Reuben Saltzman

Reuben’s Quick Tip: Caulk Doesn’t Belong Here

If I’m going to write a blog about caulk, I need to get something out of the way first; it’s pronounced kawk, not kallllk.  The “L” is silent, and the word rhymes with walk or talk.  If you’re uncomfortable uttering this word aloud, try ‘sealant’ instead.  Moving on.

As we learned from Charles Buelle’s blog about caulking not caulking at the base of tiled shower walls, there are just some places where caulking doesn’t belong.

One of the most common offenders is at the bottom of storm windows; if the base of the storm window gets caulked shut, where does the water go?

Caulk at base of storm window

Nowhere.  It just sits there and rots the window out.  Most storm windows already come with weep holes in the bottom of the window to allow water to drain out; keep these holes open.

Weep holes

When I find caulking at the base of storm windows, I recommend repair.  The fix can be as simple as drilling a bunch of holes at the base of the storm window.

POST EDIT 11/10/10 – Please read the insightful comment about this blog post left by Chad.  This post is about a very specific issue, while Chad’s comment is about the bigger picture.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections – Email – Minneapolis Home Inspections

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No responses to “Reuben’s Quick Tip: Caulk Doesn’t Belong Here”

  1. Chad
    November 9, 2010, 6:51 pm

    It may not seem logical, but “Buildings Leak”, and in good construction these leaks are used to improve the buildings health.

    However, what is the difference between good construction and poor construction is how leaks are addressed.

    It isn’t healthy for the building or the occupants using the building for the structure to be “absolutely tight”. Just like animals and plants, we want these structures to have the ability to breath.

    For buildings, breathing enables moisture that enters in the opportunity to dissipate or be removed.

    Moisture enters in many ways and from many sources (condensation, water, humidity, plants, animals, activities, cooking, air, vapor, etc)

    For Building, where appropriate, “Breathing” means we enable evaporation and air to assist in keeping things dry by providing opportunities for things to escape.

    For Windows, Doors and other Opening, this means providing opportunities at the bottom or sill for the moisture to leak out at place like “weeps”

  2. Reuben's Quick Tip: Caulk Doesn't Belong Here, Part II | Reuben's Home Inspection Blog
    November 16, 2010, 4:56 am

    […] week I blogged about not caulking at the base of storm windows, which is a simple no-brainer. Another place that should never be caulked is the space between the […]

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