Paint Peeling


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?
Any advise?
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

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.
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Thanks for the reply. Location is Miami Florida and surface is CBS Concrete Block Stucco.
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?
MC
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Good paint is guaranteed. Call the manufacturer and bitch and have them send out their expert and see who he blames.

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Art wrote:

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.
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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?
Thanks,
MC
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clipped

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?
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says...

YYYour best bet is to rip down the house and rebuild
Y

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Norminn wrote:

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 seemed ok.
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.
MC
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clipped

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?
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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:
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-10/1090906/wall.jpg
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.
MC
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clipped

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.
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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.
Termidor Mixing: .06% solution - 20 oz will make 24 gallons .125 solution - 20 oz will make 12 gallons
Contains: 20 fl. Oz.
Active Ingredients: Fipronyl...........................09.1%
EPA Reg. No. 7969-210
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wrote:

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".

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)
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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 receipts.
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 was dry.
MC
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wrote:

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, he didn't. 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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