How To Fix Alligatoring Walls
Alligatoring paint is paint that has cracked in a pattern that resembles an alligator’s scales. This unattractive cracked paint makes a building look poorly maintained. A well-maintained building preserves property values and the quality of the community. For commercial property, good maintenance is essential to attracting renters or customers. Follow these tips to fix current issues and prevent future problems.
Fix Current Issues
Alligatoring paint can occur for a variety of reasons:
when a top coat of paint is applied over an undercoat that is not completely dry
when a rigid substance, such as alkyd enamel, has been applied over something more flexible, such as a latex primer
it can also be a natural effect of aging and weather changes on oil-based paint
Unfortunately, the best solution to fix alligatoring is to remove all the paint from the paint job, even if the paint has not cracked everywhere, and repaint the whole building or section of the building. That way, the colors will match and alligatoring will not occur in more places.*
* If some paint has cracked, it’s very likely that all areas painted at the same time will crack in the future. If you just paint over the other areas, the underlying layers will crack and ruin the newly painted surfaces.
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Prevent Future Problems
To prevent alligatoring:
apply a high-quality primer before repainting
make sure each layer of primer or paint dries completely before applying another coat
be sure not to apply a rigid substance over a more flexible one
if the cracking occurred with an old oil-based paint, consider using a different type of paint that is not as prone to cracking as it ages, especially if the climate is prone to repeated freezes and thaws
And, of course, always follow good prep practices for painting walls, such as making sure the surface is clean before painting.
These simple steps will save you the time and expense of repeatedly removing cracked paint and repainting. As with many maintenance issues, knowledge and good products make it easy to keep any building looking attractive.
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