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We recently had replacement windows installed by a professional window company. Installation was quick; 20 windows done in four hours. Windows for the most part are fine; however, my only complaint is the exterior caulking job. In my opinion, it does not look very professional. The caulking is not smooth, and it looks like it was globbed on.

After voicing our opinion, the general manager and two technicians assured us, in their 15+ years of experience, that this is quality, industry-standard work, especially when caulking on brick. I'm still not convinced. Is there anyone that could give me advice on this? Does anyone have any examples of what caulking on brick should and shouldn't look like? Any input is appreciated :)
 

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A pic would be helpful. It is my opinion after many years in the painting business where a lot of caulking is used, that a quality caulking job is one that is barely noticeable. It should not be globbed on. It should actually be a nice, smooth bead which is actually achieved by using your finger or a plastic caulking tool to gently push the caulk into (called "tooling") the crack. It shouldn't be all over the brick and it shouldn't be all over the window. It should be on both ever so slightly, just enough to bridge the gap by bonding to the 2 surfaces and filling the crack at the same time.
 

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After looking at your photos..........wow, those are some tough spots to get caulking into. It looks decent enough based on trying to get a good bead against the rough brick and those mortar joints. They really didn't tool the caulk because I think they were trying to avoid getting a lot on the brick. I suppose you could have them remove it and attempt a better job, but, honestly it isn't so awful that I would do that. Then again, you're paying for it and it should meet your expectations.
 

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After looking at your photos..........wow, those are some tough spots to get caulking into. It looks decent enough based on trying to get a good bead against the rough brick and those mortar joints. They really didn't tool the caulk because I think they were trying to avoid getting a lot on the brick. I suppose you could have them remove it and attempt a better job, but, honestly it isn't so awful that I would do that. Then again, you're paying for it and it should meet your expectations.
I agree with Gymshu. It is a very difficult situation to do a neat job with those textured bricks.
If I had done the job for myself, I would have used a coloured calking compound which approximated the main colour of the bricks. NOT white calking compound, to match the window frames - although, some white may have been required in some places!
In that, I believe that the contractor was at fault.

Hopefully, the caulk is not silicone. If it is an acrylic based caulk it would be relatively easy (although time consuming) to remove the surface of most of the existing caulk (where required) and overlay a more appropriate coloured caulk, to "blend" with the brickwork.
 

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I can see what Tiffy is saying. The caulk doesn't look as neat as it should. Rough brick is hard to get a good line, but the joint is just as sloppy on the top of the windows where there is no brick. That's a solid C job, that you may expect from a homeowner, but not someone you are paying.
I am by not means a pro, but when I caulk our exterior, I use tape on the brick and pull it off after the joint is smooth, then one more light pass. Atleast you get a straight line.
 

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ZTMAN, what type of tape do you use on brick like that? Regular masking tape? Or something stickier like Gorilla tape? It's hard to get something to stick to brick like that.

Also, even if you mask, when tooling the caulk you will push some into those mortar joints making for an ugly look.
 

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I actually use painter's tape. It holds enough to get a line. When I put the tape on I run it down the brick, which includes the taping of the rounded mortar joint so the tape does not bridge the joint. If the painters tape tends to peel away, I put about a three inch section of duct tape on the brick at the top and put the painters tape over the duct tape.That prevents the painters tape from peeling away at the top.
When "tooling" the caulk, I keep the tool pressure (light) towards the window trim so the caulk doesn't squeeze out into the mortar joint. Then I take off the tape and do one more light pass. I find that taping the brick close to the window works best, because the caulk joint expands a little when you remove the tape.
 
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