To Paint, or Not to Paint? 1 Simple Step to Find out
I cannot verify this, but sources tell me Socrates himself once wrestled with this very question: to paint, or not to paint? It’s a serious question, because statistics show that in 2017 it costs between $1.16 and $2.45 per square foot to paint the exterior of your house. Take the square footage of your house and multiply by a number in middle somewhere, let’s say $2.00, and you might be looking at a price tag to make the wallet sweat.
Good news – there’s a great chance you don’t need a paint job, and every day we help our customers navigate through this pickle to determine the best solution for their home’s exterior. Here’s an overview to point you in the right direction.
Step 1: Determine the Real Problem with your Paint
There are a wide variety of stressors that can have an adverse effect to your home’s exterior paint job. Some require serious attention like paint and carpentry work, and others are much easier and budget-friendly to solve than you might think. Let’s start with the worst-case scenario so we can move onto brighter things.
Here are a few common signs that may indicate you should look into a paint and/or carpentry consultation:
- Simple aging leading to discoloration, cracking, flaking, or fading
- Water damage and rot to wood and other exterior building materials (See: Why gutter cleaning is so Essential)
- Damage from foreign objects such as insects, storm debris, teenage drivers, etc.
But far more often – and this is the good news – in the muggy, rainy climate of southeast Tennessee, your paint is simply dirty. In some situations – and without proper maintenance – we’ve seen paint accumulate dirt, mold, and mildew in less than one year in the Memphis area. It’s tricky to keep up with, but thank your lucky stars because it’s far more affordable than a paint job!
Consider these factors that may indicate your home just needs a good pressure washing:
- Your home is in a very shady lot, with a lot of trees and not much direct sunlight
- Your home is close to the road, and there’s a lot of traffic kicking up dirt and dust
- Your home is near a construction site, and there’s a lot of construction debris floating around
- Your home has a north face that doesn’t get much direct sunlight (pretty much everyone)
But in spite of these signs of a dirty house, sometimes it’s very hard to tell without a trained eye or a very tall ladder the true state of your paint. In the Memphis area, there are loads of 3 or even 4-story houses where it would be quite difficult to know what’s going on at the top of a tall eave or gable. Some customers have even used garden hoses to spray siding, which does absolutely nothing to dirt that’s had time to dry, mold, and mildew.
This is where the experts come in, and we recommend calling us for a free consult on how to proceed. We have friends in the painting business that can accommodate your price range if you need paint, whether you’re thinking “Just pick a color and paint the dang thing” or “I want the best custom painting contractor in Memphis.”
But to reiterate, based on our rough mental math, there’s probably a 65% percent chance you just need a housewash. These cost between $150.00 to $375.00 for the average Memphis home (some rare exceptions for the monster houses), and of course we ALWAYS give you a firm quote up front.
Thanks for reading, I hope it helped. Visit our Memphis Pressure Washing for more information.
As usual, shoot me an email and ask me anything!