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Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:25 am
by ChrisF
catya wrote:Someone told me about some kind of rods or strips for that purpose, does anyone know about that? Is the foam adhesion more or less permanent?
Foam backer rod....it comes in strips of various shapes (cylindrical, square, etc.). It's the same stuff that inexpensive water pipe insulation is made from. Just cut a piece to length, push it into the opening with a putty knife, then caulk over it. Works fine.

And yes, expanding foam is VERY sticky and doesn't come loose once it's in place.

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:50 am
by lrkrgrrl
Expanding foam is NOT recommended for use around windows or doors. It is powerful enough to push parts out of alignment, or bend and warp things even more.

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:06 pm
by Tom
The danger with spray foam is when it does not have enough room to expand. That is when it will indeed push a window out of alignment. But, if there is room to expand and you can just shave off the excess, that should be ok. I personally like using the foam backer rod and then applying caulk over it. Backer rod can be cut or trimmed so that it fits just about any space, up to a certain width.

Have not tried spray foam for those larger cracks, but that strikes me as a pretty good techique, also.

caulk & SW paint problem

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:41 pm
by johno
Sorry - haven't been watching the forum for a few days. Like GLHA, I've been working like crazy trying to wrap up outside painting before the cold sets in and the was away this weekend.

ChrisF - No problems with SW paint & Dynaflex???? Somehow, I just don't know why these strange problems only seem to happen to me! Anyway, I looked back at my notes from last year when I first encountered the problem and it was almost two weeks between caulking and painting. This was October in Northeast PA, so the weather was pretty cold & crappy, so at that time, I could accept the "environmental issues" excuse. However, I had the same problem this Sept and it was perfect weather. Although, this time I only waited 3 days between caulking and painting. And, no, I did not prime the caulk. So, looks like I should plan on waiting at least a week and then priming the caulk. I'll have to check out Muralo paint. I have heard good things about Muralo.

Also, Chris, can you clarify the type of SW super paint you used. Was it gloss or semi-gloss? I only had a problem with the gloss. I tried some satin super paint and it was ok. I'm thinking gloss has just enough acrylics in it to be a problem, where the others are ok.

And about excuses - The "working as designed" excuse is a big pet peeve of mine. I'm a software / database technican and hear this phrase used all too often to cover for poor design or lazy co-workers that just do not want to do their jobs. Not fair - people deserve better, like a resolution or at the very least one major honest attempt at trying to fix the problem!

SW A100 oil primer - I've had some problems with the oil primer taking a very long time to dry when it is very humid, and you're right, it has nothing to do with the type of wood. By the way, cypress storm windows - Oh man, they must be beautiful. I'm making a bunch, but they are only done with pine. We will have to compare storm window designs someday!

GLHA - I guess I'll have to call SW back and push the issue further. I was happy to find my own solution, with no help from SW and was moving forward with the Sidewinder caulk. As I see it, SW still should stand behind the sticky mess that is already on the house from last year, before I started using the Sidewinder. I'll have to call & be a pest.

The gaps I'm sealing vary from 1/16" up to 1/4. The tiny cracks are in the window jambs and between the parts of the window sills. The larger gaps are between the wood trim and J channel on the aluminum siding (yuk). I know I'm pushing my luck here because some of the beads of caulk got pretty heavy, but no gaps over 1/4".

I've never used the foam backer rods. If I have a gap that big, I just stick some epoxy or wood filler in there and let it harden for a few days, then throw a bead of caulk over it in case it moves or cracks away from the J channel. Now, using expanding foam to make my own backing, that's a pretty cool idea!


Sealing Around Windows on Block Wall Openings

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:32 am
by GLHA-Contractor
The best way to properly seal around rough openings of window frames is to remove trim on both the inside and outside of the window frame. You should now be able to see any filler between the wooden window frame and the rough wall opening. Now is also the best time to adjust any settling of the window in the wall and re-square the window if you have any abnormally overt problems. Remove any of the filler. depending on how old the home and windows are and the building system used at that time, there may be celotex strips in there, cellulous (it looks like mouse nest packed in there), fiberglass, news paper, or if recently done, foam.

Remove any loose or inferior, packing and using a 'plumb bob' to guage square; you can make a simple guage by using a piece of string, thumb tack and a good size metal washer for weight and tie the washer to the bottom end of the string and with a loop on the top end, thumb tack the string in the top left corner of the window frame so the washer hangs down without touching the sill. With a ruler, measure from the top of the string to the left side of the window frame and again near the bottom of the string to the left side of the window frame. If the difference is less than an eighth of an inch, I wouldn't change the 'setting' of the window in the rough opening.

You may also use a small topedo level to check both side and sill for square.

If you require 're-setting' the square of the window frame in the rough opening, remove any of the anchors that have been used to attatch the window frame to the rough opening. In a wood frame building, there are usually nails driven through the window frame and into the studs of the rough opening and should have some kind of shims or spacers holding the frame out to create 'square'. However don't freak if they are not there as this may be why the window isn't square in the first place after you test and determine its not square. Windows should never be installed tight into the opening but shimmed in to securely 'float' in the rough opening so that there is room to adjust the window to square and to pack the gap to insulate and seconarily soft hold the window frame and shimming further in place. With your plumb bob in place, this permits you to regularly take measurements to check for square during the 're-setting' until you have the window where you want it. There should be two nails on each side about 1/4 the way from the top and bottom. Tapered cedar shims work best but have seen broken lath used. Don't hammer on the window frame with the sashes in place unl;ess you want to re-glaze your window panes too. Drive your nails in with shimming in on both sides adjusting the amount of shim stock on one side or the other until you establish square, then nail the nails in flush but no further as drawing the nails in will drive the setting off.

If the building is block or concrete, it may be bolted or nailed in with older nails designed for concrete called steel cuts. If bolted, loosen bolts and insert shimming as needed until square then follow the repacking instructions above.

If the windows are installed with steel cuts, we suggest using blue masonary screws with matching pre-drilling bits designed to permit the screws to cut into the concrete as they are screwed into the drilled holes. Have your local hardware or lumber yard help you select the proper screws and drill bits. Drill into the wood window frame with a wood bit first. Then drill through the hole and into into the concrete or block with the masonary bit. Any shims should be pre-drilled with your wood bit first also. Insert your masonary screw into the wood frame shallow, insert the shims bewteen the frame and concrete wall and line up the pre-drilled holes in the shims so the screw will pass through the shims when the screw is pushed the rest of the way through. The screw should have between a half and three quarters of an inch but not more than two inches of screw left to drive in to be flush with the window frame surface. Your pre-drilled hole in the block or concrete should be at least a half inch if not more deeper than the remaining screw length. Bottoming out of the screw in a shallow hole will cause the "tapping" of the screw in the pre-drilled hole to fail and the screw will no longer Anchor the frame in place.

Once the window is Square and Set in place, the old method is to use a putty knife or screw driver and push or pack pieces of newspaper, cellulous, or fiberglass insulation into the gaps to close off the passage of air around the window frame.

The modern and most efficient method, which as a restoration contractor, I am not opposed to as it is concealed, is to use an A/B componant foam or canned expansion foam such as Great Stuff or something comparable. Shake the can well, turn it upside down as most directions require, insert the straw or semi rigid hose like nozzle into the opeing and push the trigger, discharging the cans contents into the opening allowing it to expand and fill to seal the gap. Let the foam cure for 4 to 6 hours and then using a razor knife, trim the now dry foam flush with the wall surface both inside and outside. You may now re-install the trim boards and caulk around the trim boards where they seat flush up against the wall surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth. This will give you a nice clean joint and will look great when painted. Hope this helps.

If you live in Michigan, check us out on the web at: http://www.glhawelcome.com
or email us with inquiries at:

We serve The Thumb and eastern Michigan including the Mid-Michigan Tri-Cities. We will travel outside our service area for mileage, lodging and meals plus normal rates. We specialize in Restoration Work of older buildings in "Good" condition.

added Comment

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:49 am
by GLHA-Contractor
I went back and read some of the posts regarding expanding foam pushing out walls and window frams, etc., and although yes its true that can be a problem, that is for the person that does not have the window or door frame properly seated in the opening and uses a tanker truck of expanding foam to fill the opening completely as though they are filling a swimming pool. If you want to apply the Reb Green, more is good plan, you deserve to have whatever happens. You never fill the gap completely but allow the foam to fill two thirds the space and expand into the remaining third. We have used this method for the last 15 years and have been doing Restoration Contracting for over 20 plus years so take the advice for what you will. Its not flawed. But your points are well taken when directions are not followed.

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:37 pm
by ChrisF
lrkrgrrl wrote:Expanding foam is NOT recommended for use around windows or doors. It is powerful enough to push parts out of alignment, or bend and warp things even more.
I'm pretty sure I saw some expanding foam specifically labeled as being for windows & doors the last time I bought the stuff. It's probably a minimally expanding foam geared for those who don't read the backs of cans. :D

Re: caulk & SW paint problem

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:46 pm
by ChrisF
johno wrote:ChrisF - No problems with SW paint & Dynaflex???? Somehow, I just don't know why these strange problems only seem to happen to me!
You're the lucky one!
I'll have to check out Muralo paint. I have heard good things about Muralo.
When I painted my house two years ago, I had some siding that was a very dark grey (previous color of the house), with white siding next to it (which I had just primed). One coat of reasonably light green Muralo paint covered well enough that I couldn't tell which was which, and that blew my mind. I then painted my son's room with their interior paint (the one with microscopic ceramic balls in it for durability), and it's the only time in my life that I was ever satisfied with only one coat (went from lavendar to a mid-blue).
Also, Chris, can you clarify the type of SW super paint you used. Was it gloss or semi-gloss?
Semi-gloss, plain white with only 1/128 deep gold tint added to knock down the brightness. The caulk was left to cure for at LEAST a week, then it was primed with their interior/exterior latex primer, then two topcoats.
SW A100 oil primer - I've had some problems with the oil primer taking a very long time to dry when it is very humid, and you're right, it has nothing to do with the type of wood. By the way, cypress storm windows - Oh man, they must be beautiful.
They're all painted, both inside and out. I was able to get cypress locally (I'm up north, and cypress is a southern wood) for less than clear white pine costs, so I used that. Cypress may be more rot resistant, but pine sure smells a lot better when you're cutting it. I've made storms out of pine too (and some this year out of old growth poplar). They all work equally well when there's paint on them.

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Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:43 pm
by LorenaBlairBOp
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