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It's winter time again and our windows are really drafty so I am going to start replacing some of the old cracking caulk around the windows on the exterior of the home. In the process of examining my windows, I noticed that there is what looks to be a drip edge above the window but underneath the lintel. See attached images for reference.

My questions are:

  1. Is this actually a drip edge (it is plastic and not metal)?
  2. If so, is the drip edge normally installed under the lintel instead of on top of it? I haven't seen that done before.
  3. If it is a drip edge, should it have been sealed with caulk between it and the lintel as shown in the picture?
  4. If it is not a drip edge, can I caulk it to prevent drafts that may be caused by it?

Window Pic 1

Window Pic 2

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That looks like a metal L-bar which is holding up the bricks.

Overall I would not caulk that because water will have nowhere to escape. Here is how water will likely travel:

enter image description here

Don't close off its escape route or else you're asking for trouble.

Overall I do not see an accessible place to caulk which would prevent drafts.

I would schedule a consultation with some window or energy companies to assess how to best seal your windows. They will likely point out problem areas and explain how they would fix them.

If you do end up caulking things then make sure to use exterior paintable silicone and not that cheap acrylic stuff.

The best bang for your buck is going to be to take off the interior trim and insulate the space between the window and rough-in frame with expanding foam. As you re-install the trim you should caulk with a high quality paintable silicone. This should fix draft issues. If you find that you also have moisture or rot issues then that is a completely different ball-game.


Other sources of draft/coldness:

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    Based on this (what I think is accurate) assessment, I'd suggest that the interior trim be removed so OP can examine the state of the walls on the inside. Fix up insulation there, and apply caulk on the inside to stop drafts.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 4 '20 at 14:30
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    @FreeMan Thanks, that is certainly a good DIY route. I'll expand my answer for possible source of draft because the windows do seem to be double-pane at least.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 4 '20 at 14:33

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