Preserving Your Exterior Paint Finishes
Preserving your exterior paint finishes on your home is crucial to safeguard your investment. Deferred maintenance is detrimental, as elements like wind, rain, and sun can damage painted finishes, fostering mold, mildew, and wood rot. A few simple annual tasks can prevent your home from becoming a neglected money pit.
In a recent conversation with Ken Axt of Kenneth Axt Painting, I asked for his top tips to maintain a property’s exterior paint finishes. Ken shared these essential maintenance items based on his 50 years of experience.
Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters & Downspouts: Clean gutters at least biannually, preferably in the fall & late spring. In areas like Georgia, inspect every three months to avoid pine needle buildup. Ensure downspouts are not clogged and water is directed away from the foundation. If your drainage is not underground, consider adding splash blocks or extensions at each downspout.
*Bonus tip: clean & freely flowing gutters will reduce the presence of insects in and around your home.
Sprinkler System: Prevent water from spraying onto your home which can damage siding and cause window sill and trim rot. A quarterly inspection can ensure that mowers, pets or children have not caused a sprinkler head to be mis-directed.
*Bonus tip: try to water in the early mornings to reduce water lost to evaporation. This also allows grass to dry by midday, which helps to prevent fungus growth.
Landscaping: Keep trees from overhanging your home and maintain a 24-inch distance between shrubs, bushes, and siding. This is likely the MOST overlooked step in preserving your exterior paint. This step is imperative in preventing moisture problems and paint abrasion. Plantings too close to your home reduces air flow and allows mold and mildew to grow.
Similarly, ground cover such as pine straw and mulch should be kept 24-inches from the foundation.
Bonus tip: keeping trees trimmed back from overhanging the house keeps gutters cleaner, longer and reduces the risk of damage during storms from falling limbs!
Wood Rot: Regularly monitor for signs of wood rot such as mold/mildew, cracking wood, peeling paint, and soft wood. Pay close attention to these areas for signs of wood rot:
- exterior door trim that can get splash back from water hitting the ground or concrete
- window trim not covered by a porch or awning
- chimney chase trim
- exposed porch or deck railings
- the first course of siding nearest the ground
These are often the first areas to exhibit a problem & could mean that it’s time to consider painting.
Preserving your exterior paint finishes with routine maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and save you money when repainting your home’s exterior. If you notice trouble areas, consider Kenneth Axt Painting for exterior painting services.
I sincerely appreciate the collaboration of great real estate and home improvement partners.
Kenneth Axt Painting
1912 Tripp Road
Woodstock, GA 30188