Cracked Caulking

Cracked caulking around crown moulding is typical in many newer homes. They can be caused by settlement, as well as aging of the materials used.

Many times the moisture content is fairly high when the wood is installed. As the moisture content stabilizes the wood shrinks. This can stress the caulk and cause a crack.

The type of caulk used can also play a role. Lower quality caulks have less adhesive qualities and are not as elastic. As the caulk ages it becomes harder and more brittle. Combined with any movement or shrinkage, the caulk will crack.

The solution is to simply re-caulk and paint. It is usually not necessary to remove the old caulk, unless the adhesion has failed completely and the caulk is literally falling out.

Fish Eyes

A neighbor recently painted his kitchen walls. He soon noticed tiny craters in the new paint. He asked me to look at the problem.
The problem was “fish eyes.” The problem is usually caused by applying the paint over a surface that hasn’t been properly cleaned. Contaminants, such as oil or grease, can prevent the new paint from properly adhering. As the paint film dries, it draws away from those areas. The result is a small area with very thin paint or no paint.The solution was to clean the areas where the problem was evident, spot prime, and then repaint.

Flaking Paint on Windows

Flaking paint on wood windows is a commons problem, particularly on older homes. Most paint failures have moisture as a contributing factor. On wood windows, the moisture could be the result of a leak or condensation.

If you see light brown stains in the same area as the flaking paint, it is likely a leak. The water is picking up dirt and other contaminants and leaving a residue on the surface. Check the outside of your windows for rotted wood, cracked caulking, or other openings.

If there is no staining in those areas, condensation is the likely cause. Condensation will usually only occur on the inside of windows in the winter and on the outside of the windows in the summer.