Ask an Expert

By Tom Lopatosky

How do I know if it is time to paint the exterior of my home?

My name is Tom Lopatosky. I’m the President of LOPCO Contracting ( and I’m honored to have the opportunity to talk to you about home improvement on a monthly basis. I love answering your questions! Please send them to or call 401-270-2664. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this column!

Over our almost 25 years of being in business, this is a question that we have heard repeatedly, often at this time of year, when people are fine tuning their home improvement project ‘to-do’ lists in anticipation of Spring weather that really will be here before we know it!

The answer sometimes may be obvious. If the exterior of your home has widespread peeling and has not been painted for ten years or more, it is surely a good bet to seriously consider addressing the painting of the exterior as soon as possible.

Other times, the answer is not as obvious. Sometimes your home may not have been painted for close to ten years (or more!) and there is not a lick of peeling but the color is not what it once was – now the answer becomes centered around cosmetics as one really has to decide if they would like to freshen things up and address things with a new coat of paint.

Certain things that one can look for that are signs that it may be time to consider properly addressing the coating on your home’s exterior:

Excessive mildew (black speckly stuff!!!) – perhaps the mildew resistance of the previous coating has worn off and it is time to address this
Beyond-sporadic peeling – if your home is only peeling here and there, maybe it could be just ‘touched-up’ or painted where needed, if not, perhaps a total overhaul is needed
Color fading – each side of your home “weathers” differently than the other sides – if it seems that the color has weathered to the point where it is inconsistent from one side to another, it could very well need to be freshened-up
Checking or cracking of its coating – your home may not look like it is peeling upon first glance, but if you walk up to it and really inspect the paint coating on each side of the home and it appears to have tiny cracks in it, I would certainly suggest addressing things right away – this is where things start to go and if you can catch it in time, you may save yourself a boatload of time and/or money by addressing things at this point

The answer as to when to repaint one’s home can sometimes be apparent and sometimes not so much.

The key is to inspect it at least once each year and when something seems out of whack to jump on it right away!!

About Tom Lopatosky: Tom Lopatosky has run his own carpentry and painting business in Providence since 1995; LOPCO Contracting – the “Personable, Particular Professionals” – specializes in carpentry and exterior & interior painting. Recently LOPCO Contracting was named ‘RI’s Finest Painting Contracting Company’ by ShopInRI Magazine. In 2013, Tom was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) and a “40 Under 40” award winner by Providence Business News. He is a member of both the PDCA and RIBA (Rhode Island Builders Association). Tom has weekly ‘Home Improvement Tips’ that air on the radio on 630 WPRO AM (during the weekday morning news) and on television on WPRI 12 (during the Saturday morning news).