Are you suspecting your house’s exterior paint is wearing down? Spotting the right moment for a fresh exterior house painting can be easy with the correct knowledge. Being alert to these warning signals can protect your property and retain its value. At Leon Painting, a painting company in Houston, TX, we understand the importance of safeguarding your home’s exterior, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 5 exterior painting red flags that suggest it’s time for a professional touch-up.

Flaking or Splitting Paint

One of the most noticeable signs that your house could do with a professional repaint is flaking or splitting paint. This is often referred to as alligatoring by professional painters, owing to the resemblance of cracked paint to an alligator’s skin. This degradation typically develops when water seeps between various layers of paint, visible as pale, white, or clear spots on your exterior walls.

Flaking or splitting paint usually results from insufficient preparation before painting, use of subpar paint, extreme weather conditions like high heat and robust wind, or simply age; even with consistent maintenance, the paint’s luster and vibrancy can diminish over time.

Ignoring this could lead to more significant damage by letting moisture into your walls, possibly resulting in decay and mold development. Also, it subtracts from the overall aesthetic charm of a house, potentially negatively affecting its market value.

Fading Paint

Paint fading is an unavoidable occurrence that exterior walls experience over time due to exposure to the sun, wind, rain, and other weather elements. These conditions break the chemical bonds within the paint, leading to discoloration and a decrease in vibrancy. While some dimming is normal, excessive dimming could suggest poor-quality paint or inadequate preparation.

Remember, not all paints offer the same durability or resistance to fading. Low-quality paint tends to fade quicker than high-quality ones because they lack UV inhibitors that shield against the sun’s rays and deceleration of degradation. Additionally, primer plays a vital role in preventing new paint from dimming too swiftly by providing a base coat that helps to keep out water and other elements.

The best defense against dimming paint is vigilance. Regularly inspect your home’s exterior (at least every three months) for signs of discoloration or color change, and promptly address any issues. Consider having your home professionally repainted if necessary, or use touch-ups for smaller areas where significant dimming has occurred; this will protect your property from further damage while restoring its aesthetic appeal.

Mold, Mildew, or Stains

The presence of mold, mildew, or stains can greatly detract from your home’s value and even pose a health risk. These organic growth forms occur when moisture infiltrates porous materials such as wood or drywall, often due to inadequate ventilation, roof or plumbing leaks, or flooding. Stains can result from various sources like dirt and debris carried by rain, air pollutants, or animal waste.

If you notice mold, mildew, or stains on your house’s exterior, it’s crucial to act quickly. Mold spores can spread, posing respiratory issues and allergies to occupants. Moreover, moisture trapped in porous building materials can cause decay, compromising structural integrity over time.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and then dry these surfaces thoroughly. It’s not advisable to paint or caulk over moldy surfaces since paint is likely to peel. Instead, remove mold thoroughly and dry the surfaces before painting.


Chalking is a normal part of paint degradation that occurs when the binder in paint breaks down over time due to weathering. During this process, the binding agent releases the pigment, which surfaces as a chalky white residue on the exterior. Various factors can lead to chalking, such as substandard paint, inadequate primer, or harsh weather conditions.

Preventive measures can slow down the chalking process and maintain the paint’s integrity. This may involve using high-quality paints with strong adhesion properties, regular surface cleaning to remove dirt and debris, and applying a fresh primer and paint coat every few years. If chalking has already occurred, it’s best to have a professional pressure wash the area before repainting to remove any chalkiness without causing damage to the underlying materials.

Bubbling or Blistering Paint

Bubbling or blistering paint occurs when moisture gets trapped under the surface, leading to air pockets that push the paint away from the substrate. The culprits are usually insufficient surface preparation, the use of low-quality paints, or applying another coat before the previous one has fully dried. To prevent this, it’s crucial to use high-quality paint and primer with strong adhesion properties, clean and prepare surfaces thoroughly before painting, and allow each coating to fully dry before adding another.

In addition, ensuring proper ventilation during application will help reduce humidity levels, which can contribute to bubbling and blistering. Using fans pointed towards the painted area can help circulate air and aid in the drying process. Taking these preventive measures will help keep your paint looking fresh for longer.

Leon Painting: Your Go-To Choice for Exterior Painting Services

Recognizing the red flags that your paint needs a refresh, including mold, mildew, stains, chalking, and bubbling/blistering paint, is essential. Taking preventative measures such as using high-quality paints with strong adhesion properties will help safeguard your home from decay over time. When you’re seeking a trustworthy painting company in the Houston, TX area – including River Oaks, Bellaire, West University, The Woodlands, and Cypress – you can rely on Leon Painting! Our team is dedicated to quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.

Check out our reviews on Google and see why we are the premier choice for exterior painting services! Call us at 832-843-1222 to begin transforming the look of your home!