If your house seems a bit faded, but you're not sure if it's time to repaint, you can figure it out before you call in the painting contractor. Generally, wood siding needs repainting every five years, but climate conditions may weather the paint sooner.
#1: Start With a Clean Slate
A clean exterior helps you more accurately gauge the status of the paint currently on your home. If your home's exterior isn't very dirty, you may be able to spray it off with the garden hose before performing a thorough inspection.
For a dirtier exterior, you can use a pressure washer with a broad spray to clean the walls, but avoid hitting the windows with the stream. Another option is to scrub the wet walls gently with a deck broom to dislodge any dirt, before rinsing again with the garden hose.
#2: Check for Paint Damage
Once the walls are clean, inspect the paint closely. In some cases, the only damage may be faded paint in some areas, usually on the sides of the house that receive the most sunlight. Keep in mind, you can't just repaint the obviously faded walls if you want the paint to blend on all sides of your home. You will still need to have the whole house repainted if you want consistent color.
If you find cracked or peeling paint, you need your house repainted as soon as possible. Paint protects the wood siding, so once it begins to come off your home as little protection against the elements. New paint costs a lot less than siding repair or replacement.
#3: Inspect the Caulk and Seals
The caulking and seals around your windows and doors ages along with the paint. Most painting contractors will remove the old caulk and replace it when the prepare the outside for painting. Take a few minutes to check your home for loose or damaged caulk so you know what to expect when the contractor comes out to make a quote. If the contractor doesn't mention it, point out the caulk damage and verify that he will be replacing it before he begins painting.
#4: Look for Danger Signs
Although you can usually put off house painting for a short time, if your home is suffering too much damage you may need to paint now rather than later. If you notice exposed wood, press on it gently with the tip of a screwdriver to make sure it isn't soft or rotten. Rotten siding will require replacement before you can paint. Visible mold and mildew may also require removal before your contractor can begin painting.
Getting a new coat of exterior paint may seem like a big job, but taking the time to inspect your house will give you more control over what to expect. If you want more help, try contacting a company like Allbright Painting with any questions or concerns you might have.