How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of exterior caulking?
Sunday, December 15, 2019
How long does caulking last?
You can expect exterior caulk to last 7 to 10 years, based on using acrylic latex or latex/silicone caulk with a coat of paint over it. This is also the average life of exterior paint, so an important part of repainting a home is redoing the caulk at the same time.
Like any average, the life of caulk if affecting by variables like:
•• Rate of movement - Caulk spans between surfaces, and how much the surfaces move and flex with changing temperature and moisture will affect its life.
•• Sun exposure - Both the UV-light and the hot/cold cycles of direct sun exposure will shorten caulk life.
•• Surface prep - Removing old caulk and cleaning any dust/dirt from the surface is necessary for good caulk adhesion and life.
Diligent caulking around windows and doors has the added benefit of increasing the energy efficiency of your home by reducing air leakage. Go to our blog post How can I improve the energy efficiency of my older home? for more on this, plus notes on how to caulk like a pro.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about LIFE EXPECTANCY:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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