Peeling is for Bananas

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

peeling paint on dormerPeeling is for bananas, but not for paint. Peeling exterior paint is all too common a find during home inspections here in Connecticut. Take for example this dormer, one of three on this side of the home. In total this home had five, all with peeling paint and wood decay.

The problem began before paint was even applied to the wood. The clapboards were installed right against the roof shingles. Ideally there should be a gap left between the wood and the roof. When the paint was applied the section of wood against the roof never received primer or paint.

Bare wood does not do well exposed to the elements. In addition that is the end grain of the clapboard wood. End grain sucks up water like a sponge. Repeatedly wet wood starts paint to peeling. Next comes the decay. The trim detail in the lower picture shows that a good amount of rot exists on these boards.Wood decay

There is no secret to painting and protecting wood. Leave room for the wood to breath. Prep ALL sides of the wood, then prime and paint. Repeat as necessary.  




James Quarello
2010 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.


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Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

James, it seems simple to avoid rot... prep the wood, prime and paint. Rinse and repeat. So was this an original builder issue?

Sep 17, 2010 02:18 PM #1
Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker
Hello Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

I love bananas and not peeling paint. In Santa Fe, our 7500 ft altitude is a work out for paint on wood, especially on windows. Many people will hire a handy man who of course forgets to prep the wood and prime. Not a good solution for the windows, but a strategy for repeat business. Good post!

Sep 17, 2010 03:21 PM #2
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

This is good to know.  I work with wood indoors.  I never really thought about it for outside, but I often recommend a great local painter (CertaPro Painters) who makes sure everything is done well - both so it looks good now and later.  I guess it's even more critical for exteriors to have a good painter.

Sep 17, 2010 10:50 PM #3
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hey Jim.  Yepper!

No primey, no sticky.

No tickey, no laundry.

I think those are two universals all should take into account.

But that's just me...

Sep 18, 2010 04:14 AM #4
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

James.....The secret is in the preparation - take short cuts and watch the peeling and rotting begin.

Sep 18, 2010 04:48 AM #5
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kate, I would say yes because the wood was right against the roof.

Emily, Repeat business could be the motivation for bad work, but I like to think not.

Debbie, For sure, the elements will deteriorate whatever is not protected.

Jay, No watchy, no ticky tocky. Is that universal?

Carra, You hit it right on the head, good painting starts with proper preparation.

Sep 18, 2010 08:37 AM #6
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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