Paint Problems: How to Remove Cracks and Bubbles on Your Home Exterior

Exposed to the blistering sun, torrential rains, and extreme temperature shifts, the paint on the outside walls of your house take a severe beating every day. And without proper maintenance, that paint will break down over time.

Common exterior paint problems include blistering, cracking, chalking, peeling, and even mildew. These types of damage make your house look neglected and ugly, which also lowers your property value. If the paint on your exterior walls has the following damage, show your home some love by freshening up its coating.

1. Chalking

Paint binders sometimes self-clean by releasing pigment broken down by the weather, which is the fine, chalk-like powder that accumulates on the surface of the paint film. Some amount of chalking is normal because of this process, especially for light-colored paint. Severe chalking, however, is bad news. The excess chalk can run off and stain the adjacent parts of your house.

Remove the powder first by power or pressure washing the wall. You can also scrub it down with a trisodium phosphate cleaning solution. Repaint with a high-quality latex house paint once all the chalking residue is gone.

2. Blistering

Small- and medium-sized bubbles appear on the paint film when the wall is in direct sunlight. Blistering is also commonly seen on wood sidings because the material tends to trap moisture, which expands the paint film.

Scrape away the blisters and sand the wood bare. Make sure to sand and repaint the wall or siding in non-humid conditions and without direct sunlight. Let the surface dry before applying a coating of high-quality latex paint. You also want to recaulk the area around your doors and windows to reduce moisture.

3. Peeling


Peeling is the most common exterior paint problem. It can either be caused by poor adhesion or excessive indoor or outdoor moisture. Peeling due to improper adhesion happens when the surface was dirty or wet when the paint was applied. Excess moisture, whether indoor or outdoor, weakens the grip of the paint on the wall as well, causing the film to flake.

Remove peeling paint from your exterior walls by scraping them away. Feather-sand the affected areas to smoothen out the surface then spot prime before applying anything else. Caulk the wall or siding with the appropriate product, depending on the material of the surface. Let it dry then repaint it with high-quality acrylic paint.

4. Mildew

Mildew grows on moist caulk or paint films, usually due to poor ventilation or wall prepping before painting. You can easily identify a mildew problem by its black or green splotches.

Scrub away the mildew using a trisodium phosphate cleaning solution. You can also dissolve one-part bleach in three-parts water. Leave the solution on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse with clean water. Let the surface dry completely before repainting.

Keep your house in top condition by freshening up your exterior walls before the paint job severely deteriorates. If the damage can’t be fixed with minor repairs, hire a residential paint specialist to touch up your walls.

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