Home Inspection – Common Concerns With Paint On Walls And Anything else

By on July 8, 2017

Paint is one of the nemesis of home inspection. This can be confusing to some as what can be more refreshing that a minty coat of paint on a house you are buying over?

The concern is that when properties are being “readied” for the market, homeowners (sometimes on the advice of agents) stage their houses to create that dreamy feeling when you first step in.

And one of the key steps of staging a home for sale is to paint over every observable defect there is… as long as it is possible.

This leaves a huge challenge for a home inspector.

If you are lucky, the seller ran out of time to cover every detail. Leaving some defective areas that can only be found with meticulous eye-power.

Whatever you situation is, here are the common concerns with paint.

1) Smell of paint

An obvious sign that the house or specific areas or room have been freshly painted over is the scent of paint.

Paint takes weeks, and sometimes months, for it’s wicked aroma to dissipate completely.

And if you walk into an area filled with the strong scent of paint, you should be more alert in picking out defects or signs of defects as it’s highly suspicious that something is being hidden somewhere. Something that the seller is desperately hiding from you.

2) Doesn’t fully hide over the first layer

If you have ever conducted a paint job yourself, you’d probably understand why there is a common practice of applying at least 2 coats of paint on the wall or cabinets.

The first layer is white. While the second layer will be the color you desire. This is so that your chosen color will have a clean white base for it to apply on. Making it more vivid.

If the top layer does not fully cover the base paint, or does not adhere well, it is a sign of either:

  • bad workmanship
  • inferior painting technique
  • low quality paint
  • paint that was not blended and prepared properly
  • all of the above

You will need to wash and sand of the inferior paint and apply a new one if you want to fully rectify this problem.

That can be one hell of a job on your hands!

3) Bleed through of older stains

When you apply a new coat of paint over an old water stain, you might be happy inside that you are removing the unsightly stain for good.

But then it reappears through the new paint!

This happens because the stain was not covered with a sealant before application of the new paint. If this was not done, what else would you expect to happen?

Having said this, it is more important to find and repair the source of the moisture to eradicate the problem once and for all.

4) Moldy on top

Nature has it’s ways of finding a way.

When moisture in a home is conducive for mold to grow, they very often start at the top.

This is a sign of a bigger problem. You might have a leaking roof or exterior.

If you don’t get the source fixed before applying new paint, the issue of mold is just going to come back in the near future.

5) Lead

Lead contained in paint is a legitimate health hazard.

A sample test has to be conducted to determine whether or not there is a presence of lead in the paint.

This is an issue that you should not turn a blind eye to if the results turn out positive.

While there is little danger of lead dispersion as long as the paint is not disturbed, you should not be satisfied by just painting a new layer of paint over it as that is only a solution for the short term.

Do check with the authorities about your responsibilities when unsure.



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