Where Not to Caulk Around Windows

Installing new windows is a great way to give your home a facelift and lower your energy bill. Proper installation requires caulk, but there is a right and wrong way to apply it. Before you get trigger-happy with the caulking gun, you need to know where not to caulk around windows.

These helpful tips will help guide you through the window-caulking process …

Tip 1: Understand the Purpose of Caulk

There are a ton of caulk options at the local hardware store, but why do you even need it in the first place? According to Energy.gov, heat loss through windows is responsible for 25% - 35% of energy use. Caulk stops air leaks and prevents warm air from escaping. You’ll spend less on energy keeping you or your family comfortable and keep more cash in your pocket.

Tip 2: Steer Clear of the Weep Holes

Most windows have weep holes. You’ll find them on wood, vinyl and metal window frames. Caulking over weep holes is a big mistake. Clogged weep holes can’t do their job properly and your windows can rot, collect mold or rust. Weep holes allow moisture behind the window to exit the frame, so if you want to avoid costly repairs down the road, keep caulk away from weep holes at all times.

Before applying caulk, look to see if your windows have weep holes or not. While the majority do, some manufacturers sell styles that don’t. These windows usually have a sloped lower sill that redirects water away from the windows. Find out if your windows have weep holes before you install them.

Tip 3: Don’t Caulk Trimmed-Out Windows

Many modern homes have trimmed-out windows that sit above the siding. As a rule of thumb, you should never caulk this window type. There is no reason to seal the joints. And if you do, you may end up causing more harm than good. The trimming already redirects excess moisture away from the windows, and caulk will trap the moisture inside.

Tip 4: Keep Caulk Away From Movable Parts

While it may be tempting to caulk all around your windows, caulking movable parts, for instance, may cause your window to seal shut. The ledge above the window frame also doesn’t need any caulk. This area has a drip edge that helps keeps the frame dry. Unless you want to replace your siding or frame, leave the top of your windows caulk-free.

Tip 5: Always Caulk the Interior and Exterior

Windows have two sides – one on the inside and one that faces outside. Should windows be caulked on the outside? Yes, it’s best to apply caulk to both the interior and exterior when installing new windows. This will seal any unwanted air leaks. Using a caulk gun will ensure you fill any gaps and get a clean line. Watch this helpful video to learn the right way to use a caulking gun.

Tip 6: Know the Different Types of Caulks

Walking down the caulk aisle of a home improvement store can feel overwhelming. There are dozens of types, and each one works best in particular environments.

You’ll find caulk for:

  • Exterior windows
  • Interior windows
  • Humid spaces
  • Masonry siding

Caulk for the exterior side of windows needs to be durable against extreme weather changes. Interior-side windows need a caulk that doesn’t release harmful fumes. If you have a humid room, pick a caulk that is mold-resistant and waterproof. Masonry siding, often found in basements, requires a caulk compatible with both the window and masonry surface.

Tip 7: Hire a Window Installation Expert

Just how difficult is window installation? Installing new windows requires a lot of skill and knowledge. One wrong move and you may end up with a pile of broken glass. And you don’t want to deal with a leaking, inefficient window down the road. Hiring a professional will save you time and prevent headaches. Plus, you won’t have to lift a finger.

Ready to install new windows? Mr. Handyman can help you out. We provide reliable window services and know where not to caulk around windows.Request service online or call (877) 685-1377 to schedule professional window installation.