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Old 01-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Re-caulking windows


I recently moved into a house that had the windows replaced (about 10 years ago). I notice in the winter a noticeable draft coming in where the window frame meets the wood frame/trim on the inside. There is a bit of a gap where the window meets the frame/trim, and I assume the air easily can get in. I decided to look on the outside to see the condition of the caulking. It looks like there is a small bead that has dried out and cracked over the years.

I have a sample picture representing my style of window setup (not exact but close enough).

Where I notice existing caulking is Item #1. I imagine that first and foremost that needs to be removed and recaulked. However, do I need to also add caulking to Item #2 (where the frame cap meets the brick)? Currently there is none. Do you think this was left open/uncaulked to allow it to "breathe"?

Also, should I also caulk the interior side of the windows as well, or should the exterior be enough to stop the draft? I have not noticed any water problems, just drafty.


Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re-caulking windows


The main reason there is no caulking at the coil stock (that's what that white aluminum stuff is called) to brick line is it's a real mess to do it.
It should have been done on the back side of the metal as it was installed.
It can still be done. I use Alex 230 latex caulking and a wet sponge. Only make a small hole hole in the tip of the caulking tube. You only want just enough to fill that small gap and not have it all over the brick or metal.
It's going to take lot of wetting down to wash the extra caulking out of the brick.
The other area is no big deal and is easy to caulk. Looks like someone just slopped it on there the first time. It should have had a nice rounded bead to it.
Time and time again I see replacement windows installed wrong like yours.
They were suppost to have a bead of caulking around the wooden stops on the inside of the old window jambs, then the window gets set in place bedding it's self so ther would be no caulking showing but would stop the air leaks.
Look around the inside of the vinyl to jamb area. Is there any sort of trim around the windows frame? Is there any caulking there?
Is there a gap from the bottom of the frame to the window stool? The bottom piece of trim on the inside is called a stool, not a sill. The sill is outside.)
Did anyone remove the casing around the window to insulate between the old jams and the rough framing?
If they were old style windows with weights in the pockets there's going to be a huge hole on both sides of the windows letting air it.
Please post a picture of the inside of the window.


Last edited by joecaption; 01-23-2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re-caulking windows


If there is a gap around the window, like there should be, you should insulate it with low expanding foam. Only use caulking as last alternative if there is not enough room for insulation.

Usually these outfits use a small jamb piece on the inside to cover the gaps. Hopefully you can remove that and insulate.

Both number 1 and number 2 need to be sealed with caulking. I would recommend a good silicone also. It will move with the flimsy coil and the window and it will be easy to remove for the next window installer.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re-caulking windows


Back caulking the coil (as Joe mentioned-- may have been done) although I prefer to run a nice bead from the coil to the brick. I like OSI Quad...The way that your metal is done,however, that wouldn't turn out that great.
I'd pull the interior stops and foam around the unit to eliminate drafts.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re-caulking windows


You posted that stock picture you found on-line, could you post one of your window, it would help?

And, welcome to the forums!

Gary
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:45 AM   #6
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Re-caulking windows


+1 to HomeSealed, MJW, and Joe's advice.

The window needs to be sealed to the rough/window opening with foam/sealant. The window will not be made airtight by sealing to the brick as a standard given that the brick is a veneer and there is air moving behind the brick.

You can try to pull off the casing from the interior and spray foam at that point.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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Re-caulking windows


I took some pictures from the inside of the house (was too cold to go outside last night but the stock photos represent pretty close to what I actually have).

What I am uploading right now is just a simple shot showing a zoomed in spot where the window doesn't sit tight against the casing. I also uploaded a second shot showing a zoomed out view.

Since I wasn't around when the previous owners installed the windows, I cannot say exactly what was done. I guess I was hoping to just redo the cracked outside caulking and perhaps run a bead of caulking all the way around on the inside to stop the air flow from coming in. I know this isn't the "proper" way.

I guess I could see what the situation looks like "inside" the window by ripping off the bottom portion of trim and looking at if there is any foam insulation. Just not a project I have time to start right now for all of the windows. I will try to look at it once the weather warms up (and my 1 year old at home gives me some time to work on it. )

As a short term fix, are there any problems with sealing off the interior with a bead of caulk to at least stop the draft?
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:04 AM   #8
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Re-caulking windows


That seam should be caulked.

Seal away.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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Re-caulking windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
That seam should be caulked.

Seal away.

Do you think that I should wait for warmer weather do seal the inside? I know it's not technically "below freezing" indoors right now, but the air it is blocking is quite cold. Also, is there a recommended caulk that you would recommend for the inside bead? I imagine silicone is a no-no since it's not paintable?


(thanks to all for replying so far)
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #10
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Re-caulking windows


You could but with air getting in between the jambs and the rough framing it's leaking into the walls, will cause the jambs to rediate cold into the room.
The air can leak around the jambs, window frames and the casing if it's not sealed with foam.
As poorly as that trim was install and as bad as it looks it should not take more then 5 min. per window to remove the casing.
Just go around it with a utility knife to break the paint or caulking bond slide a wide putty knife in behind it and use a flat bar to pop it off.
Once off pull the nails out from the back side. Clean off all the old caulking and rough paint, I like to prime and repaint it if it needs it before I reintall it. That way I just have to touch up the nail holes.
That trim should have been preassembled with glue at the joints and nailed together in the outside corners before it was installed. Sort of like hanging a picture frame because there would be no way to nail that bottom right hand corner once it's installed. That would have stoped that corner from opening up.
All that peeling paint also needs to be sanded and primed ASAP. If not there will be rot. It's being caused from the cold jamb and window frame from leaking air being in contact with warm moist inside air so it's condencing.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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Re-caulking windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
You could but with air getting in between the jambs and the rough framing it's leaking into the walls, will cause the jambs to rediate cold into the room.
The air can leak around the jambs, window frames and the casing if it's not sealed with foam.
As poorly as that trim was install and as bad as it looks it should not take more then 5 min. per window to remove the casing.
Just go around it with a utility knife to break the paint or caulking bond slide a wide putty knife in behind it and use a flat bar to pop it off.
Once off pull the nails out from the back side. Clean off all the old caulking and rough paint, I like to prime and repaint it if it needs it before I reintall it. That way I just have to touch up the nail holes.
That trim should have been preassembled with glue at the joints and nailed together in the outside corners before it was installed. Sort of like hanging a picture frame because there would be no way to nail that bottom right hand corner once it's installed. That would have stoped that corner from opening up.
All that peeling paint also needs to be sanded and primed ASAP. If not there will be rot. It's being caused from the cold jamb and window frame from leaking air being in contact with warm moist inside air so it's condencing.


Please take a look at this latest picture. To get to the "guts" of the framing, can I just remove part "B" (casing), or do I also need to remove part "A" (stool) to get to what I need to see.

Sorry, I'm not too familiar with some of these terms. I'm trying to learn.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #12
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No reason not to caulk now. Most of the sealants will work fine in this weather.

Item B is the casing and that is what would be removed to seal (spray foam) between the wood window frame and the rough opening.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #13
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Thanks to all.

Hopefully, I can get to taking off the casing this weekend on this one window (the worst of them all) and get a closer look as to what is going on. I will update with pictures.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Good luck.

Definitely post up some pictures as future homeowners that browse the site will benefit from your discovery.

You are likely going to find nothing and at best, some dirty fiberglass.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #15
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Re-caulking windows


I agree with the above comments... Part A is a jamb extension. It does not need to be removed to get foam in there, but it's also possible that it will fall off when you remove the casing. If it stays in place, caulk that seam between the jamb ext and the window, and then spray the foam in the channel that is exposed when the casing comes off. Make sure that you use a paintable caulk. No concern for tempeture as long as you use quality caulk.... Caulking the exterior is still a good idea as well, but probably not where your draft is coming from.

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