Breakdown of Painted Surfaces with Many Coats of Paint
Common Painting Problems
All painted surfaces will eventually peel. The degree of paint failure is often governed by the number of coats on the surface, and the age of these coats. As years pass, and coats of paint are applied at normal intervals for cosmetic and maintenance reasons. The coats closer to the original surface lose their elasticity, or ability to flex, with seasonal expansion and contraction. As these lower coats of paint crack, this crack will work its way through the subsequent coats, and surface as a hair line crack on the top coat. Unfortunately, every crack represents an entry point for moisture, and, over time, wood rot will set in.
In their earlier stages, these cracks are few and far between. This is called “checking.” If the coats of paint are more numerous, and the cracks are deeper, this condition is called “cracking.” When there are many cracks arranged almost geometrically in high concentration, this is called “alligatoring,” and is the most advanced stage of multiple coat breakdown.
All of these conditions are potential causes of wood rot, and must be repaired prior to the application of the finish coat. If they are not repaired, the fresh coat of paint will assume the existing cracks, and even though your home is repainted, the paint will not provide protection from the elements, specifically rain. Fortunately, Student Works Painting is able to repair checking, cracking, and alligatoring. Depending on the degree of paint breakdown, your Operator can discuss your options with you and the ability to guarantee the work.
The most effective solution is to remove all existing coats of paint, either by heat gun, propane torch, or with chemical strippers. Once to bare wood, it will be sanded, primed, and appropriately caulked prior to a finish coat. Unfortunately this solution is very time consuming, but will remedy the problem, and last a very long time. We guarantee it for three years. If budgetary constraints prohibit this treatment to your entire home, many clients opt for this solution in high traffic areas where aesthetic beauty is important.
In most other areas, a firm, thorough scrape will be effective, followed by a thorough sanding (often with an electric sander), and a spot prime is sufficient. It will not result in a perfectly smooth surface, as ridges in the old coats of paint will be evident, but the surface will be sealed, and your wood protected. This type of work is also guaranteed.
Unfortunately, some surfaces are “too far gone,” and beyond repair. Consequently, only cosmetic repairs are possible, and we will be unable to guarantee the longevity of the paint job. Your Operator will be able to alert you to such areas if they exist on your home.