what is the best window caulk?

I have had to caulk windows every year on my 4 year old house. The window are Vinyl Milgards and the trim is wood like composite. The first year I used a Dow elastomeric 50 year caulk, then the polyurethane but it was not a good brand. Then I used Sidewinder.
Maybe it is my technique or maybe I should call my painter buddy who just gor devorced................. Anyone want to comment? What about the paintable exterior silicon? Oh the gaps are opening up on the window edge not the trim.
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sparky wrote:

Remove the old caulk, cut back as necessary. Meticulously clean the area to be caulked, final step is an alcohol wipe down. Use foam backer rod to control the caulk depth.
Google this newsgroup and alt.home.repair - this question comes up frequently.
R
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I like PL Polyurethane if it has to be painted or GE Silicone II if not. The downside to the PL is that it needs to cure for two weeks before painting.
The biggest problem with caulking is making sure there is a big enough gap for the caulk. If a given caulk can flex 50% then caulking an 1/8" gap will leave enough caulk to expand to 3/16" (1/16" is 50% of 1/8"). If the pieces are tight together, then there is just a thread of caulk so when the pieces move by 1/16" it tears the caulk loose.
Steve.
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I used the same ASTM required by Hardie for caulking their siding joints. Its a butyl based paintable caulking. Used around the window aluminum frame. The glass itself does not use caulking in the sense you portrayed, if that's your meaning.
--
Jonny



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Thanks Guy's I will think about what you all said for awhile. Jonny it is the vinyl of the milgard window that is breaking free of the composite trim. And Steve you are right it is a small gap. What is the make of the caulk you use for the Hardie?
-Sparky
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Dunno that was almost a year ago regarding mfr. Got it at Lowes. Was just looking for the ASTM recommended. Believe it was 920. I have aluminum frame window in the garage. Not sure about vinyl, and afraid of it due to its potential to burn, rip, tear, and give.
Regarding that window, I used a thick tar-base rolled sheet (shiny appearance) under the window. Under the sill, I used the material and lapped it over beneath to the studs, about a foot draping below. Wrapped the top and sides of the windows with standard #15 felt (tar)paper after that. Similar heavy material over the personnel entry door and its sides. After setting the door and window, I used poly isosomething material on the entire wall. Its an insulation material with aluminum on both sides. Then, put the Hardie lap siding over that. All was manually nailed to avoid damage. Then double coated manual painting to finish it off and seal.
--
Jonny
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sparky wrote:

Hey
I think you'll find Geocel products will do the trick for you Spanky. I've used them over 20 years and have no complaint. The Pro Flex is is the best of the best, and the ProColor can match your windows color. http://www.geocelusa.com/php/retail/products.php If you want some extra flexable caulk try the Pro Flex RV. Hope this helps Ron
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