Is ‘CAULK’ a 4 letter word to you ? Does that mean “FLASHING” reminds you of a ‘perv’ in the park.
I would think so judging by the number of places I’m seeing that should have flashing in use but has none or is relying on caulked seams instead.
A blog Relying on Caulking by a fellow inspector, Steven L. Smith here in AR got me thinking about the defects that I commonly see regarding these products. His main points were about the life expectancy of caulking and their being used instead of the proper flashing.
I concur with the points he makes and I routinely advise clients that when caulking maintenance is required that this actually means that the old has to be stripped (not usually an easy job) and then new caulking reapplied.
Far too often I see newer caulking smeared over old, sometimes multiple layers. This does not work.
When caulking fails it has dried out and cracked. It is hard, inflexible and no longer adhering to the surfaces around it.
If you caulk over that you are either (1) caulking between the old stuff and the adjacent surface or (2) smearing new caulking over the old stuff trying to cover everything.
In both situations it is messy to do and hard to have a good looking result.
If you are caulking around the old stuff, that (old caulk) will continue to dry out and crack and let water in, so your effort lasts but a short time.
If you are trying to cover everything, even if you do a good job, what you have in the end is a too thin a layer that will rapidly dry out and fail.
The old does have to be stripped out and the new fully reapplied in full bead that will retain its’ volatile fluids, remain flexible and last at least a significant fraction of the time its’ maker claims.
Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post