Paint & Sealing are extremely important building components that not only helps to elevate the aesthetic appeal of a community but also protect the building from elements, In the pacific Northwest the most common issues we see are related to water intrusion issues, often caused by inadequate cycles of paint and sealing of buildings.
We will typically recommend paint & sealing cycles of at least every 5 years for wood surfaces and 7-10 years for fiber cement surfaces. These fairly frequent cycles helps to ensure the sealing is still adequate around doors, windows, flashing, joints, etc. and that surfaces are always covered with a paint layer to protect the from water and sun damage. Once surfaces are exposed due to cracking and peeling paint/seal, water will saturate the wood surfaces and cause them to deteriorate much faster than they would have if properly sealed and painted.
For most communities we do not recommend a separate sealing/caulking component as this will be done by the paint vendor where needed before applying paint. It is important that a community makes sure to request sealing/caulking is included in the bid from the vendor this verify it was actually completed. While caulk itself may last for 15-20 years it tends to pull away from surfaces, especially larger gaps at the windows and doors. A paint vendor can reapply the caulk where needed and make sure the areas of the building are properly sealed before painting.
The costs figures in our reserve studies will typically take into account the expenses related to caulking/sealing during paint cycles so that a community can adequately budget for them.