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Exterior Inspections Contains discussions about the exterior portion of a home inspection. This includes roofs, gutters, downspouts, decks, patios, windows, etc.

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  #1  
Old 10/11/07, 5:05 PM
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Default caulking around vinyl windows.

Ok another one. Should you caulk around the outer edge of a vinyl window where it over laps the cement fiber siding even thought the window has a built in "J" channel?
Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Reese
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Old 10/11/07, 5:17 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Yes it should be caulked because the cemment fibre siding can be in contact with water that can sit in the channel.
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  #3  
Old 10/11/07, 5:59 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmc3inspection
Ok another one. Should you caulk around the outer edge of a vinyl window where it over laps the cement fiber siding even thought the window has a built in "J" channel?
Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Reese
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Old 10/11/07, 6:29 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

http://www.pvcindustries.com/links.htm




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  #5  
Old 10/11/07, 7:09 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Damaged Moisture Barrier

Sometimes installers cut out a strip of exterior siding (such as plywood or stucco) to expose the nailing fin and facilitate removal of the existing window. When this is done, the moisture barrier can be cut in the process. Water may then penetrate the envelope and cause structural damage. This is also likely to occur when a finned frame window is forcibly pulled and collapsed (rather than exposing the fin and removing the anchors).
Wherever the existing building paper or flashing material is damaged, reestablish a weatherproof seal when the new window is installed. When possible, overlap the damage with additional material (such as 30-lb. felt). Apply elastomeric sealant liberally where ever there is a potential for moisture penetration.
If a siding cutout extends 1 inch or more beyond the outer edge of the retrofit window fin, install flashing around the rough opening and seal around its outer perimeter (for example, by embedding it in a bead of caulk). If the cutout extends less than 1 inch beyond the outer edge of the retrofit window, a continuous layer of sealant can be spread over the exposed wall surface between the fin and the siding, instead of installing flashing. Whether or not the cut-out is wide enough to accommodate flashing, apply caulk liberally along the exposed edge of the siding (and force it behind the siding where possible) to keep moisture out of the wall.
Using the Wrong Caulk

Caulk creates the exterior seal, the first line of defense against infiltration of wind and water. The highest-quality window can be installed perfectly square, level, and plumb, and secured with utmost precision; but if the exterior seal fails or chemical damage occurs, the entire installation is compromised.
Using the wrong caulk can result in moisture penetration and water damage, or corrosive damage from a chemical reaction. In general, elastomeric joint sealants, including polysulfides, polyurethane, and silicone, adhere well to most materials while remaining flexible. Flexibility is especially important for caulk at the top of the retrofit unit, to prevent frame damage when the header flexes or sags.
Adverse chemical reactions with the window, mounting surface, and finished wall, can compromise the seal and damage materials. Entire vinyl window installations have been ruined when the caulk stained the fins, or worse yet, literally dissolved them. Always check factory specifications, especially when installing vinyl windows and clad products. To be absolutely safe, test a small amount of the sealant in an inconspicuous part of the frame or fin before proceeding.
Also, be careful about installing a non-paintable caulk (typically silicone) where painting must be done. Adjacent visible surfaces must be primed, painted, and allowed to dry before the caulk is applied, or the color of the caulk must be compatible with surrounding materials.
Installing Caulk Poorly

Installing caulk improperly (even when it is the correct product) is another common mistake. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding surface preparation, application temperature, joint type and size, bead quality and size, and tooling the bead.Caulk will not adhere properly, and the seal will not be weather tight, unless the surfaces are free of loose or cracked caulk, dirt, debris, oily substances, and moisture (unless allowed by the caulk manufacturer). Surfaces should also be primed when called for in the instructions.
Install caulk when the outdoor temperature is within the range specified by the manufacturer. Joints are subject to expansion and contraction with changing temperatures. If surfaces are hot during installation and the joint and bead are small, the sealant can tear when substrates contract and the bead stretches in winter. A large bead applied in cold weather may become over compressed by substrate expansion during summer.
Install the caulk to the proper depth, in a continuous bead that is free of voids. Generally, caulk gaps up to 1/2 inch wide with elastomeric sealants. However, for deep joints over 5/8 inch wide, use backup material, such as foam backer rod, to partially fill the cavity. Backer rod controls the depth of the bead and prevents the caulk from sticking to the bottom of the joint (which could cause the seal to tear when the joint expands). The bead should be about half as deep as it is wide, and the depth should never exceed the width. Don't caulk gaps wider than 7/8 inch; make them narrower with solid fill strips.
Tool the bead to create an "hourglass" profile (slightly concave surface) and to force out bubbles and fill gaps. Where caulk is visible, tooling helps remove excess material and enhances the finished appearance.
Not caulking in the right places

If you don't put caulk in all the right places the window will leak. On a finned window, for example, use enough caulk that some squeezes out around the entire fin perimeter. After the window is secured in place, the caulk squeezed out should be tooled to seal the edge of the fin and to remove or redistribute any excess. Anywhere caulk did not squeeze out, apply more and tool as needed to create a continuous seal.
Caulk the corners of mechanically joined frames and any other joints where leakage could occur. If there is a gap (potential water leak) between the edge of the siding and the rough opening, caulk that also. Never caulk the weep holes in the sill jamb, though, because they provide condensate drainage.
Caulk any wood strips installed to fill the gap left where siding was removed. Finishing trim (also known as casing) installed over shim strips does not need to be caulked; however, a neat bead around the edges usually creates a more finished, professional appearance. For box frame windows, caulk the gap between the window frame and the opening with a continuous bead free of bubbles and voids.



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  #6  
Old 10/11/07, 7:24 PM
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Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Just my opinion on this one based on building experience, but this seems to me the what we have here is;

The right window for the wrong siding.

or/

The wrong window for the right siding.

Caulking is not the long term solution for this application.

JMO

Sorry no back up.

Marcel



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  #7  
Old 10/11/07, 7:27 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Marcel,

You could very well be right!




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Old 10/11/07, 7:45 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Barry,

Your right if everything is messed up or even one part when the windows were installed it is going to fail anyway!




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  #9  
Old 10/11/07, 8:52 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcyr
Just my opinion on this one based on building experience, but this seems to me the what we have here is;

The right window for the wrong siding.

or/

The wrong window for the right siding.

Caulking is not the long term solution for this application.

JMO

Sorry no back up.

Marcel
They'd never do that, would they?

yep, caulk is the temporary solution to a permanent problem

You experience in the building trades is back up enough



badair

ADAIR INSPECTION
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  #10  
Old 10/11/07, 9:09 PM
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI's Avatar
Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Thanks Barry, and you have some good one's too.

This place is fun, we all learn don't we?

Did you see this one; posted this morning.

http://www.nachi.org/forum/attachmen...4&d=1192119360


Took that picture of this tool in my office trailer this morning and look who is on the screen. Hard to see, but it was you showing your red square and I replied showing mine. ha. ha.

Small world isn't it?

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  #11  
Old 10/11/07, 9:59 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Most new construction windows with nailing flanges and built in J channel are designed for either vinyl siding, 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick or to picture frame exterior casings to.
This application is wrong for fiber cement siding, would be OK if the casings had been installed and the siding butted up to them.
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Old 10/12/07, 4:24 PM
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Default Re: caulking around vinyl windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prussell
Most new construction windows with nailing flanges and built in J channel are designed for either vinyl siding, 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick or to picture frame exterior casings to.
This application is wrong for fiber cement siding, would be OK if the casings had been installed and the siding butted up to them.
Exactly!
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