I hired someone to paint the exterior of my house.
The contract called for repairing cracks/chips and cleaning exterior walls, cleaning exterior walls with TSP, pressure washing exterior walls, prime with one coat of "One coat of Benjamin Moore Exterior 100% acrylic primer FRESH START" then two coats of "Two coats of Benjamin Moore Flat Exterior 100% acrylic paint".
I was not home to inspect the progress of the job but I did check it every day at the end of the day.
The work was done in November 2006 (less than two months ago) and now I see paint peeling on the exterior walls near where there are corners. Not everywhere but may be about fifteen spots are peeling, also had a couple places I see shallow "bubbles" and when I press I feel it being spongy.
I am not sure what happened. When I inspected the peeled paint, I only see one coat of paint, but I am not so familiar with painting that it would be obvious if there were two coats, I just sort of expected two layers of peeled paint. I did ask the contractor and he assured me two coats were applied. So is it possible the surface preparations were not done properly?
What kind of surface ... wood, cb stucco? How many days to complete
job? How long after pressure wash was primer applied? Did he rinse
with bleach at any point? Are the trouble spots mainly in sunny or in
shady areas? Did the painter give any kind of written warranty?
Written bid? Did you see the product he used?
I would call him first. If he is any good, he will be out to repair
soon. If he doesn't take responsibility for it, put his name on Angie's
list or some such.
The surface would have to be wet for that to be a cause, but is most
likely. Should be at least three days dry weather from p/w to prime.
He may have primed too soon after caulk/crack repair. May have applied
paint in hot sun, which traps vehicle under the paint film and doesn't
allow it to escape.
Could contact BM for warranty. They probably would come and take a
look. We had our condo painted by a contractor, different paint mfg.,
and as part of the warranty process, the paint co. inspected prep before
primer was appl. If BM has some kind of cert. for contractors,
perhaps contacting them will help if he is going slow on making it right.
Small blisters can be "repaired", sometimes, by just using a pin to
prick them; they flatten out and don't expand any more.
Thanks for the reply. Location is Miami Florida and surface is CBS Concrete
The contract called for pressure washing prior to prime/paint. I was not
there to see how long they waited between each stage. However I don't think
they waited three days. I know one guy started priming in the front when
the other guy was still pressure washing the back.
He came back and looked at the spots and said he will fix them by sanding
down the spots and reprime repaint. He will charge me for new material
paint and primer and a discount off labor. Something like $200 all
inclusive to fix all, not a lot of $, but what if more peels next week, next
month, during the summer months when we have down pours in the summer?
The peeled paint has chalk like substance under it. So I think this is old
paint broken down. Is it possible the pressure wash was not sufficiently
done clean, and when primer applied on top of old paint, the reaction breaks
old paint into chalk and loses adhesion?
Decisions...fix then wait and see, or a new paint job?
Good advice. $200 for touchup, and the idea the paint is coming off
because it rained are outrageous. I would find out if the guy has a
license. If he does, have a talk about placing a complaint with the
city/county licensing board (or whoever the powers=that-be are in
Miami). If he does not take care of it to your satisfaction, send a
written complaint to the licensing agency and consider taking him to
small claims for the whole price of the job.
We have contractors who follow every legal requirement, do very good
work, and have to compete with these clowns who don't live by any rules.
Chalk under the paint film is there only because the prep was bad. No
paint will stick to it, and your painter knows that.
Thanks. I will check with BM and see what they say.
However, the contractor is reluctant to do any "free work" as he calls it.
He said the paint can fail due to hundreds of reasons and many of those are
beyond his control...I don't think there is any hope that I will be able to
get him to fix it, and if I pay him more, he will just pile another bad job
on one that is already bad.
Question now is what I need to do to repair this. Do I pressure wash the
wall again and have it repainted? Or can I spot treat?
I would not pressure wash again on a new paint job. Chalking will come
off with brush and plain household cleaner; be sure to rinse and let
dry. You have CB and stucco?
Is this painter working alone? Recent import? You just need to visit BM
website to see that what his says is pure baloney. ALL the reasons for
failure are his to control, unless the surface is in such bad condition
that it will not support a coat of paint. In that case, too, he just
should not put paint on it. My guess is that he primed the day he pw,
and/or painted with sun beating on the surface. South or west side of
house the worst?
The side that is showing the problem is the west side. I did not see
any peeling on the north side or the south side yet, also east side
The west side however, has peelings near the bottom of the wall, about
1 foot up from the ground. Several spots, and some other spots at the
same height, has bubbles that when touched, feel spongy. I am sure if
I use a wire brush they will all come off easy. Near the top of the
wall are more pealings, there is no eave at the top of the wall,
because the wall protrudes above the roof. There are more visible
peelings near the top but I have not yet inspected those.
Yes it is CB and Stucco, in hot and humid Miami.
Thanks for the reply.
Sounds like he either painted in direct sun and/or recoated too soon.
Present the guy with that idea. Cons have a more difficult time conning
when they realize you know something about the work they do.
I think the best approach, if there is no recourse through a license, is
small claims court. I would wager that most of the judges would know
the guy did bad work and know how it should have been done.
I would not wire brush small bubbles. You can pierce them with a pin,
they will flatten, and the paint film will remain intact. Make sure,
before you touch it, that you are done with your contractor or he can
blame problems on what you do.
Where the peeling is near the bottom of the wall, does the stucco go
below grade? That part of the wall wicks moisture from the ground,
stays wet and makes paint peel. Our contractor pressure washed below
grade - blasted soil away from the wall - so the wall would dry enough,
deep enough, that the paint did not peel. Went down about 8" or so.
Another good reason for not having landscaping right against a wall.
What is on top of the wall as a cap above where it peels?
I spoke to him today and offered the possibility that either an unthorough
pressure wash / cleaning was the cause, or the primer/paint being applied at
the wrong time (too soon, too wet, too hot...) but he disagrees.
He insists that the result is due to "factors beyond his control". That
either my concrete is substandard and problematic, or my selection of the
paint was inappropriate. His proof? "Well I have been doing this for years
and pained hundreds of houses and not a single one has this problem, trust
me I know what I am doing, your house has problems..."
As far as the wall that has the problem... here is a picture:
This was taken last year after hurricane Wilma damaged my roof. But as you
can see the wall on the left side, where is stops above the roof. The tip
of the wall is the same, stucco concrete. I had him cleaned off the top,
patches a couple of small dents and holes with the vinyl patches, sanded and
prime/paint like the rest of the wall.
Ohhhh, dear. The problem may be your wall. Seems there should be some
kind of cap on the top of the wall to keep rain out. With water going
inside the wall, it could cause the paint to peel. Your contractor
should have picked up on that, unless he never climbed up high enough to
see the top of it.
CB always has some moisture in it, but it seems that an open top would
allow much more than normal to saturare the block. A little sunlight on
it warms it, expands, makes blisters.
I don't think it is related to the top of the wall. The old paint that was
there for years and years and no problem. I looked at the wall and the
paint seemed fine. It also did not rain much at all in December so I doubt
this paint peeling is related to moisture.
After another inspection it seems the peeling seems to be near the bottom of
the wall (within a foot from the base) and near corners. Then one day it
hit me...when I saw the pest control company came by to spray...and I looked
at their schedule last time, they came once a month to spray the outside,
near the base and around corners, a chemical called "Termidor". I am
thinking may be the spray of this chemical on the wall before priming, or
after priming but before top coat, could cause a problem? I have no way to
determine at what stage this was applied, but I am pretty sure during the
two weeks the paint job was going on, there was a spray service that
occurred. The details of this Termidor is pasted below. I am not sure what
I can do now.
Termidor SC insecticide concentrate is for the control of termites,
including subterranean, formosan, and drywood termites, carpenter ants, and
nuisance ant species such as argentine ants, big-headed ants, odorous house
ants, pavement ants, etc.
Termidor can be applied as a liquid spray, liquid dilution or as a foam
application. Can be applied directly to soil, wall voids, posts, poles, and
wooden landscape ornamentation.
.06% solution - 20 oz will make 24 gallons
.125 solution - 20 oz will make 12 gallons
Contains: 20 fl. Oz.
EPA Reg. No. 7969-210
cleaning exterior walls with TSP, pressure washing exterior walls, prime with
one coat of "One coat of Benjamin Moore Exterior 100% acrylic primer FRESH
START" then two coats of "Two coats of Benjamin Moore Flat Exterior 100% acrylic
paint peeling on the exterior walls near where there are corners. Not
everywhere but may be about fifteen spots are peeling, also had a couple places
I see shallow "bubbles" and when I press I feel it being spongy.
coat of paint, but I am not so familiar with painting that it would be obvious
if there were two coats, I just sort of expected two layers of peeled paint. I
did ask the contractor and he assured me two coats were applied. So is it
possible the surface preparations were not done properly?
I've been using Moore almost exclusively in my business for the last
30 years and I've yet to come across defective product. Mislabeled as
to color yes, defective no. The problem, as usual, almost certainly
stems from improper preparation and/or improper application. Since you
were not at home during the process can you verify that..
-The problem surface wash thoroughly washed?
-That the primer was actually applied?
-That the primer was dry before a top coat was applied? (about 4 to 6
hours will usually do it on a decent day. Overnight is better)
I cannot verify any of that. I let him do his job. I did negotiate the
contract and only pay him for labor and I specified the materials (primer
and paint), and paid him the materials when he presented me with the
I saw him bought the BM primer and paint in five gallons buckets. Towards
the end I have a few empty five gallon buckets so I assumed the primer was
applied. I have no way to know if it was applied after the previous coat
I just can't believe he is not making good at no charge in the
interest of good will. That problem couldn't take more than a few
hours to ameliorate and he has chosen to blow a potential referral and
repeat business. There is no way this is a material problem based upon
the specs. Other factors are his responsibility. He either did the job
correctly or he didn't. Since you have obvious problems as outlined,
I'm not one to take the customers side for no reason. Some customers
are totally unrealistic. Years ago I actually had one who called me
because a bird crapped on her siding and wanted me to fix this
"defect" in the job. I did it in a spare moment so as not to burn a
referral, and I actually did get referrals from her.
I believe the contractor should fix this at no charge to you. If he
won't, pay someone else who knows his ass from his elbow to do it.
Don't give this guy another dime.
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