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Where Not to Caulk Around Windows

May 07, 2021

Where Not to Caulk Around Windows

Replacing windows is a great way to give your home or building a quick facelift and also save money on energy bills. Even simply caulking around windows can improve insulation and energy-efficiency. Caulking can be a simple DIY task. But if done haphazardly, it can do more harm than good. Keep learning to learn about some dos and don’ts when it comes to caulking around windows. If you prefer to leave this work to a professional handyman, then feel free to call Beall Contracting and get in touch with a friendly representative. We can schedule a flexible appointment or arrange an emergency dispatch if possible.

The Purpose of Caulk

Caulk is a material used to seal joints or seams with the goal of preventing leaks in various structures and pipes. You can find dozens of types of caulk at your local home improvement store with each type designed for a specific purpose. For example, caulk designed for exterior windows can withstand harsh sun rays, water, and fluctuating temperature. Meanwhile, caulk made for interior windows should be free of toxic chemicals. Take your time inspecting the different types of caulk and choose the one most appropriate for your project.

Do Not Caulk Over Old Caulk

Caulk can harden, crack, and/or peel away over time. Caulking over the old caulk is a great exercise in futility. The old caulk will steel peel away, except this time the new caulk will peel away along with it. Scrape off the old caulk with a steel putty knife or something similar before applying the new caulk.

Do Not Caulk Over Weep Holes

Weep holes are small openings that allow moisture and excess water to exit the frame of the window. Without weep holes, your windows can collect mold and mildew, rust, and rot rather quickly. If you want to avoid costly repairs down the road, then keep caulk away from weep holes. Before applying the caulk, inspect the windows for weep holes and sloped lower sills that redirect water away from the windows.

Do Not Caulk Over Moving Parts

Be mindful of the window’s operational mechanisms. If you have a double hung window, for example, you want to avoid caulking operable parts like the sashes. Caulking moving parts can seal the window shut for good. The ledge above the window frame is another part of the window that does not need caulk. Unless you are looking to replace your siding or frame, leave the top of the windows and moving parts caulk-free.

Do Not Caulk Large Gaps

Caulk is intended to be used on relatively narrow seams that are about a quarter of an inch wide or tighter. Applying caulk on large gaps can create an unattractive mess as caulk sags and slumps out of the gap. If your windows have gaps wider than ¼”, then consider first filling them with a foam backer rod and then apply the caulk.
Need a hand? Call Beall Contracting to hire one of our professional handymen. We are always happy to take your call.