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Main paint problem list

Exterior problem

Peeling: Spontaneous loss of ribbons or sheets of paint due to loss of adhesion. When the surface is coated with a primer and topcoat, or with several coats of paint, the peeling may involve all the coats, some of them, or just the topcoat.

Possible Cause:

Swelling of wood due to seepage or penetration of rain, humidity and other forms of moisture into the home through uncaulked joints, deteriorated caulk, leaking roof or other areas.

Excess humidity or other moisture escaping from within the home through the exterior walls (less likely with latex paints, which allow water vapor to escape without affecting the paint film).

Inadequate surface preparation.

Use of a lower quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility characteristics.

Applying latex paint under conditions that hinder good film formation, e.g., on a very hot or cold day; in windy weather.

Applying an oil-based paint over a damp or wet surface.

Earlier blistering of paint (see Blistering).

Solution: If exterior moisture is the cause, eliminate the source by doing necessary repairs and maintenance: replace caulking; repair roof; clean gutters and downspouts; cut heavy vegetation away from the building. If moist air is originating from inside, consider installing vents (especially in rooms that tend to get humid such as the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room); attic louvers, exhaust fans and dehumidifiers may also help. Remove all loose paint with a scraper or wire brush, sand rough surfaces and prime any bare wood. Repaint with a top quality acrylic latex paint -- it will provide excellent adhesion and allow water vapor to escape without harming the coating.