Blistering Paintwork

Understanding the Causes of Blistering Paintwork on a Plastered Wall

Blistering paint on a plastered wall
Blistering paint and other paint issues on plastered walls can be caused by various factors, from moisture to improper surface preparation.

Have you ever noticed those paint issues such as unsightly bubbles forming beneath the paint on your plastered walls? It’s a frustrating sight, especially after putting in the effort to paint them. Blistering paintwork can ruin the aesthetics of your walls and leave you wondering what went wrong.

Understanding What Causes Blistering Paint

Moisture Infiltration

One of the primary reasons for blistering paint is moisture seeping through the plaster. Whether it’s from cracks, leaks, high humidity, or inadequate waterproofing, moisture can wreak havoc on your paint job.

Poor Surface Preparation

Rushing through the surface preparation phase can lead to adhesion issues between the plaster and paint layers. Failure to clean, sand, or prime the surface adequately prevents the paint from bonding securely, resulting in blisters.

Low-Quality Paint or Primer

Using subpar paint or primer products might save you money upfront but could cost you dearly in the long run. Inferior formulations are more prone to blistering, especially when applied to plastered walls.

Paint Application in Extreme Conditions

Painting in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight can impact the paint’s ability to adhere properly to the plaster. Similarly, applying paint to damp surfaces or during high humidity levels can lead to blister formation.

Treating Blistered Paint on Walls

Painting over the Blistered Paint on Walls

While you can paint over blisters, addressing the underlying issues is crucial. Ignoring them may lead to recurring problems. Sand the affected areas, repair any damage, prime the surface, and repaint for a lasting solution.

Preventing Blistering Paint on Plastered Walls

Ensure proper surface preparation by cleaning and priming the walls before painting. Use high-quality paint and primer suitable for plaster surfaces. Additionally, address any moisture issues promptly to safeguard against future blistering.

Quick Fixes for Blistering Paint

Quick fixes such as puncturing the blisters and applying a new coat of paint may offer temporary relief but are not advisable. However, to prevent recurrence, it’s essential to identify and rectify the root cause of the blistering.

Address the issues to prevent blistering paint.

Blistering paint on plastered walls can be a frustrating setback, but understanding its causes is the first step toward effective resolution. By addressing issues such as moisture infiltration from cracks, rising damp, falling damp, penetrating damp, inadequate surface preparation, and using quality materials, you can achieve a flawless finish that stands the test of time. Remember, a well-executed paint job not only enhances the aesthetics of your house but also protects your walls from damage. Take the time to tackle the problem at its source and enjoy walls that exude beauty and durability for years to come.

A Maintenance Home Inspection will help solve many issues you may have in your home with cracking, paint issues and leaks. You get a comprehensive inspection and report with photos which will highlight the maintenance issues you should take care of.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » rising damp

How to monitor cracks

Worried About Cracks In Your House? Having Sleepless Nights?

crack
Here the foundation on the corner of the domestic bathroom had subsidised! Disguising cracks with paint and Polyfilla won’t work! You need to find the cause first and fix that before you patch walls!
crack
The problem here was with the pooling of water on the paving and the level of the paving being close to or at the floor level of the bathroom. In addition, it appears the bath waste or water supply may be leaking.

How to monitor cracks in your walls and floors!

Often, home buyers and homeowners are worried by cracks in the house and boundary walls, especially plastered walls!

The good news is that, generally, concrete, stone, brick and masonry walls and concrete or screeded floors that have cracks less than 1 mm wide (the thickness of a credit card) are common and usually do not warrant any corrective action. Most of these small tight cracks are caused by normal shrinkage as the moisture in the walls and floors evaporates over time or settlement of the structure which usually occurs within the first few years after construction.

Be warned, however, that changes in condition around the structure may also cause settlement many years later! Examples are planting a new garden or tree or removing a garden or tree that is against or close to the house.

Crack Fillers

Note that all cracks should be sealed with paint, caulk (sealer) or mortar to prevent water from getting into the structure.

Moreover, if a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal masonry crack is filled with hard masonry patching compound, any substantial future movement is likely to show up as a new crack in the patched area or nearby.  Therefore, always use a non-shrinking grout to prevent stressing yourself!

Continued movement

Cracks that continue to move are a reason for concern! Continued movement in cracks should be evaluated as there may be a need for corrective action. Therefore, if you notice a crack has re-cracked or the crack has opened or gotten larger it should be monitored! However, first, make sure there is no shrinkage of the filler product.  All cracks that are 5 mm and greater should be carefully monitored to ensure there is no continued movement.

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Indoor Air Polution

Clearing The Air

Indoor air pollution, mould and asthma are a serious issues in many homes!

When it comes to assessing your family’s indoor air environment there are 5 categories of concern to consider! South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs is not concerned with residential indoor air quality! As a result, we need to learn what indoor air quality is from America’s Environmental Protection Agency. They have identified 5 danger levels of indoor pollution. Indoor air pollution is a major human health issue worldwide under normal conditions. However, poor indoor air quality and mould cause asthma attacks that are worsened when you and your family spend most of your time indoors.

Homes with windows and doors closed lack adequate ventilation. In addition, the lack of airbricks increased insulation and better-sealing windows and doors make new homes much more energy-efficient than older houses. As a result, in new homes, it is even more difficult to get fresh clean air into the home.

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Stormwater

Homes without Gutters 

stormwater

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If you are like many homeowners, you have probably wondered why some houses have no gutters to protect against stormwater. You may have wished your own home had none because of the cleaning and maintenance issues.

Gutters are not required by law on a sloping roof. Many modern homes have none, even in instances where they would benefit from having them. There are alternatives that architects sometimes prefer such as concrete paving around the perimeter of your house.

To decide for yourself whether rainwater gutters are necessary for your home, it is best to first learn what the building regulations require.

The Building Regulations do not require roof gutters and downpipes if another suitable means of drainage has been provided to remove or disperse rainwater from the roof away from your home.

However, the Building Regulations do require that any stormwater that flows from your roof or any area that is near your home must not cause damage to the interior of the building, its structure or its structural elements. The regulations require steps to be taken to ensure that stormwater does not accumulate in a way that“unduly inconveniences” you as the occupant of your home.

Furthermore, the system used must:

  1. not undercut the foundations by erosion or flooding
  2. drain stormwater away from your home
  3. not allow stormwater to accumulate against or close to the external walls
  4. make provision for the drainage of any areas on the property where water pools
  5. be capable of being easily maintained and cleaned
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Leaks at Window Sills

Moisture Intrusion at Window Sills

window sills

During many property inspections, I keep coming across moisture problems associated with water leaking into window sills and at windows.

Moisture absorbed into brickwork and plasterwork causes them to expand slightly. When the brickwork and plasterwork dry they contract slightly. The water absorbed by the bricks and plasterwork usually causes a slight vertical crack at the edges of the internal sills. The paint then starts to bubble along the vertical crack. This crack may continue around the length of the window sill before you notice it. What started as a small vertical crack then became a horizontal crack along the bottom of the window sill on the interior face of the wall.

The cracks are usually not significant unless allowed to continue unabated.

Rising Damp

Sometimes the moisture intrusion at sills is mistaken for rising damp! Water leaking in at the window sill may bypass the damp proof course (DPC) built in under the sill as a water-resistant barrier. The moisture may then appear as bubbling paint or crazing cracking of plasterwork, or both, below the window, extending down to floor level.

On external face-brick walls, this may appear as efflorescence (a white powder).

Internally, this may appear as bubbling paint above the skirting or discolouration of the skirting itself.

How do you prevent moisture intrusion into window sills?

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