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Old 03-07-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Looking at buying a nearly new house, only 1 year old. The windows are expensive, high-quality windows. However, they don't look that great because upon installation they were caulked all the way around the windows between the window sill and the vinyl window. (interior side of windows)

Is it normal to caulk around the windows? I haven't seen a house with caulked in windows before.

The caulk is now yellow and cracked in every window. How/can this be removed easily to make it look much better?

Thanks for any insight!

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Totally depends on the application.

Pardon the pun but with crap caulked with used, it will yellow and crack.

It can be left in place usually or scraped out and caulked over.

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Old 03-07-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Thanks for the reply. If we caulk right over top of the 'crap' caulk, how long can good quality caulk be expected to last before cracking again?

Also, can too much humidity in a home lead to cracking of caulk surrounding windows? There was a humidity issue in the house with moisture pooling on the window sills (owner was out of town and left the humidifier cranked).

Thanks
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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Cracked caulk around windows?


New caulking will not stick to old.
What kind of siding do you have?
If it's vinyl and they were installed correctly there was no need for caulking.
Most often it's done for cosmetic reasons.
Humity is caused from no vaper barrer on the ground if there's a crawl space, standing water under the house, no ridge vent and or not enough soffit vents, vent blocked with insulation, no bathroom vent or someone's not leaving it on long enough, any home inspector could figure this out in just a few min.
Any new home will have higher moisture until it has time to dry out. Rain while building, new lumber, drywall compound and paint are loaded with water.

Last edited by joecaption; 03-07-2012 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
New caulking will not stick to old.
What kind of siding do you have?
If it's vinyl and they were installed correctly there was no need for caulking.
Most often it's done for cosmetic reasons.
Humity is caused from no vaper barrer on the ground if there's a crawl space, standing water under the house, no ridge vent and or not enough soffit vents, vent blocked with insulation, no bathroom vent or someone's not leaving it on long enough, any home inspector could figure this out in just a few min.
Any new home will have higher moisture until it has time to dry out. Rain while building, new lumber, drywall compound and paint are loaded with water.
The Op was talking about the interior.
WoW has it right. Scrape it off or just go over it. The catch with going over it is that you'll need a larger bead, and it sounds like you are not crazy about the look in the first place, so scraping/cutting it out may be best. If you do elect to re-caulk, a high quality product will last for many years, especially on the interior.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #6
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Cracked caulk around windows?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
New caulking will not stick to old.
Actually it will quite easily.

It needs to be cleaned very well and usually with some sort of non-oil based cleaner that leaves not residue and a thicker bead can be laid over the top that will also garner some of its adhesion to the surround window and trim.

The crack is usually a result of photo degeneration and does not mean it has lost adhesion to the substrate around it.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Cracked caulk around windows?


so its dap thats cracking... if thats the case the trim wasnt installed very well or nailed correctly so its moving.. causing the caulking to crack, as for the yellowing. the painters didnt dap at the correct time... it should be done just before they prime everything so even the caulking has paint on it
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #8
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Cracked caulk around windows?


If the caulking is damp and cracking therefore it's receiving the outside air, but why? Like Joe said need to look out side and how it was done around the windows, weep holes in the windows need also to be checked, are there screws where there shouldn't be screws?
If there is caulk to cover gaps the windows wasn't installed correctly.

If you just caulk over cracked caulk it will crack again.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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Cracked caulk around windows?


"Is it normal to caulk around the windows? I haven't seen a house with caulked in windows before." ----- Normal around here at least.

"The caulk is now yellow and cracked in every window. How/can this be removed easily to make it look much better?"---- Try to remove it, could be easy or difficult, depends on the bond left.

"Thanks for the reply. If we caulk right over top of the 'crap' caulk, how long can good quality caulk be expected to last before cracking again?" --- probably not too long, depends on the reason it cracked, and if it has been fixed or not.

"Also, can too much humidity in a home lead to cracking of caulk surrounding windows? There was a humidity issue in the house with moisture pooling on the window sills (owner was out of town and left the humidifier cranked)."--- Possibly, if the wood trim absorbed excess moisture and later dried out to room humidity, the caulk bead could crack.

The sealant industry recommends a minimum 4:1 joint design ratio for thermal movement. Vinyl and wood expand/contract at different rates so a bond breaker or backer rod is usually required (to have only 2 bonded surfaces), just applying caulking in a crack could work, but just not as well. I doubt you would get much longevity from applying over old, bond-broken/cracked caulking. Too much caulk (adhesive joint failure) = crack at material for the movement. Too shallow caulk (cohesive joint failure) = sealant will split. Degeneration is usually from excessive sunlight exposure--- outside applications mostly.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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Cracked caulk around windows?


New caulking around new vinyl windows cracked after ten days. New caulking was applied over that. It cracked too within a week. We were told it was because of the vinyl windows - does the first application need to be removed. Can we let it remain?
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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Cracked caulk around windows?


It has nothing to do with it being vinyl windows.
If you went over old caulking, used cheap painters caulk, trim is loose it's going to crack.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:14 AM   #12
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Cracked caulk around windows?


99.9 % chance that garbage caulk was used. A good caulk like OSI Quad or Vulkem would hold in place even if the window or trim were loose... I don't want to cause panic here, but I'd seriously examine the installation in detail if that is the case. If they used the dollar special tube of caulk, they may have cut corners in other areas as well.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:34 AM   #13
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeSealed
99.9 % chance that garbage caulk was used. A good caulk like OSI Quad or Vulkem would hold in place even if the window or trim were loose... I don't want to cause panic here, but I'd seriously examine the installation in detail if that is the case. If they used the dollar special tube of caulk, they may have cut corners in other areas as well.
Just a quick note: OSI Quad is NOT recommended for use indoors. The following OSI products are for indoor use: http://www.osipro.com/products.pl?ca...terior_sealant

Never used Vulkem, so not sure there. Read the MSDS first and confirm that it's approved for indoor use.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:07 AM   #14
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Cracked caulk around windows?


Pittsville is correct. If the caulking in question is on the interior, I like the OSI H2U.

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