Common Paint Problems on the Exterior of your House

Protecting your home is a top priority for many homeowners, but can feel overwhelming when new concerns pop up, especially if you don’t know what to signs to look for. This is why we have compiled a list of the most common paint problems homeowners experience and what to do if you notice these problems on your home.

We have linked Sherwin Williams Paint Problem Solver Guide to each common problem listed below for additional reference.

Peeling Trim


It’s very common for areas on the trim to begin peeling. Most trim that’s peeling is real wood, such as 1×2’s used on the fascia, door trim, garage trim, or railings. Any areas where moisture accumulates can also start to peel. These areas take a lot of damage from moisture sitting on them and freezing then thawing while constantly beating on the paint. Once the paint begins to peel, those areas on your home are exposed. When water gets into the wood and

freezes, or water is constantly running through the wood, you’ll see the wood begin to get gray. This leads to rotting boards that need to be replaced, which can get expensive. Any areas on your home that are peeling will most likely be the same areas that will peel in the future. We recommend taking special care of these damage-prone areas. Sanding this area after scraping off loose, peeling paint will smooth out the edge between what has peeled off and what has not peeled, and sanding will also create a better surface for us to apply the paint onto. Finally, after the area has been scraped and sanded, we recommend using a high-quality primer to seal the surface. The sanded wood creates adhesion for the primer, and the primer will create a better surface for the paint to bond to than if we just apply paint to wood.

Peeling Siding

Most siding in North Carolina you will not find peeling. However, if any siding is peeling it can be very costly if not taken care of properly and in a timely manner. On many homes that are first built, there is a very thin layer of paint applied. After 7-10 years, many times the underside of the siding will start to peel, specifically on the North side of the home. The North side of the home experiences less sunshine, so moisture is more likely to stick around longer. This moisture slowly wears away the paint on the underside of the siding boards. Each time it rains or snows, more moisture runs down the side of the house, wearing down the paint. The lower siding boards experience this more than the siding boards on the 2nd story. Eventually, the underside will start to peel, leading to an exposed board. If this is not taken care of, your siding boards will begin swelling and can lead to replacement. Replacing siding can be very costly. We recommend sanding off any peeling paint on the bottom of the siding boards. After sanding, we would prime those areas to seal up the boards before applying any paint. If this is not done properly, you can only expect the job to last about 2-4 years before these areas start to peel again. If done properly, you can expect it to last more like 5-7 years.


Builders use inexpensive and low-quality caulking when building and painting your house. As the temperatures change, your house expands and contracts. As this happens over and over again, the caulking doesn’t hold up and begins to break down and crack, leaving your home exposed. Moisture can get into these cracks and can then go back behind your boards. This leads to boards warping away from the house, or boards rotting from the inside out. In order to properly protect your home, we recommend resealing all of these cracks with siliconized acrylic caulking or a urethanized sealant. Silicone and urethane are more flexible than standard contractors caulking, so it will breathe with the house and last longer. However, paint will not stick to silicone caulking. This is why we recommend siliconized acrylic caulking that is paintable and durable.


Fading or chalking is another very common problem. Sunny days blast your home with UV rays, which breaks down the resin in the paint. Resin is the primary component in paint that protects the home. Pigment gives it the color. When the house starts to fade, this is an indication that the resin has broken down in the paint and there is minimal protection on your home. Without protection on the house, moisture will get into those boards (usually siding boards) and lead to warped siding boards which can be expensive to replace. We recommend a power wash to wash off any dust and residue from the chalking resin. For sides that experience the most sunlight, we also recommend a second coat or a coat of primer for extra protection. This will provide a higher level of resin and protection for that side of the home, ensuring that it will not fade as quickly so you can avoid replacement costs in the future and you also receive a longer-lasting and more durable paint job.

Nail Holes

Moisture can sit in nail holes around the house and do damage to your siding. You’ll see areas where there are nail holes beginning to swell due to moisture getting into those areas. If you only paint over these, there will still be a small pocket for water to sit. We recommend caulking these nail holes to leave an even surface for moisture to flow off of rather than sitting there breaking down the paint.

If you are experiencing any of these top problems on your home, we recommend reaching out to a professional paint company. A professional paint company can evaluate your home and give you a specific plan to keep your home protected. If you are in the Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, or surrounding areas we would love to chat with you about solving your exterior painting needs. Head over here to book your initial call with us.

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