical tips:

  • Invest in regular maintenance and inspections. Watching for, and quickly addressing, any compromised paint is a smart move. It’s an economical way to maximize the value of your exterior paint, minimizing the need for costly repairs and remediation.

  • Use the right products and application techniques. Quality paint, quality primer, and multiple coats all work together to protect your home and extend the life of your paint job overall. It never pays to cut corners.

  • Hire professional house painters. Look for experienced professionals with a proven track record, valuing expertise over a lower estimate. As the saying goes, “Nothing is more expensive than a cheap paint job.” It pays to do it right, right from the start.

Do you have more questions about exterior painting in Rhode Island?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Dennis Moffitt Painting. We’re here to help, and we’d love to share more details with you about the unique services and experience we offer.