Q: I have a problem with paint peeling from the window frames around the outside of my house -- especially the sills outside the permanently installed storm windows. I have hot-air hear and have turned off the humidifier, yet in cold weather the insides of the storm windows sweat and ice actually forms on the inside of the glass. A local building supply dealer told me I should put small louvers in the outside siding, but others have told me this will not help. What do you think?
a: If the peeling had been in the siding, small louvers might help. Since it is mainly on the windowsills and frames outside the storm sash, I think you have two other problems: Check the caulking around each of your windows to see if any is missing or cracked and needs replacing. Then, since your inside windows is not doing what it should. Either replace it or add more on the inside.
Q: We have a stucco-covered cinder-block home and the stucco is badly discolored and cracked in many places. We have temporarily caulked the cracks to seal them for the winter, but want to have the outside refinished next spring. We understand the stucco was painted some years ago before we bought the house.
A contractor told us that stucco should never be painted, and that the paint would have to be removed before a repair coat can be applied. But our neighbors have painted their houses and no problems have come up. Is the contractor right?
A: If you intend to have new stucco sprayed on to resurface the old material, the paint will probably have to come off. If you want to patch and fill the cracks and then paint in the usual manner with latex masonry paint, there is no problem. Remove the dirt and any of the old peeling or blistering paint.