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I'm trying to determine how strict to be when reviewing a contractors work.

We had new windows installed, which involved caulking around the outside, between the vinyl window and the new wood siding. There are places where there are small holes in the caulk. It seems like even a small hole defeats the purpose of having any caulk at all, since now water can get in.

Is 95% coverage good enough, or should it be 100%? Are a few 3 mm gaps here and there an issue I should bring up, or is that reasonable and expected with this type of work?

  • Where are these gaps? Are they in a consistent place, or is it just poor workmanship? In some situations, it is permissible to leave small gaps in it to drain out water that may have seeped in. These would typically be put under the window. – Jason Hutchinson Sep 8 '15 at 16:53
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    Locations: Random places along the edges. – mankoff Sep 8 '15 at 17:57
  • Are these new construction windows or replacement windows? Where is the contractor caulking them? Is there any other weather sealing (flashing or waterproof membrane over the nailing strips)? – Comintern Sep 8 '15 at 23:10
  • Replacement, although the whole wall was rebuilt. Caulk is visible at the wood siding level. I'm not sure what went inside, but there was flashing strips and flashing tape. – mankoff Sep 8 '15 at 23:15
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If it is a place where water can get in, it needs to be touched up. There are places where caulk should not be used so it will act like a weep hole. Since there is no picture to see the condition of the caulk, I can only assume the missing caulk is in a place where water can get in.

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