Q: My Port Charlotte house is only four years old, but some of my neighbors are already repainting their homes of the same age. Isn't four years a little early?
A: Although a properly prepared paint job should last about five to seven years, repainting a tract house a few years sooner is usually a good idea to protect your investment. Most production homes are painted with a single coat and there are usually no trees around to help protect them from the sun or wind. Within a couple of years some of the paint may wear away, exposing bare wood.
This is particularly evident on the less expensive T-1-11 vertical siding typically applied to the sides and backs of newer houses. Since the paint on the horizontal siding on the front of houses usually holds up longer, homeowners often don't notice deterioration occurring sooner around the rest of their home.
Also, production homes are often not sealed with caulking around windows, doors, where the trim meets the siding or stucco, or where trim is butted together. As the house dries out in the summer heat, the wood shrinks and forms gaps, which expand over time to allow rain water into the walls and underhangs. This can also cause drafts and affect your energy bills by allowing heated or cooled air to escape.
Having a professional painter waterproof and paint your house now will fill these gaps and help your wood siding and trim last longer. If you have stucco, painting will preserve its insulating value to keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.