June 1998 Edition

How Do You Tell When It Is Time To Paint The House?

We were walking around our house and wondering how do you know when it’s time to paint the house?
It is becoming the time of year when our thoughts turn to warm summer days and to chores that we put off until better weather. One of the big chores is painting the house. Preventative maintenance is one of the most important tasks we can do to preserve the investment in our home. If you could shrink wrap the exterior of your home, you would never have to worry about sealing it again. But, since that is not possible, painting is the only way to keep the weather out.

Siding 1

First of all, take time to walk around your house and give it a good inspection. This is most important for people with lapped siding. Inspect all of the siding very closely for signs of deterioration. Look under the bottom lip for separation or cracks. The bottom lip is rarely properly painted and is one of the most important areas to keep sealed. If it is properly sealed, the bottom lip will be as smooth as the front face. If you have any separation or cracks present, then painting is needed.                        
Next check to be sure all nails are totally sealed. You should not have recessed nails. All recessed nails should be caulked. All flush nails should be totally sealed to prevent moisture from entering the siding around the nail head.                        
Check all end joints and butt joints. This is a common place for caulking to split or crack. Any open joint will allow moisture to enter and cause deterioration. You can tell if deterioration is beginning by looking at the joint for any swelling.  This is a sign that painting is needed.

Siding 2

You will have to keep sealing the siding until the cracks or separations disappear totally. Sometimes this requires two or three coats of paint. Once the siding is properly sealed, it is much easier to keep it sealed. Painting is normally required every four years.                

Siding 3

Check all of the wood trim to see if all joints are sealed. If the joints are open or have cracks, then caulking and painting are needed. If there is any wood decay present, this is also an indication that caulking and painting are needed.
We suggest purchasing the very best paint you can afford. The better the quality of paint, the longer it will last. The same is true with the caulking.                       
If you have any problems such as unusual peeling, discoloration, mildew, chalking, etc., it would probably be a good time to call in an expert. Most paint stores have outside sales reps that would be glad to assist you with any unique problem(s). They can tell you what products are needed and how to apply them.            

Which Deck Sealers Work?

We treated our deck with a popular sealer last fall and it did not even last until spring. Do some sealers work better than others?
According to Consumer Reports the answer is yes. They embarked on a five year long test program to evaluate three dozen treatments-essentially by watching how well the treatments keep their appearance and withstand the ravages of weather. They can’t say which products will remain highly rated since their test still has three years to run.
But the nine products listed in the table-many of them widely sold and heavily advertised-have performed so poorly in their first year that Consumer Reports will not recommend their use.  


Most of these products have already discolored severely, allowed the wood to crack, and done little to prevent the growth of mildew.
  • l If you want to keep the wood on your deck looking fresh, what can you do? Look for a product claiming to waterproof, block ultraviolet light, and stop mildew.
  • l Follow label instructions for application.
  • l Consider a semi-transparent deck stain.
The following products of that type are still performing well in their test:                    
  • Behr Plus Ten
  • Cabots Decking Stain and PTW Stain
  • Olympic Water Repellent Deck Stain
  • Thompson’s House and Deck Stain
  • Wolman PTW Deck Stain
They’re priced at $16 to $25 a gallon. 
Or, consider one of these translucent or clear finishes:
  • Akzo Sikkens Cetol DEK
  • Benjamin Moore Moorwood Clear Wood Finish
  • DAP Woodlife Premium
  • Olympic Natural Look Protector Plus
They’re priced at $11 to $50 a gallon.                       
Of course, Consumer Reports cannot say yet how these products will perform in the future; but they will keep you posted with updates.

                                 SOURCE:  Consumer Reports - May 1997

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Cindy Norton

Re/Max Gwinnett, Inc.

3732 Highway 78

Snellville, Georgia 30078 

****Thank You****