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What are the signs your home’s exterior needs to be repainted?

It is important to keep your home’s exterior in great condition for many reasons. This small investment not only boosts your home’s curb appeal, value, and personality, but also acts as the initial line of defense against all kinds of damage such as weather and insects. Some basic maintenance or precautionary measures can really go a long way.

However, after an extended amount of time in our hot climate, signs of wear become almost inevitable. In this article, we will review in detail some of the most common signs that it’s time for a fresh paint job.

Here are the 4 signs your home’s exterior needs to be repainted

#1. Exterior Paint Chalking

Chalking refers to the white, chalky substance that forms on stucco exteriors and walls here in the Valley. It is the direct result of acrylic resins breaking down, leaving behind titanium dioxide—a base pigment in paint. On stucco, exterior paint chalking is caused by age and weathering: as those resins break down, patches of white dust begin to appear.

How can you tell if your exterior is chalking? Look for white patches on your stucco. Run your finger over the spot, and you should come away with a fine powder on your finger akin to chalk.

Here’s something you should know: severe chalking is more likely to occur earlier in the lifespan of the exterior paint if the initial paint was:

  • Applied to an inadequately prepped home
  • Low-grade quality (low-grade paints contain more pigments and less acrylic coating, which leads to more chalking).
  • Improperly sealed

In other words, while chalking is a natural and eventual outcome for most home exteriors after a certain point, premature chalking only a few years into the paint’s lifespan may point to shortcuts that were taken with the initial application.

#2. Fading & Color Morph

Given our high degree of year-round UV exposure, paint fade and color morph are a major threat to the exteriors of our stucco homes. Both problems are caused by the eventual failure of the paint’s tint. Drive around many Valley neighborhoods, and you’ll see homes with faded exteriors and colors that have morphed over time. Take a closer look, and you’ll see the difference in color between parts of the exterior with regular sun exposure and other parts of the stucco that have sat in the shade or only have partial UV exposure.

As with the chalking issue, exterior paint is more likely to fade prematurely if the paint:

  • thinned at the time of application
  • a low-grade paint with a relatively low tint

This is why it is especially important here in Phoenix to work with an exterior painter that uses high-grade, UV-resistant paint. At Crash of Rhinos Painting, we’re proud to use only Dunn-Edwards exterior paint, which is specially formulated for both stucco and our UV conditions here in the desert Southwest.

#3. Flaking, Chipping, Peeling

As we’ve established so far, the exterior paint on our homes takes a beating over the course of our summers and monsoon season. Many exterior paint problems can be attributed to our climate. This includes flaking, chipping, or peeling paint. Over time, sun, wind, rain, and even woodpecker damage can contribute to exterior paint issues.

This is why it is so important that the stucco gets repaired prior to a new layer of paint being put on. In so many cases, old paint problems come back to haunt a home with new paint because the exterior painter did not sufficiently repair the stucco or apply a new primer. Primer is especially important to preventing peeling, chipping, and flaking, since it helps the paint adhere to the stucco walls.

#4. Paint Bubbling

While paint bubbling and blistering is not as common a problem here in our relatively dry climate, it’s still something that you may see on trim sections or in some stucco homes. The appearance of “bubbles” or “blisters” beneath the paint is the result of pockets of moisture making their way out of the stucco and trying to escape through the paint.

To prevent paint bubbling or blistering, it’s important that the exterior painter fully remove all the previous paint and then apply a waterproofing substance–especially along the stem wall, where there is more likely to be moisture rising up from the soil around your home. Here at Crash of Rhinos, we use a product called DRYLOK for this very purpose. Unfortunately, if this essential step was skipped by your prior painter, you’re more than likely going to start to see paint problems bubbling to the surface on your home’s stucco exterior.

Here are your next steps

If you’re starting to see any of the signs of exterior paint damage listed above, it’s time to call our team for a free inspection and quote. At Crash of Rhinos Painting, we provide exterior painting services throughout the Valley. Our team can help you identify if it’s time to repaint your stucco home.