In many ways, a house resembles a face. It’s almost as if we have designed them to reflect our own range of expressions, too. Perhaps this is why we are so immediately drawn to some of them — windows are reminiscent of eyes, doors resemble a mouth and rooflines give them a hairstyle.
If this analogy holds true, the majority of a house’s personality resides in the choice of paint.
Paint makes up the majority of a house’s visual space, gives a house its vibrancy, its energy and its disposition. Your choice in paint color has arguably the biggest effect on your home’s style and curb appeal, and staying ahead of painting maintenance is one of the most important parts of keeping your home looking great. Just as the skin on our faces requires upkeep, a house’s paint requires touching up every few years. This includes cleaning, painting, looking for signs of trouble and performing any necessary repairs.
In this article, we’ll go over the top reasons why you should paint your house this spring. Most of this boils down to the effects of weather and sunlight on paint, as well as the chemistry of the paint itself. Paint is your house’s first line of defense against the fickle whims of the outside world, and it needs your help to stay in good shape.
Let’s begin by looking at the top eight reasons you should paint your house this spring, including the benefits of the weather and your ability to reduce maintenance work down the road.
Top Eight Reasons to Paint Your House This Spring
The winter’s cold has retreated under the sunshine of spring. Here are eight reasons why you should capitalize on this beautiful time of year to repaint your house:
- The Weather Is Just Right. Paint does not mix well with humidity, rain, snow, ice or other types of moisture. Likewise, it does not take well to intense cold. This is why mid to late spring is the perfect time to paint your house.The early spring is a time of moisture — a lot of water is frozen or saturated in the ground, unable to escape because the sun’s light is not yet intense enough to evaporate it. Once early spring has passed, however, the weather patterns of summer begin to set in. That means warmer, dryer days and plenty of sunlight. However, the “dog days” of summer have not yet arrived to bring the scorching heat.The timing of this paint job depends on your latitude. In Pennsylvania, for instance, April and May are great times to give your house the new paint job it deserves.
- You Are Avoiding More Expensive Repairs Down the Road. One of the most important reasons behind painting your house is that it saves you lots of money in the long run. Just as an oil change is the cheapest maintenance you can do on your car, painting your house is one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid expensive repairs.Keeping a house painted is one of the best defenses against premature aging, rotting and disrepair. With regular coats of paint, well-installed wood siding can last the lifetime of the house. Without it, it is susceptible to rot and decay.
- It Creates a Protective Seal for the Whole House. Paint is a house’s first line of defense against mother nature. Through sunlight, heat, cold, wind, dust, dirt, moisture, rain, snow, ice and sleet, paint is continuously doing its job of keeping the wood underneath safe from weather.Without paint, water soaks into the wood. This gives mold and fungus a foothold to begin growing, which will quickly rot the wood and necessitate replacement and repair. Paint forms a waterproof surface for water to roll off the house to the ground. It also fills small gaps and holes that could otherwise serve as collection points for water. In this sense, paint is truly like skin for a house — it keeps out unwanted substances and protects what’s inside.
- Paint Is Heavily Affected by Moisture. Whether it comes in the form of driving rain, high humidity or frozen precipitation, paint is affected by moisture. Essentially, this boils down to moisture penetrating the paint itself, which causes it to grow swollen and soft. In this vulnerable state, it can begin to peel and crack. Eventually, this leads to flakes of paint chipping off the house, giving water an entry point and allowing mildew and mold to gain a foothold.The sun also plays into moisture’s role in destroying paint. Sunlight is loaded with ultraviolet radiation that weakens paint over time, attacking the binder inside the paint. This binder deterioration causes the pigment to settle on the surface of the paint, which washes away with rain.The swelling and shrinking action caused by moisture can also come from temperature changes, which makes wood expand and contract. Because paint is fixed to the wood, this leads to chipping and cracking within the paint’s surface. Note that some paint is flexible enough to handle this expansion and contraction.
- It Boosts Your Home’s Curb Appeal. “Curb appeal” refers to the beauty of a house when viewed from the street. Sometimes we see a house that seems to invite us in as we drive by, while others leave us cold. This is an important concept for the average homeowner, but it is especially important in real estate. If a prospective buyer drives up to the house and doesn’t feel an urge to go inside, there is little you can do to change their mind. In this case, the house is in need of a makeover — and nothing can perform a home makeover as quickly as a new coat of paint.Our choices for house color are part of an ever-changing cycle of taste. That means our perception of a beautiful exterior paint is bound to be different every decade or two. If you feel your house’s color is lacking or hasn’t evolved with the times, wait until you see what a fresh color palette can do for it.Likewise, if your choice of paint has stood the test of time but is in need of some tender love and care, you’ll be surprised at how much difference a fresh coat of paint can make.
- You Can Spot Parts of Your House That Need Repair. All homeowners come to know the lifelong journey of keeping a house from falling apart — and painting your house not only protects it from the elements, but it also provides you with an intimate look at every square inch of its siding. Having a professional paint your home’s exterior is especially helpful because professional painters understand the ins and outs of the substrate beneath the paint. That means if there is a problem, you can be sure they will spot it.If painting your siding uncovers a problem, fixing it in a timely fashion will save you from more extensive damage in the future. This is all part of staying on top of maintenance instead of letting it get out of control — and regular painting is one of the surest ways to accomplish this.
- It increases the value of your home. In addition to boosting curb appeal, one of the main benefits of painting your house is the disproportionate increase in value it can create. Buyers are far more likely to pay a higher price if the house creates a great first impression. Buying a house that requires obvious maintenance can drive down offers significantly.However much you pay to have your house painted, you can be sure the results will be worth it. The perception of a house’s beauty skyrockets with fresh paint. Choosing the springtime to paint your house is also an excellent choice if you plan on putting your house on the market, as the summer is a busy season for property purchases. Painting a house in spring also ensures it will look fresh for years to come, which is important in case you choose to sell later.
- It repels pests. There are plenty of pests that are naturally drawn to wood. These include yellowjackets, carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees, powder post beetles, and woodpeckers. Paint makes wood less attractive to insects by masking its scent and detectability. Insects are also not attracted to paint itself, so it will help deter them from harming your wood by making it an area they actively avoid. This prevents burrowing, nesting and other problems associated with wood-boring pests.
How to Tell if Your Home Needs to Be Repainted
There are several important signs that your house’s exterior needs some attention. While you have probably heard of some of them, others may come as a surprise. Regardless, it bears repeating that painting before big problems occur is the best way to keep the cost of repairs down. However, if problems have already presented themselves, a professional team can fix them and restore your house’s beauty.
Here are some of the top signs that your home needs repainting:
- The Paint Chips, Flakes or Has Bubbles in It. Paint is working around the clock to protect wood from extremes in moisture, temperature, solar radiation, wind and particulates in the air. As a result, it eventually wears out. This can manifest as chipping, flaking, bubbling or peeling, all of which are clear signs that the house needs to be repainted.Note that these problems are often symptoms of a larger issue such as mold, fungus, or dry or wet rot. This can be the result of weatherproofing that has failed.If the paint on your house is doing this, you will need to perform preparatory work before repainting. Simply painting over old paint that is not bonding to the wood beneath may not fix the problem, and it will often result in a paint job that does not bond. This paint job will not look as good and will need to be redone sooner.
- The Caulking Has Grown Hard and Brittle. Caulk is a critical line of defense against water. Without it, water can infiltrate behind your siding and become trapped, releasing moisture that contributes to mold and rot.To test your caulking, simply poke at it and see if it has grown stiff. Hard caulking cannot expand and contract with your house, which is a crucial part of its ability to keep water out. If the caulking is hard and does not depress under your finger at all, call an expert to reapply it.
- The Paint Has Faded Due to Sunlight. It is common for paint to fade under sunlight, as solar radiation naturally interacts with the paint’s pigments and bleaches the hues. Additionally, dark paint colors will show more visible fading than light ones. However, some shades of paint can morph into other shades due to sunlight. One common victim is the color beige, which UV radiation can transform into pink in no time at all. To ensure paint stays its original color for as long as possible, make sure you choose high-quality paint that is meant for home exteriors.
- The Paint Has Faded Due to Something More Mysterious. If the paint is fading on the sunny sides of the house, there is no need for alarm. A more concerning alternative, however, is fading paint on the side of the house that doesn’t get sunlight. This can be either a northern exposure or part of the house that is shaded by trees or rooflines. If paint fades under these conditions, it is symptomatic of a faulty vapor barrier or with water infiltrating the siding.Inspect any such areas for strange stains that seem to have dribbled downward on the siding. A sign of water leakage is if a substance that is water-soluble and meant for the indoors somehow winds up on the exterior. If you are having trouble figuring out the cause, call a professional like us at Nolan Painting to assess the situation.
- There Are Cracks in the Stucco Siding. If your house is coated with stucco siding, you may find that cracks appear after a while. This is natural but provided they are not too big, it is probably not time to re-stucco the whole house. Rather, you can save time and lots of money by patching the cracks and then applying a new paint job to the exterior. If you do try to spot-treat the cracks alone, the paint on these cracks is not likely to match the surrounding paint. Because the older paint will have faded and changed color in the sun, this will make it difficult to not have the new paint streaks stand out. By patching and painting the whole house, you will be starting over with a new-looking exterior.
- Your House Is Lacking Curb Appeal. Curb appeal is a buzzword these days. It is a direct measure of how inviting, beautiful and appealing your home is. This affects how it fits into or stands out from the neighborhood and is directly related to real estate. If you don’t feel the same spark driving up to your house as you used to, it’s probably because something is lacking that once was there. It’s time to freshen things up with new paint. Similarly, you can often gauge a decline in curb appeal from friends and visitors. If people coming to visit don’t react to your house the way they used to, consider reinvigorating your house’s exterior with a beautiful new coating.
- You Just Bought the House New. Surprisingly, a new house is not always painted well. This is because wood siding often comes pre-primed from the lumber yard, over which building contractors will apply a single coat of paint. While this coat of paint is sufficient to reduce warping in the early stages of the siding’s use, it is not enough to keep the wood from expanding and contracting due to moisture. The best method is to prime wood siding before it is put on the house. This gives you time to choose the right paint color and paint the house properly within a few years of moving in. By doing so, you will prevent damage from occurring to the wood.
- It Has Been at Least Seven Years Since the Last Coat. Exterior paint has an expiration date, and it’s always wise to heed it. You shouldn’t wait until the paint looks nasty to put on a new coat. By painting your house before the problems are too severe, you are minimizing damage and reducing the amount of time and effort needed to complete the job. As soon as paint starts flaking, chipping or peeling, there is extensive preparatory work that will need to be done before painting can begin. By painting early, you are lowering the overall cost of the job immensely.
Great Colors for Your Home This Spring
The smell of spring air carries with it a tinge of childhood wonder and hopefulness. As soon as the trees start budding and the flowers bloom, it’s as if we want to bloom with them — and there are few better ways than to spruce up your house’s exterior with a fresh spring palette. Here are some of the best colors to paint your house this spring:
- Pastel Yellow. A yellow house is a happy house. There is something immediately friendly and charming about this color, provided it is not overly fluorescent or mustardy. A pastel, buttery yellow conveys a feeling of warmth and familial kindness. To complement yellow paint on the siding, you can paint trim white or another spring-like shade such as pastel green. Black shutters also provide a great pop to contrast the yellow.
- Solid White With Pops of Color. A solid white house is reminiscent of Colonial days and brings a classical air to your house. However, too much white can border on spooky — all it takes is a few pops of color to make your white house sparkle with energy and life. Try pastel shutters, a bright red door or a light gray surface for the porch. These choices will add personality and contrast to the exterior.
- A Warm Gray. Gray is an unexpectedly warm color, not to mention a timeless one. Painting a house gray gives it a neutral palette that lets other colors pop out and conveys a certain friendliness. Try mixing gray siding with sections of pastel green for a beautiful combination.
- Baby Blue. Whereas one may not have expected gray to be such a happy color, sky blue should come as no surprise on this list of happy spring hues. It is reminiscent of clear blue skies and warm, sunny days.
- A Darker Shade of Gray. If you feel your house might sparkle with a bit of darkness, then don’t hesitate to try out some darker tones. All it takes is some lighter trim, landscaping and surroundings to make a dark house happy.
Hire Nolan to Paint Your Home This Spring
At Nolan Painting, we offer full-service, professional house painting and commercial painting services to Main Line residents and surrounding areas, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. We have a talented team of professionals and a large fleet of vehicles equipped with the best technology in the industry to get the job done.
Part of what makes us an industry leader is that we guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. It’s part of our promise. We will start and finish on time, maintain a neat and clean work environment, provide a total commitment to all details, stand behind our work and pledge an assurance of high quality. If you are not entirely satisfied with the job, we’ll make it right. We also offer a free color consultation with any hired service, and we always apply two coats of paint to ensure a robust color.
We are a local, family-owned company that has been in business for 39 years — Kevin Nolan, our founder, started painting homes while attending Villanova. We give back to the community that supports us, and we are committed to giving back $1 million to the community over 10 years. We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. We stand behind our work, and we will always provide the best service to our customers. We will go out of our way to make our customers happy, every time.