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How to fix bad caulking by previous owners


JStewartThorn's Avatar
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09-09-17, 11:12 PM   #1 (permalink)  
How to fix bad caulking by previous owners

The previous owners of our new to us/older house caulked between *every* board on our horizontal siding. Everything I've read said you should never do this! Of course now the caulking is cracking and looking terrible. It's likely they didn't even the right caulking for exterior work. I'm trying to figure out what the best fix would be and how urgent it is. We're already getting a new roof this year so I'd like to put off having to repaint the house until next year if possible. Of course if it means my siding is going to rot that's not the right choice! Does anyone have any experience or advice on this?

Thanks!

 
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09-09-17, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)  
You haven't given us much to go on... what type of siding? What kind of caulk was used? Is it hard or soft? Cracked... got that. But hard to imagine the mess or any corrective measures with no photos.

 
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09-09-17, 11:37 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Good point! It's my first time posting here I'll take some photos tomorrow when it's light and add them.

 
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09-09-17, 11:49 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Ok, we will keep an eye out for them. Btw, welcome! 😎

 
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09-10-17, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Here are some pictures. There are only a 2-3 places where it is a bad as the worse picture but there is a lot of the the smaller cracking in the second picture. The caulking is hard but not crumbling. It will dent under pressure from my finger nail but spring back. It's 1940's wood siding. I have no idea when in the life of the house the caulking was applied. We bought it from flippers who bought it from someone who inherited it and never lived in it. Thanks for any help/ ideas you may have!

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09-10-17, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)  
If you go to Home Depot or Lowe's and go to the tile dept, look for a carbide grout scraper. Its a small triangle shaped scraper. I would say you could use it to scrape the worst areas down before you recaulk (if needed) and repaint.

 
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09-10-17, 01:59 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Thanks! I was hoping there was a solution that didn't involve removing all the caulk because as I said it's between every board on the entire house. But if it's the right thing to do it's the right thing to do. We may just do the worst areas this year and do the rest and repaint the whole house next year.

 
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09-10-17, 02:04 PM   #8 (permalink)  
If that fails to work you might also try a stiff putty knife or glaziers knife and hammer... just place it at an angle and tap it with a hammer. Brittle caulking will usually pop right off without too much trouble as its no longer adhered very well.

 
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09-10-17, 03:47 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Often once you get caulking to come loose at one end you can peel it out although a lot depends on the prep before the caulking was applied and the quality [or lack] of the caulking.


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