As we move towards spring it is time to start thinking about what needs maintenance. Many of the homes in our neighborhood are passing their first decade. Because of this, many of the painted exteriors of our homes are showing their age.
It is important to repaint when wear-and-tear shows to help prevent premature damage to siding and trim. This includes damage from the sun, water, and mold. As such, it takes a lot of that damage itself. This can be seen in fading (or chalking), or when very far along as uneven color due to the siding showing through in thinner areas of the paint.
Most of the siding in the neighborhood is hardie board. This strong material is a fiber cement board, capable of withstanding our rough weather. The siding itself is good for 50 or more years, if maintained. It is naturally resistant to rot, but any damage or non-sealed edge can be an issue with water and fast temperature changes. When it starts to damage, it will delaminate or warp. Paint provides a good seal over the edges.
Trim differs across the neighborhood, from hardie board to wood. Once wood trim shows any discoloration or wear it should be painted. Mold and mildew will start to grow quickly, spreading under the paint. It is an accelerating process, as mold holds more water in the wood and is able to draw moisture out of the air. Once compromised it becomes a potential leak into the home if the wood penetrates the siding, such as with a gable vent.