Your home’s exterior is not only the first thing people notice, but it’s also an important barrier that protects your home from the elements. Over time, the paint or stain on your home’s exterior can deteriorate due to both common and extreme weather conditions, wear and tear, and general exposure to outside elements. This is particularly true in high-altitude climates, where all four seasons in the mountains bring potentially damaging forces to bear on your home’s exterior.
And while many people choose to repaint or stain the exterior of their home to better protect it from these conditions, others do so simply out of the desire for a fresh new look. No matter the reason, repainting your home’s exterior is a significant investment and it’s important to know how often to paint your house’s exterior, when to not paint outside and how high elevation climates can affect the exterior painting process.
How Often to Paint Your House Exterior
In general, your home’s exterior paint can last anywhere from five to 15 years, depending on the quality of materials used, the level of maintenance, level of exposure to the elements and other climate-related factors. For instance, wood exteriors require regular maintenance, including repainting every five to seven years with high-quality paint or stain that offers protection against moisture, UV rays and pests. On the other hand, brick exteriors are more durable and require less frequent repainting but repainting may be necessary to maintain the integrity of the structure if there is mortar deterioration or damage.
It’s important to remember that one or two sides of your home are more exposed to the sun and will take the brunt of sun damage, meaning those areas will show the most wear and require attention before the other exterior areas of your house. A good rule of thumb when it comes to exterior painting is to paint or stain early – as soon as those more exposed areas are starting to show wear – rather than waiting until there are all-over signs of wear and tear. In addition to keeping your home looking its best, this can also save you time and money in the long run by reducing the amount of prep work (sanding, scraping, caulking, etc.) your local house painter will need to do.
Signs You Need Exterior House Painting
Painting your home’s exterior can seem like a daunting task – and for good reason. While it’s not rocket science, it does require a lot of preparation and a certain level of knowledge and skill to achieve results that both look good and create the right protective barrier for your home based on its location and construction. If you notice any of the following on the exterior of your home, it may be time to call a local house painter for an estimate.
Chipping, Peeling or Cracking Exterior Paint
Signs of wear and tear on the exterior of your home can drastically affect its curb appeal and leave it vulnerable to damaging elements. The lifespan of exterior paint or stain varies depending on several factors, and high-traffic areas, exposure to direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions can accelerate the deterioration of the paint film. If you notice chipping, cracking or peeling paint, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for a fresh coat.
Fading & Discoloration
Continuous exposure to UV rays can cause paint to fade and lose its original color, especially at high elevations where the sun is much more intense than at sea level. If you notice a significant change in the hue or if the paint appears dull and lackluster, it might be time for a repaint.
Cracks in Caulk
Caulk is used to seal joints between your home’s exterior building materials to keep them intact and protect your home’s exterior from the elements. If your home’s caulk is showing wear or starting to crack, it’s a good sign that it’s time for an exterior paint job and overall re-caulking.
Shrinking Wood & Gaps Between Boards
In addition to not looking great, gaps between boards on your home’s exterior can indicate a bigger problem. Shrinking wood and gaps may be a warning sign that moisture is seeping into the wood – which can eventually result in mildew, mold and/or dry rot. And while gaps and shrinking boards can be caused by wood in serious need of restaining or repainting, it’s important to have a professional check your home’s exterior for any needed repairs before applying a new coat.
Painting in High Elevation & Mountain Conditions: When to Not Paint Outside
High elevation and mountain conditions pose unique challenges when it comes to exterior painting. The weather and climate play a crucial role in the longevity and performance of the paint job. They also play a big role in when you can paint outside. Exterior painting can only be done when the temperature is roughly above 50° and below 90°, and there is no fear of rain. In the mountains, this typically equates to late spring/early summer and fall.
There are other factors to consider when painting in high elevations and mountain conditions.
In mountainous areas, temperature fluctuations can be extreme – particularly during the ideal seasons for exterior painting. Rapid temperature changes can cause paint to expand and contract, leading to cracking or peeling.
Moisture and Humidity
Mountain regions often experience higher levels of moisture and humidity. Moisture can seep into the paint film, leading to mold, mildew and paint degradation. Thankfully, this isn’t something we have to worry about in Park City, as we enjoy Utah’s dry, high-desert climate (and the Best Snow on Earth).
Mountainous areas like Park City often receive higher levels of sun exposure due to the elevation. Intense UV rays can quickly cause fading and premature aging of your home’s exterior paint.
Cost to Paint a House Exterior
Regularly maintaining the exterior of your home is well worth the expense. In terms of the actual cost to paint a house exterior, that number will vary greatly depending on the size of the home, the condition of the current paint or stain, any extraneous prep work and many other factors. In general, you can expect to pay $1.50 to $4 per square foot for professional painters to paint the exterior of your home.
If you have any questions about painting your home or our services, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.