Prevent Water Leaks Part 2 – Replace Old Caulk

Our office has wonderful windows that I often use as a whiteboard. The colorful scrawl jolts my brain out of its fog. George doesn’t share my sense of whimsy. So, I cleaned the inside of the windows which, of course, made the outside dirt more obvious.

Stepping back to admire the clean outside windows, I saw the menace: dried, cracked caulk. Yikes! This wasn’t just discolored or cracked: it was a gaping fissure! And from the rusted nail heads starting to show through the paint, I’m guessing it’s been leaking all summer long. Ugh. I did a mental face palm.

Truly, I do follow George’s TIPs and check caulk around the windows, doors and hurricane shutters several times a year. But, I don’t recall the last time I checked. Probably it’s been at least 3 months since I inspected the exterior of the office. Caulk should last longer than 3 months, and in fact this did. It’s been two years since all the caulk was removed and replaced, and most of it is intact. Two things that shorten the life of caulk: southern exposure and weather. That’s exactly what happened here. The only place the caulk cracked was around the two windows that face south and have little protection from wind, sun and rain.

So, take another TIP from George: every couple months, check the caulk around windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If caulk is discolored, cracked or missing, then replace it now…before the next storm bubbles up from the Caribbean.

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