I have a problem with the paint on the exterior of my house. It just falls
off every couple of years. I suspect that somehow moisture is building up
behind the clapboard, but I can't seen to find where it is coming from. I
could see it if the problem was on one side of the house where there might
be an undetected leak somewhere, but this problem is on all 4 sides of the
When I had the house inspected when I purchased it there was no diagnoses of
the problem other than the paint being old (which it was not). When I had a
pro painter come out to take care of this they did not take care of it
despite all the extra case I paid to have them fix the issue.
I need to know who I need to have check the house to find and fix the
Clapboard. Would you be talking about pine? If so, you may want to
call one of the better paint stores in your area and ask to have a rep
come out and look at the problem. He may or may not have a solution.
I have done a lot of painting on exteriors of wood, and in all cases,
moisture will get into the wall cavities simply due to humidity in the
air. With the case of wood siding, the moisture can easily enter the
back side of the wood (which is usually bare wood) then it will exit
through the front causing the paint to release prematurely. And the
paint just flakes off.
The paint rep will recommend a very good cleaning and scraping, then a
very good quality primer, then a very good quality latex paint. Then he
will tell you that it may fail anyway.
The best thing to do would be to follow his directions and see if it
works. If it doesn't, then you may need to replace the siding and use
either a Hardi product, or prime all sides of the wood siding before it
goes up. If you can, I would recommend using a rain guard system to
install your siding if you insist on wood. Rain guard system involves
placing a moisture barrier on the wall, then furring strips, then the
siding (with all sides primed). This allows for an airspace behind the
siding to allow equal moisture penetration and release on all sides.
You might have luck with Sherwin Williams or another paint co that can
also send samples to their lab, but 99.99% of the time its the
painters mistake, it could be the paint but rarely, usualy an unclean
surface where latex is going over oil that is chalking, rub your hand
where it pealed, does chalk apear on you hand. Painting a to warm or
hot surface, or in sun, or high air temp is a cause for latex failure,
for oil moisture on the wood. You could probably figure it out. If its
all sides equaly and latex only freezing or painting over 90 should
affect it, if its mainly south exposure and none north then sun caused
it. On a hot sunny day with little shade its difficult to even paint
the south side, a hot surface can be cooled with water but you should
not paint with sun hitting it which can mean starting late in the day.
There are alot of other reasons for failure.
You certainly aren't repainting the entire house every couple of
years........are you spot painting
and having continual failure with that? Latex or oil? Does the peeling
occur at joints of the clapboards?
By the paint looking "old", it must have been chalky and faded?
Possible that the seller slapped
on a cheap paint or primer to sell. If you paint over chalk, or in
conditions the label warns against,
you can expect failure. If you know the brand of paint used, the paint
co. would probably take
Don't jump to the conclusion that your painter screwed up. Another
possibility is that moisture is moving from the inside of the house
and condensing on the siding. I have seen this in several cases--in
fact, I just tore the siding off of my own house (pine clapboard) and
there were frosty areas on the back of the siding which must have been
from moist air from the house. Is your house old? Do you know if it
has a vapor barrier on the warm side of your walls? If this is your
problem, you are basically looking at residing the house with a
maintenance free product or backpriming wood siding and adding an air
space behind it.
Oh yes. The house has been "fully repainted" every few year. The house was
built in 85 and I bought it in 99. In 99 the paint was starting to peel and
by 2000 it was just falling right off. Right down to the wood (cedar
clapboard). Had the whole house painted in 01 and the company had to come
back in 03 and I had to paint a side in 05, a side in 06, and 07.
I don't think it is a problem with moisture coming from inside. Around the
kitchen and baths look the best. Low humidity inside the house. Moisture
coming from somewhere???
I can't tell where it is coming from, the painters I have hired could not
pick up on where the problem was even when I told them that there is a
serious problem coming from somewhere, and the house inspector I had when I
purchased the house did not pick up on it either. This is why I need to
know what other type of person other than a painter and an average home
inspector I can hire to take a look at this.
Do you have high humidity, poor ventilation and/or bad vapour barriers
on the 'inside' (warm side) of the walls/ceilings of the house?
Recall a case where huband was continually painting clapboard siding
on outside of an older style house, with non breathable marine paint.
Which 'blistered' continually! No internal vapour barriers!
Wife was inside using latex paint, because easier to clean up, but
which is less or non effective as a vapour barrier.
In absence of vapor barriers to keep warm and therefore moist inside
air from permeating through the walls some types of non-latex (i.e.
oil paint) are said to be partially effective.
However with vapour barriers we have used permeable stain on pine and
cedar clapboard for some 50 years, with no peeling or paint bubbling
problems at all.
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