Window Caulking Suggestions


Old 09-26-13, 11:56 AM
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Window Caulking Suggestions

Home was built in 2005. I am trying to determine the following:

1. It appears there is no caulking where the window meets the window frame. On some windows there appear to be very small gaps (as pictured). Is this worth the time and effort to caulk (basically for energy savings... appearance isn't very noticeable unless you are very close)?

2. If caulking is recommend, should I use clear silicone caulk and leave as is, or white caulking and try and paint. (I could see the silicon not being as noticeable but the shiny finish could catch your eye, however I could see trying to paint being very time consuming, and difficult to keep on the window trim.)

Thanks for your input!

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Old 09-26-13, 12:03 PM
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Don't use silicone. Silicone will give you painting headaches in the future. You can get very inexpensive clear latex painter's grade caulk at any hardware store. It goes on white and turns clear when it cures.
Old 09-26-13, 12:16 PM
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That sounds like a very useful product and I will definitely look into it. Haven't heard bad stuff about silicone... however I don't know much about these products. If anyone else wants to chime in and see if this is worth touching up from an energy standpoint, I would love the feedback. Thanks!
Old 09-26-13, 12:26 PM
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As Toolmon said, don't use silicone. You will never be able to paint over it properly on the wall side. Nothing sticks to silicone including silicone.

Buy a good quality latex painters caulking and you're good to go.

About a year ago I was hired to paint a customers kitchen. The countertop installers used clear silicone to fill the gap between the counter and the wall behind it, basically locking in the colour of the wall behind the counter rendering that unpaintable. Instead of being able to do a nice clean cut in line along her countertop which would have taken no time at all, she opted to remove the silicone herself as it would have been too expensive to have me do it.

Apparently they used good stuff. None of the silicone softeners would do anything so we had to resort to razor blades, scrapers, etc. which ultimately damaged the walls and I had to repair. Nice clean bead of clear DAP Alex+ was all they should have done.
Old 09-26-13, 02:30 PM
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I'd clean out the crack, use a siliconized acrylic latex caulk and then paint it with the wall paint. I'd paint the caulking, not the window frame. A damp rag or sponge works well for cleaning up any excess caulking. If the wall paint isn't available, a clear latex caulk is a good option.

If the windows were installed and insulated properly there will be little, if any energy savings.

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