Peeling paint gives even a high-end home that haunted house appearance. Paint peels for a few different reasons, including poor surface preparation and a buildup of old layers of paint, but more often than not, water, or a high humidity level is the culprit. “Air” your grievances, and get to the soggy root of your peeling paint problem before it escalates into a nightmarish and possibly even moldy project.
Painting - Although painting is not rocket science, there are some common rules to mixing and applying paint; if embarked upon incorrectly, you may encounter paint adhesion issues. When tackling this relatively simple project, keep a few standard rules in mind to achieve a lasting, smooth finish: Do not use latex, or water-based paint over oil-based alkyd paint without a primer coat; as the old adage says, "Oil and water do not mix." Different paint colors require a particular "base" in which to be mixed; a good paint retailer will ensure proper mixing. Apply paint moderately, and allow it to dry between coats; a too thickly-applied layer of paint, over 1/6 inch, causes a bonding issue. Remove a pileup of paint layers before applying a new coat since old paint loses its flexibility and cracks or peels over time with the natural expanding and contracting of a home.
Ventilation - Opening windows is a good way to freshen a home by allowing clean, healthy air in. However, opening windows to combat humidity can backfire on the situation as the warm air meets the cold and condensates, or wind pushes the moisture throughout the home. A properly-vented bathroom fan removes moisture from the air; turn it on every time you use the shower, bath or nearby washer and dryer to help keep your paint from future peeling. The fan should vent moisture directly outside through the roof or wall not into the attic, which defeats the "removal" purpose and sets the stage for lifted paint and mold growth in the space above.
Humidity - For as little as $10, as of August 2011, a hygrometer allows you to keep track of the level of humidity or moisture inside your home. In the winter months, relative humidity should be below 45 percent. A jungle of houseplants, as well as the home's basic functions, such as cooking, laundry and bathing, can cause excessive dampness in the air if you do not provide proper removal. A hygrometer alerts you to possible looming paint and/or mold problems and gives you the chance to consider ways to control humidity, such as installing a dehumidifier.