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need for exterior caulking on wood colonial

Hi, I need a second opinion on some work I had done recently on my home.

I live in New England and have a traditional wood colonial built in 1996. I hired a contractor to replace some of the rotted casing around the windows (vertical boards only) and chimney box, and some of the clapboards. For the windows, he caulked the gaps between the clapboards and the vertical casing, but for the chimney box he left a lot of the gaps between the clapboards and the corner boards unsealed. He did seal the gaps for the bottom 10 feet or so of the chimney, but most of the upper part, including above the roof, remain unsealed and there are some pretty good sized gaps.

When I asked him about this he said that it wasn't absolutely necessary to caulk these because the house is sealed underneath with Tyvek and the moisture would run out anyway and not cause water damage. He's an experienced carpenter and I trust his judgement, but it seems to me that all of the gaps should be sealed up to protect the house from the weather. The corner boards appear to be caulked in everywhere else on the house from the original construction.

So my question is, is caulking standard practice for repair jobs like this on traditional wood clapboard houses? Thanks.

Re: need for exterior caulking on wood colonial

The Tyvek rainshield is the stop gap barrier when your siding and caulking is not doing its job. Yes, the joints where the siding meets the cornerboards should be caulked, as should all verticle seams and joints. It sounds like he forgot his ladder and just decided to give you a song and dance!

Re: need for exterior caulking on wood colonial

Look, if the house wrap is protecting the house, why do we bother with the exterior? We do because the wrap is not enough.

Therefore tell your buddy to do a complete job or get someone else who will. There is not a lot of time left before winter comes...so do it now.

Re: need for exterior caulking on wood colonial

exactly as the others stated, house wrap is the first stage of waterproofing during construction. after the cladding is done its now your last line of defense

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