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Question DetailsAsked on 5/31/2013

What is the silicone size gap around windows when installed in brick?

New Pella windows installed in the front of my house which is brick. Silicone gap around windows is 5/8 - 3/4 inch. Pella's installation instructions say this gap should be 3/8 inch. The huge silicone gap looks terrible and the silicone is actually bubbling from the suns heat. Contractor is saying bigger windows to make the silicone gap smaller won't fit. Everyone I ask about this problem is telling me silicone gap should be no more than 3/8 inch. Replacing the six windows is a $20,000 repair. What should I do?

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1 Answer


Hopefully Todd Shell will chime in here on this, with his experience.

The recommended gap for caulking is 1/4-3/8 inch - leaves room for window frame expansion without making it too wide for the caulk to bridge effectively. Wider will result in the caulk shrinking away from one oedge fr the other, leaving a split or gap inthe protection.

Usual practice is to use brick mold (reasonably enough, so called because it is the customary solution for this problem with brick and stone walls, as well as most wood walls). I am shocked your window installer did not know about this - I am guessing you had some box store do the install - for the fix I recommend you get a real professional window installer.

For windows that project to the face of the brick, the brick mold is a decorative molding trim strip (wood, MDF,Vinyl, or rigid extruded foam, about 1-1-1/2" thick by 2-3" wide) which, after non-pressurizing expended foam infilling of the gap between the brick and the window frame, is nailed on so it covers the edge piece of the window frame and is flush with the inside face of the frame. It extends from there to overlap (with caulking at the outside edge both behind and at the corner) the brick, providing a complete bridge over the gap between brick and window frame. For recessed installations, it again sits flush with the inside face of the window frame, and butts up against the brick (scribed to match if rough face or stone), again caulked at the brick contact.

Here is a link to a photo showing brick mold on door and window where installation is flush with the brick face:

And one showing use for a recessed window, albeit a deteriorated one:

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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