When Is It Time to Replace The Old Exterior Trim?

is it time to replace the old exterior trim

When is it time to replace the old exterior trim? Exterior trim is like jewelry for your home – it makes noticeable architectural details and gives your property curb appeal. But when that “jewelry” looks worn and tattered, it detracts rather than adds to your home’s beauty. 

Besides, replacing deteriorated exterior trim is often put off as the average homeowner waits seven years from when problems are noticed until they tackle trim replacement. This delay leads to more expensive damage. Still, knowing when to replace your exterior trim is the best way to avoid these costly repairs.

This article will explore the common signs that your exterior trim has reached the end of its useful life and needs replacement.

is it time to replace the old exterior trim

When exactly does my exterior trim need replacing?

To know when an exterior trim needs replacing, there are signs an average homeowner should look for. Besides, addressing these signs promptly preserves your home’s curb appeal and prevents further deterioration. Let’s take a look at these warning signs.

Rotting Wood

In most cases, trim made of wood is often exposed to moisture. And this can develop dry rot, decay, cracking, or splintering. However, these are not visible. But, the best way to detect the spots and moisture damage is to run a screwdriver over the trim. If the rottenness is detected, it is better to address the rotting issue promptly before it spreads to other areas.

Peeling Paint

Paint serves to protect and beautify exterior trim. When the paint starts severely cracking, blistering, or peeling away, it compromises that protective seal. This exposes the bare wood underneath to moisture, sun, and pests. Proper prep work and new coats of quality exterior paint are needed.


Repeated moisture, sun exposure, and physical knocks can cause exterior trim boards to warp or bow out of shape. This not only looks unsightly but can allow water intrusion behind the boards. Replacement provides an even, uniform appearance.

Mold/Mildew Growth

Discolored or black spotting on exterior trim results from mold and mildew growth. This indicates excessive moisture from rain, improper drainage, or condensation issues. Trimming back vegetation to allow airflow and correcting drainage can help. But the moldy trim needs replacement.

What are the different Types of Exterior Trim Materials?

Now you know when to replace your exterior trim with the above warning signs. But what about the exterior trim materials to replace the former? So far, the market has different types of exterior trim materials. Yet, the best part of selecting such materials is to go for low-maintenance materials that will endure the harsh weather. Here are the best materials for this purpose


Wood remains a popular choice for its workability, beauty, and cost. Cedar and redwood naturally resist rot and pests. Using primer and paint formulated for exterior application protects wood further from moisture. Periodic refinishing maintains its appeal.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement trim contains cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. It resists moisture, rotting, and termites while requiring minimal upkeep. Factory priming and painting means it just needs the occasional touch-up. Fiber cement trim stands up well to impacts, too.


Vinyl trim offers durability and affordability. Made from PVC, it holds up to moisture without rotting or decay. It resists dents and won’t need repainting every few years like wood. But extreme heat can cause vinyl to warp over time.


Composite trim contains wood fibers mixed with plastic polymers. This combines the appearance of natural wood with enhanced resistance to moisture, fading, and pests. Composite costs more than vinyl but requires less maintenance than natural wood.

What are the Cost Considerations for Exterior Trim Replacement?

Several factors influence the investment when replacing exterior trim. Consider this when planning for exterior trim replacement. Here are some of the factors to consider.


A professional painter experienced in exterior trim installation will do the job correctly, but labor costs increase. DIYers can save on labor by taking on the project themselves.


Composite and fiber cement cost more than wood or vinyl. Opting for less expensive materials can reduce the materials budget. Salvaging usable trim pieces also helps.

Prepping the Surface

Scraping, sanding, caulking, and priming existing surfaces take time but are vital for good adhesion and performance. This prep work can comprise a significant portion of the job.

Amount of Trim

The more windows, doors, corners, and fascia trim need replacement, the more it will cost. Prioritise problem areas first if finances are limited.

When is it time to replace the old exterior trim? How To Improve Your Curb Appeal With New Exterior Trim

Replacing worn exterior trim provides an opportunity to enhance your home’s aesthetic.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Painting new trim to match or coordinate with the home’s primary color scheme gives a cohesive, updated look. Use high-quality latex exterior paint.

Complementing Style

Match the style and detailing of the original trim, or switch to a profile that better complements your home’s architecture. Wider trim can make a bungalow look more stately.

Matching Other Features

Tying together exterior features creates excellent curb appeal. For example, use shakes or boards on trim to match patio decking material. Also, coordinate trim colors with shutters and the front door.

When is it time to replace the old exterior trim? #1 Painting Pro 

For a free estimate on refreshing your home with new exterior trim painting, contact the professional painters at Link Solutions Painting Company. Our expertise in selecting quality materials and painting your exterior trim helps Massachusetts homes maintain their beauty and value. Contact us or give us a call at 339-230-7993. Google us!


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