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fritzycat1 09-09-2007 06:50 PM

How to caulk windows the RIGHT WAY?
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I'm trying to determine the best outdoor caulk(s) to use for re-sealing the perimeter of my vinyl windows and trim. It was done improperly the first time (see details below), this time I want to DO IT RIGHT!

I'm looking to re-caulk the windows and trim around the outside of my home. The home is about 6 years old and in the Los Angeles, CA area. Much of the wood trim has shrunk/warped since it was originally installed. This has caused significant gaps between the trim and window in some areas. The windows are vinyl with rough-cut wood trim (might be cedar - not sure). Outside the trim, the home is stucco.

The original builder apparently used a combination of latex and silicone caulk to seal the windows. Some windows are completely sealed with latex, others silicone, and some a combination. It appears to have been done with whatever they had on hand at the moment. … and most windows were not sealed AT ALL along the top edge!? (out of sight, out of mind I guess) :eek:

I’ve removed the majority of the existing caulk – the latex was cracking and was pretty easily removed – it simply pulled out in strips. The silicone has been more difficult – it came out like sticky balls of snot. :laughing:

I have attached a few photos for reference – In some cases the gaps between the wood and window are about 1/4 inch (or larger). The gap extends back about 1 inch from the outside edge.

Now, on to my questions to determine how to prep and caulk THE RIGHT WAY so I don’t have to do this again in another 6 years!:
  1. What type of caulk would you recommend? I would prefer something that is easy to use, paintable and water-clean up. I’m considering GE Max 5000 Windows & Door (siliconized acrylic) I’m also considering DAP SideWinder – it requires solvent for clean-up, but may be longer-lasting and adhere better to the vinyl

  2. What would you recommend for filling the gaps before caulking? Foam backer rod, or perhaps one of the newer minimally expanding interior/exterior latex foam products, such as DAPtex latex insulating foam sealant ?

  3. Should I Prime the wood before re-caulking?
  4. Do I need to prep the Vinyl in any special way? Should I sand the edges slightly to provide better adhesion?
  5. The wood that was sealed with silicone has apparently absorbed some of the silicone – the wood appears wet, and slick – do I need to prep these areas differently to be sure the new caulk/paint will adhere? 6. Any special considerations for sealing the seams between the wood and the stucco areas?
Thanks All for your expert guidance!,

Sammy 09-09-2007 07:09 PM

I would use the GE Max water clean up..

Backer rods of applicable diameter for your application.

I always like to prime before I caulk especially on wood. Then top coat over both caulk and wood. Keeps the caulk from shrinking from behind.

The vinyl shouldnt need any special prep other than clean and dry.

fritzycat1 09-10-2007 12:29 PM

Thanks Sammy!

what would you recommend for the wood that has soaked-in the silicone caulk? Do you think the primer will seal right over top of that, providing a bonding surface for the new caulk? or should I attempt to scrape away some of the wood to reach a clean base to work with?

Sammy 09-10-2007 06:32 PM

Wood wont absorb silicone.. If its wet in that area you would need to dry it well before re-caulking.

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