Exterior Paint In Rough Shape? You May Be Putting Your Home At Risk

by Editor on May 18, 2013


Is the paint on the exterior of your house looking a little shabby? Is it peeling and cracking and in general just looking bad? Are there bare spots where you can see the wood? Of course, these are signs that you need to paint your house. But painting your home means more than just making it look good.

If the paint on the exterior of your house is in rough shape you could be putting your home at risk for structural damage and other issues. Fear not though. The problem is easily fixed. A new coat of paint along with some caulking will take care of just about any issues you have due to the paint being in bad shape.

The paint on the exterior of your home is your first line of defense against the elements. It’s also your last! In effect, being the only thing between the elements and your home your exterior paint has a big job to do. Keeping the paint in top shape should be a primary concern of yours.

Factors affecting exterior paint

The following issues are the most common that affect exterior paint on your home:

  • Moisture – Rain, snow and ice. Moisture can attack from the inside and outside of the home.
  • Sun - Solar radiation┬ádegrades paint over time.
  • Preparation – Inadequate preparation of the wood before painting allows moisture and sun to erode a paint job and also allows other issues to come into play, such as bugs and mold.
  • Organisms – Termites and other bugs can literally eat the wood that is painted.
  • Biological factors – Mold and mildew can affect wood and paint.

How long should a paint job last?

While there is no hard and fast rule on how long a paint job should last a good estimate is 5 to 8 years. This number will vary due to a lot of factors but generally those numbers are good. Sometimes you can squeeze 10 years out of the job.


Of course, the better paint you buy the longer it will last and the better it will protect. The rule here is buy the best paint you can afford. There are many types of paint so pay attention to the assets of each brand or type and purchase the best one for your situation.


Preparing to paint is probably just as important as the paint itself in exterior painting. Doing the job correctly here will save you a lot of headaches later. The paint job will look better, last longer and prevent related issues such as mold and mildew growth along with peeling and chipping.

Other issues

Some issues with your exterior paint won’t be caused by the elements or improper preparation. The wood and paint can be attacked from the inside. Moisture can move from inside the house to outside degrading both wood and paint. Caulking certain areas keeps moisture from moving into and out of the house. If your house has several coats of paints the paint may peel or crack which can cause issues.

Just make sure to inspect your house to determine if you have any issues before attempting to paint. Correct these issues and then begin the task of painting.

Concluding thoughts

If your exterior paint is in rough shape your home could be at risk for damage. Don’t sweat the issue though. Find out the specific issues you have and get ready to attack these concerns. These problems can be corrected easily and a new paint job will have the old home looking very nice again.

Image by dno1967b and licensed through Creative Commons.

About the Author

Jerry Hahn is a local handyman and owner of Home Maintenance Service in Des Moines, IA. He loves all things outdoors and is looking forward to spending the summer grilling.

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