what kind of caulk for window/door frames


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Old 10-10-08, 10:57 AM
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what kind of caulk for window/door frames

I had a blower test done and know my windows and doors arent bad at all. But the wood frame around most of them has apparently separated from the wall and lets in tons of air

i know zip about caulk...haven't bought any in very long time. Also, i will be scrubbing all the walls and painting but not until spring. So what kind of caulk can i use now that will work for me thru this winter? (then i could paint in spring)
 
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Old 10-10-08, 11:29 AM
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Use a upper quality acrylic latex or latex blend product.One well known brand is White Lightening.Dap makes a variety with mixed results so avoid their lower priced products.Some are not nationally available so it may depend on where you live as to what you can get.If you shop at a big box store it will be up to you to figure out what's best.

Stay away from pure silicone caulk as it is usually unpaintable.If anyone tries to talk you into something exotic read the label to make sure it's paintable.Higher priced caulks are often unpaintable and even if they are paintable they not always worth paying extra for.Don't choose among those products without qualified saleshelp.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 11:31 AM
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The best solution would be to remove the trim and insulate between the window and door frame and the house framing with a non-expanding foam like DAPTex Plus window and door.

I'm guessing you already know that though, sounds like they gave you good info from the test.

If you think you will do that later, I wouldn't caulk the interior now. I'd wait until almost painting time, remove the trim, use the foam, reapply the trim, then caulk between the trim and wall and have at the paint job.

Now would be a good time to check the outside, caulk the ext trim around the window, and where it butts to the window frame. I like something like DAP Dynaflex 230. Goes on like a silicone but is water cleanup and paints well. Think they may be replacing that with ALEX Ultra...not sure, haven't used it yet.

For interior use, esp on things that will be painted, I like ALEX Plus. Used to use it for ext stuff, but it will harden and get dirty with weather exposure.

I'm sure the Pro's have stuff they like, but the ones I mentioned are available almost anywhere.

DON'T use any 100% silicone (like the previous owners of THIS house), if you want paint to stick.

JMO's
 
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Old 10-10-08, 01:06 PM
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I've had poor results with alex plus but can whole heartedly 2nd the recomendation on white lightning. Your better latex caulks will be a siliconized acrylic latex - it is paintable.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 03:02 PM
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See Lucky told ya they have favorite stuff.

And I've heard that from some other contractors I worked with about the White Lightening. Never used it, so can't say personally, but I'd trust Mark and David (maybe not with my life, but painting my house or hardware advise...sure..lol).
 
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Old 10-11-08, 07:23 AM
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thanks for all the suggestions..i may take the printout with me to the store lol.

How hard is it to remove the woodwork? i've built decks before so am a bit familiar with constuction but for some reason removing a 7ft piece of wood from around my doorway, or the piece under my window (that one is 13ft) scares me lol. I'm worried ill break it. It just held in with nails and you pull it out over the nails?

and would i just find open cavities there..i guess so since you are saying fill with foam
 
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Old 10-11-08, 08:33 AM
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Normally windows are set into the rough opening with about a 1/2" gap all around between the window frame and the house framing. The old standard used to be to stuff loose fiberglass into the gap. This was better than nothing, but depended on caulk to seal out air, since the FG fill didn't stop air infiltration. You may have nothing, depending on the age of the home/windows and the workmanship of the person who did it.

The spray foam both insulates and seals.

Yes, removing the trim CAN be a bit of a pain, depending on how long its been up, how many coats of paint, how it's attached, etc. Might take a while, but slow and easy will get it off. Normally there are nails into the window frame and into the wall framing. Even with multiple coats of paint, careful examination should give you an idea of where the nails are placed. Painters 5-1 tool, stiff putty knife, small prybar and wood strips to protect the wall when prying. Use a razor knife to cut any paint/caulk joints between the wall and trim or window frame and trim. Using the prying tools, start at one end, get it loose, wedge it, move down(up) a bit, pry it up, wedge it...and so forth. A little at a time is what works.
After you see how they're attached it goes faster with each one. I always recommended to people to go in a bathroom/laundry room and work a small item first.

Don't try to pull the nails out with a hammer or anything. After the whole piece is off, pull the nails through the wood using pliers or visegrips. This will keep the wood from splintering out on the visible side.

If you have multiple windows the same size, just mark the back of the trim with a number or letter. Left, right, and top are easy enuf when you know which window it goes to.

It seems like a lot, but you could easily start and finish a room in a short afternoon.

I'm sure one of the experts will put their thoughts in as well. DIY'er only here.

Hope this helped.
 
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Old 10-11-08, 09:15 AM
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Couple of thoughts:

If you use spray foam remember this:

This stuff is incredibly sticky and dries fast.The can will come with a tube attchments and you have to basically use the can all at one time without stopping or the foam will set up in the tubes and clog the nozzle.So once you start a can be prepared to finish it in one shot.

Also bear in mind it expands so don't fill an area so full it overflows so you can't get your trim back on.I'd stay away from the versions designed to fill larger gaps.

And it will really stick to YOU.Wear disposible gloves or you'll have it on your hands litterally until it wears itself off.It actual says that on the can now....

Also one of the best tools I've run across for trim removal (big hit with remodelers and painters in my area) is the Mini Wonder Bar by Stanley.It's just a small version of the Wonder Bar pry bar with a nice narrow end.Easy to find and not expensive.
 
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Old 10-11-08, 09:53 AM
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Yeah, what David said...thats why I mentioned the DAPTex foam...but now I see I really didn't emphasize that. Musta been another post.

The DAP Tex Plus window and door is latex, water cleanup. Easy to use. Won't over expand.

One thing thats real nice as opposed to the Great Stuf type, you can clean out the tube and valve with hot water and it'll keep for future use for at least a couple of weeks. Matter of fact, just checked a 1/2 used can from May/June...still flows and works just fine. Course now it probably won't next time, when I really need it...lol.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 05:28 AM
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very poor pictures but it's the best i could do. Got the wood off my one bedroom window. It was nailed from the top down and also from the front - in. Is that normal?

What you cant see in the pics is that just below the opening is a box of sort. I guess it's just framing but i expected to see my concrete block. ALmost looks like a shallow flower planter box lol. Per the posts above, I think ill look into something like tex plus to try a few windows. I dont want to have to take all the wood off at the same time just to use up a can of that other stuff. Plus some may not come off so easily. I also did some temperature testing under the windows but wont muddle up this thread with it. But the amt of cold near some windows amazes me



 
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Old 11-24-08, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by spdavid View Post
Couple of thoughts:

If you use spray foam remember this:

This stuff is incredibly sticky and dries fast.The can will come with a tube attchments and you have to basically use the can all at one time without stopping or the foam will set up in the tubes and clog the nozzle.So once you start a can be prepared to finish it in one shot.

Also bear in mind it expands so don't fill an area so full it overflows so you can't get your trim back on.I'd stay away from the versions designed to fill larger gaps.

.
I have a quandry now that I'm thinking about this. From my pics posted above, the gap is clearly over 1/2 inch and the space in there is even larger since it goes 'down' a bit once inside the wall.

So i think i 'do' need the super expanding stuff for such a big space? No way can i just use traditional caulk there
 
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Old 11-24-08, 09:45 AM
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Don't use the super expanding stuff around doors and windows. It really does expand and dries pretty firm, like stale bread. You might bow the sill. The only time I ever used the extra expansion stuff was to replace the insulation in a hot tub cabinet.

The Dap-tex expands, it just doesn't over expand and it dries to a consistancy more like a soft packing peanut. You may need to make more than one pass to fill the gap completely, but thats the only issue I've ever had.

You could also, if you want, pack loose FG insulation under to fill most of the gap, then do the last inch or so with spray foam. It won't be as good as 2 seperate "walls" of spray foam though.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 09:53 AM
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I just realized something. I thought i had to insulate the 'entire area' under the window.

Are you saying no, just do the 1/2 + inch "slot" itself but leave the entire space open under the window?
 
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Old 11-24-08, 10:01 AM
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Well, most of the ones I've done with larger gaps, I like to put a bead of foam at the outer edge of the opening, then another bead at the inner edge. Is that clear? Basically I create a dead air space between the two walls of foam.

Now if it was really large, I think I'd do the outer area w/foam, let it cure, stuff with FG insulation (don't over compact it), then do the inner foam. That would be a good compromise.

The ones I've done have had just a 3/8-1/2" gap all around, And I have just filled it completely with foam pretty much. It's not that expensive. When I'm installing a $2400 Andersen door, whats another $15-20 on foam...
 
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Old 11-24-08, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Well, most of the ones I've done with larger gaps, I like to put a bead of foam at the outer edge of the opening, then another bead at the inner edge. Is that clear? Basically I create a dead air space between the two walls of foam.

Now if it was really large, I think I'd do the outer area w/foam, let it cure, stuff with FG insulation (don't over compact it), then do the inner foam. That would be a good compromise.

The ones I've done have had just a 3/8-1/2" gap all around, And I have just filled it completely with foam pretty much. It's not that expensive. When I'm installing a $2400 Andersen door, whats another $15-20 on foam...

I sorta understand the first paragraph. Are you saying just seal/caulk the 'slot' itself but let the entire open area under the window sill totally untouched?

Basically if you could pull off the window sill, you could put a 2x6 about 24 inches long under the sill.

Also one thing i never mentioned is none of my windows have any wood except on the bottom. Unsure if that's confusing us or not.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 10:43 AM
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Nope...the wood thing isn't confusing...doesn't really matter that much.
Lets clarify some things, then you can decide what will work best and within your budget.

When you seal the gaps with foam...it blocks air infiltration, helps with weatherproofing and slows transfer of heat/cold.

Caulk seals against weather and air, but really has little/no effect on heat or cold.

FG insulation slows transfer of heat/cold...but does little against air infiltration and nothing for weatherproofing.

A dead air space helps with heat transfer, but not as much as some form of insulation, whether it be foam, FG, or even strips of 2" styrofoam (which might be a good option come to think of it).

So somehow you need a combination of things to accomplish your goal of Weatherproofing, sealing and heat transfer.

Great Stuf foam has its uses in framing and basements (and spa's...lol) but even their Window and Door foam isn't as good (IE-easy to work with) as the DAP-Tex

Have to prep for a trip to the Inlaws in L.A. Hope I have been helpful
 
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Old 11-24-08, 11:11 AM
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TYVM..I guess home depot will be my next stop
 
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Old 12-23-08, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post

The Dap-tex expands, it just doesn't over expand and it dries to a consistancy more like a soft packing peanut. You may need to make more than one pass to fill the gap completely, but thats the only issue I've ever had.
I got around to doing this and the house is SO much less drafty. The 13 ft window doesnt have the same breeze coming from under it any more.

Anyone who hasnt done so, should really examine under their windows to see if they are insulated. Something that took less than 2 days (i wanted to wait until it dried) could save SO much fuel.

thanks for the help. I had a heck of a time getting some of the wood back on but thats my fault for not taking out the nails and renailing..will do that when i restain some year.
 
 

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