Close up image of a surface that resembles mildew growing because of dirt, dust particles accumulating on the paint film.

Dirt Pick-Up - EXTERIOR

Accumulation of dirt, dust particles and/or other debris on the paint film; may resemble mildew.

Causes

  • Use of a low-quality paint.
  • Soil splashing onto siding.
  • Air pollution, car exhaust and flying dust collecting on house body and horizontal trim.

Solutions

  • Text BoxWash off all surface dirt before priming and painting. If unsure whether the problem is dirt or mildew, conduct a simple spot-test (see Mildew). Clean off dirt with a scrub brush and detergent solution, followed by thorough rinsing with a garden hose. Heavier dirt accumulations may require careful power washing. Dirt may be permanently embedded in the paint.
  • While dirt pickup can’t be eliminated entirely, high-quality exterior latex paints typically offer superior dirt pick-up resistance. Also, higher gloss paints are more resistant to dirt pickup than flat paints, which are more porous and can more easily entrap dirt.

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