Customers of The Hignell Companies surely know: we love questions, even the tricky ones, such as, “How often does the exterior of my home need to be painted?” and “Is this a job I can do myself?”
Just as there are ballpark answers for how long a furnace and central air conditioner should last, there are no precise answers to either one of these questions because accuracy depends on a many mitigating factors. Still, assuming that the paint job was done properly in the first place, paint on stucco should last about 10 years. Paint on wood fades more quickly, reducing its lifespan to about five to seven years.
Since paint is subjected to outdoor elements that are well beyond your control, it's better to decide whether your home could use a fresh coat of paint by some common, telltale signs of deterioration or age. Then you can decide whether you should even consider tackling this major project yourself. Let the home painting experts at The Hignell Companies lead you to the right answers – and make these tricky questions easier for you to answer.
Assess the Telltale Signs That It's Time for Home Exterior Painting
Try not to be alarmed if you see a wide variation in the condition of the paint on your home. Strong sunlight usually fades paint more on the east and west sides of a home while a sloped roof may splash rain water on one region of a home and not another. As you do a visual inspection of your home, check your gutters for clogs to see if they might be contributing to:
- Chipped, cracked or flaking paint
- Peeling paint (which often follows the three conditions above)
- Faded paint
- Wood rot
- Water stains
- Faded color
- Paint that looks dirty but doesn't respond to cleaning or power washing
- A color scheme that looks dated – and is making your home look older, too
Size Up the Challenges of Home Exterior Painting
Many well-intentioned Hignell customers assume that because they “didn't mind” or even enjoyed painting their kitchen or family room that they can rise to the challenges of painting the exterior of their home.
While enjoying a household task will help you conquer some of the challenges that invariably await you, enjoyment alone doesn't necessarily ensure success. And exterior painting is much more complicated than indoor painting. So while you certainly should take an internal reading of your enthusiasm for home painting, it behooves you to weigh other practical considerations, too, such as:
- Are you physically able to paint your home? Even if you're in good shape, doing strenuous prep work, climbing up and down a ladder and constantly straining your upper body require a high level of fitness and stamina.
- Does your home present logistical difficulties? Beyond its height, look carefully at your home's architectural features, design elements and windows.
- Are you prepared to invest time in the necessary prep work? Here's where the indoor-outdoor home painting analogy holds water, for you can expect to spend at least half your time prepping the outside of your home before you begin to paint it. Removing old paint, eradicating mildew, thoroughly washing and cleaning all exterior elements, caulking around windows and repairing rotted wood and water damage takes time and skill and is tantamount to ensuring that an exterior paint job lasts.
- Do you have a full arsenal of prep and painting tools? Well beyond primer, paint, brushes and drop cloths, you'll need a bevy of tools at your disposal. If you're serious about painting the exterior of your home, Hignell can help you assemble a complete list so that you don't come up short.
- Are you adept at various painting techniques? It's a natural mistake, but many people tend to overbrush – by extending paint too far – and compound the error by applying a coat of paint that is too thin. “Cutting in” at the juncture of two different colors also requires skill, as does using a sprayer.
In the end, you might well decide that the answer to the question, “Is this a job I can do myself?” is “I think I'd better pass.” Knowing your limitations is no cop-out; it's usually the smart move, especially when you consider that your home probably is your most valuable asset – and that the home painting experts at The Hignell Companies guarantee their work and your satisfaction with it. Contact us for a consultation -- and we'll continue to “cut in” around those tricky paint questions, too.
Find out more about our home exterior painting services.
The Hignell Companies has been in business for over 60 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.