Why Is My Paint Peeling?

Peeling paint can be a distressing situation. As sheets of paint pull away from the house it takes away the protective layer that keeps the elements from damaging your house and as well the aesthetic beauty of your home. This problem should not be ignored.

Why does paint peel? There are many reasons as it turns. Some of these can be traced back to the day the paint was applied, while others can occur over time. Possible causes of peeling paint include:

  1. Surface preparation. If paint is applied upon a surface not properly prepared then there is a good chance the paint will not last very long. Applying paint on top of a dirty or mildewed surface. Not scraping the paint down to a firm base. Not priming bare wood. These are all examples of poor prep or lack of prep.
  2. Using lower quality exterior paint that has less-than-ideal adhesion and flexibility characteristics.
  3. Applying paint in less then ideal weather conditions that hinder the formation of good paint coating. Painting on extremely hot or very cold days can have a big affect on how the paint system lasts.
  4. Applying an oil-based paint to damp or wet surfaces.
  5. Moisture being trapped in the walls or in the wood due to previous rain, humidity, and other forms of moisture penetrating the walls through deteriorated caulking, a leaking roof, or others areas, causing wood to swell and paint to lose its adhesion.
  6. Excess humidity or other forms of moisture within the home escaping through the exterior walls.

Signs are pointing to moisture. You must cut of the source of where the possible moisture source is. Look at repairing your roof if you see stains on your interior ceilings. Caulk open joints and gaps in the exterior of your home if you see lifting paint on horizontal surfaces such as window sills. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and cut away any vegetation that is too close to your home.

In most cases you will have to repaint. First, remove all the loose and peeling paint. Next, sand any rough edges on the paint so that they are as smooth as possible. Prime areas where the paint is completely gone to the point that bare wood shows. Finish your project by repainting with a top quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.

So, if you encounter peeling paint consider all possibilities as to the real culprit.