Best caulk for interior windows?

christina929June 8, 2010

Hello all. I live in the Washington DC area, and after this past winter's heavy snowstorms, I had water damage to the inside of my house -- a ice dam in my gutters caused water to back up and seep into the house through the frame around my replacement vinyl windows.

Everything's dry now, but the caulking around the windows is stained and cracked. Unfortunately, I don't have a good closeup picture of what I'm talking about, and my camera is broken at the moment -- but hopefully these pictures can give you an idea of the small cracks I'm referring to:

I am wondering what kind of caulk I should use to repair those cracks? Do I need to replace the old, stained caulk (and if so, how do I do that?) or can I caulk over what's already there?

Thanks so much in advance for any help you can lend!

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Any good latex caulk will work.

You should probably clear the water staining as it may bleed through.

Also, the source of you water was likely not from around the window frame but from around the eave and through the roof/attic.

Clearing your gutters and Ice/water shield on the roof will ultimately not fix an ice damn if the conditions are right.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 7:21AM
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+1 on the roof causing the problem.

We got deluged with phone calls after the February Snow Storm in the DC area from consumers who insisted their windows were leaking. Everyone single one we inspected was caused by lack of Ice and Water Shield on the roof eaves. We suggested they contact the company that installed their roof if it was newer than 12 years and if they couldn't get them to correct the problem that they contact the building inspection office as this has been code in most jurisdictions in VA. for over 12 years. Some folks got down right nasty on insisting it was the windows and not the roof.

Caulking the holes will not solve the problem. Putting a proper ice and water shield is the only thing that will.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Thanks for your help, guys! :-)

I totally agree with both of you; it's the roof and not the windows. There was all kinds of roof damage caused by the storms this past winter. I live in a condo and the management company is taking care of installing/repairing the ice and water shield needed for the gutters.

It's just that in the meantime, I need to take care of this cosmetic issue. This has never happened before in five years, fingers crossed that it won't happen again while I'm living there.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Unfortunately, Ice and Water shield will not solve the problem.

It may stop the water from coming in, however, the source of the melting is another issue separate from the roof.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:13PM
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"Unfortunately, Ice and Water shield will not solve the problem.

It may stop the water from coming in, however, the source of the melting is another issue separate from the roof."

Washington, DC had record snowfall last winter.

Using ice and water shield is exactly what is needed.

We do not design for snow storms that occur every hundred years.
There is probably nothing wrong qwith your house if that was the first time leaking occured.

Ice and water shield on overhanging sections of roofs is exactly intended as a backup to reduce the entry of water.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


Thank you for the history lesson on this years winter. My back remembers the shoveling.

Ice and water shield will prevent the water from entering the roof in most cases, however, it does not stop the source of the melting. That is what I was referring to.

Ice and water shield is a standard in ever roof that we replace at the eaves, valleys, walls, and other elevation changes.

That being the case, I can design and install a roof without ice and water shield that will not ice damn and therefore will not need it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 3:18PM
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