Caulk Caulking a window on a brick house

Published on March 5th, 2017 | by Henri

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Caulking window exterior

Q.  I need to recaulk the outside of my vinyl windows that meet bricks. Should I use masonry caulk or window caulk?

A.  The existing caulking compound must be removed and the surfaces cleaned with acetone. The removal method depends on the type of caulk used. If silicone, you can break its bond using a utility knife to separate it from the surfaces, after which you should be able to peel it off.

If it is a different type of caulk, such as latex, butyl, oil-based, water-based, synthetic rubber or one of the several hybrids, you may try to soften it, using a hair dryer, being careful to move the dryer around in order not to damage the vinyl. Once softened, use a putty knife to pry it out. Or you can try one of the caulk removers available in hardware, building supply and big box stores. But I must confess that I haven’t the best of luck with some caulk removers. Mechanical means have been more successful for me.

As for a caulking compound, my preference is to use polyurethane caulking for all exterior uses.

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