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Dealing with Exterior Paint Challenges: 5 Common Issues and Solutions

Homeowners in Ottawa encounter a familiar set of exterior challenges with their homes, repeated season after season. Ottawa's weather is notorious – from heavy rain and snow to the scorching sun of summer, our homes bear the brunt of it all. These weather extremes inevitably lead to damage, making proper maintenance and periodic repainting essential to uphold the beauty and integrity of our homes.

In this article, we'll delve into the five most common exterior painting issues experienced by Ottawa homeowners. But fear not! We're not just here to highlight the problems; we're here to provide practical solutions that will not only restore your home's appearance but also ensure it remains in top shape for years to come.

5 Common Exterior Problems

1. Peeling and Flaking

Peeling and flaking paint are common exterior issues characterised by the paint coming off the surface in small chips or flakes. This problem often occurs due to poor adhesion between the paint and the substrate. Factors such as moisture infiltration, inadequate surface preparation, or using low-quality paint can contribute to peeling and flaking.

2. Blistering

Blistering refers to the formation of bubbles or blisters on the painted surface, typically caused by trapped moisture or heat. When moisture gets trapped beneath the paint film and cannot escape, it creates pressure that leads to blister formation. Blistering can also occur if the surface is painted when it's too hot or if there's inadequate surface preparation.

3. Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew growth on exterior surfaces appear as black, green, or brown spots and patches. These fungal growths thrive in damp, humid environments and often develop on surfaces with poor ventilation or areas exposed to frequent moisture. Mold and mildew not only detract from the appearance of the home but can also cause health concerns if left untreated.

4. Fading

Fading occurs when exterior paint loses its colour intensity over time due to exposure to sunlight, weathering, and environmental factors. UV radiation from the sun is a primary cause of fading, breaking down the pigments in the paint and causing it to lose its vibrancy. Fading is more noticeable on darker colours and can significantly impact the overall curb appeal of the home.

5. Uneven Paint Application

Uneven paint application manifests as streaks, roller marks, drips, or areas with uneven coverage on the painted surface. This issue can result from improper painting techniques, using low-quality tools, or applying paint under unfavourable weather conditions. Uneven paint application not only affects the aesthetic appeal of the home but also compromises the protective function of the paint.

Solutions for Exterior Painting Problems

1. Proper Cleaning of Surfaces

Some of the common exterior issues homeowners face, as mentioned above, include the challenge of getting rid of tough dirt, grime, mold, and mildew growth. The solution to that problem would be to properly and thoroughly wash these surfaces with heavy-duty products that will effectively remove these contaminants, leaving you with a super clean surface. 

To achieve a clean surface, we recommend using Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), a powerful cleaning agent that effectively removes contaminants from exterior surfaces. However, it's important to handle TSP with care as it can be harsh on the skin. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing when using this product.

To use TSP:

  1. Mix the TSP with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Apply the TSP solution to the surface (spraying is best for larger areas), ensuring complete coverage.
  3. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for a few minutes to penetrate and loosen dirt and grime.
  4. Scrub the surface thoroughly with a sponge, brush or rag 
  5. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water to remove any remaining residue.
  6. If the surface is particularly dirty, we recommend repeating the cleaning process as needed until the surface is clean and free of contaminants.

By following these steps and using TSP, you can effectively clean exterior surfaces, treating mould and mildew, removing grime and dirt, ultimately ensuring better adhesion and a smoother finish for the new paint.

2. Addressing Problem Areas

If you're grappling with common exterior paint issues like peeling or bubbling, tackling the problem head-on is crucial. Begin by meticulously scraping off any peeling or flaking paint and removing bubbles from the surface. Follow up with thorough sanding using a power sander to ensure a smooth, even texture. This meticulous prep work is fundamental as it primes the surface for the new coat of paint. By removing imperfections and creating a clean canvas, the surface becomes receptive to multiple layers of paint, ensuring a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish.

3. Proper Paints and Application

Using the right paints and applying them correctly are essential components of a successful exterior painting job. Beyond just a thoroughly cleaned and prepared surface, opting for high-quality exterior paints and stains is paramount. Look for products that offer a warranty, such as All Pro Painters' 2-year warranty on exterior paints and projects. Investing in top-of-the-line paints ensures proper bonding to the surface, guarding against future peeling or damage from the elements. Equally important is the application process. Avoid applying paint too thickly, as this can hinder proper bonding, while also steering clear of overly thin coats. If navigating these nuances feels overwhelming, entrusting the task to professionals who understand the precise amount of paint to apply ensures a flawless finish that will endure beautifully for years to come.


In conclusion, tackling exterior painting challenges in Ottawa demands proactive solutions. From peeling to fading, each issue requires tailored remedies. By employing proper cleaning, addressing problem areas, and using high-quality paints, homeowners ensure a lasting finish. For a flawless transformation or to fix any issues, schedule a free estimate with All Pro Painters. Let's revitalize your home together - click here to get started!


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