Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

Ask replacement window questions & get answers!
Post Reply
Message
Author
UThomeowner
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 1:00 pm

Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#1 Post by UThomeowner »

2EA2E108-392F-4916-A8C7-8D267D3D7B62.jpeg
I'm facing a dilemma on how to proceed with our window installation company. We hired a retrofit window installer with great reviews to replace nearly all the windows on our 1960s home in UT with Milgard vinyl windows. Installation occurred a month ago and ~80% of the project has been paid for, reserving 20% for resolution of specific outstanding issues.

We've faced a litany of problems (one window was mistakenly never ordered [6 month lead time], several windows were damaged in installation/transport, and our window trim sustained a lot of damage). Up to this point, the company has generally been willing to remedy the errors/issues, but the resulting delays are inconvenient to say the least.

However, I'm seeking feedback on a particular issue that recently presented itself. Namely, the installers liberally used clear, non-paintable silicone sealant on the exterior install. We explicitly told them we were painting the exterior wood siding and trim after the install, which required cutting our window trim, leaving exposed wood.

Welp, we now have painters on site and *surprise surprise* -- the paint will not stick to the silicone, even after the painters tried using an oil-based primer.

The window company has offered to cover the silicone with paintable caulk, claiming they do this "all the time." Everything I read online says nothing sticks well to silicone and it must be removed for a permanent fix. Apparently, new caulk will adhere to the wood around the silicone but not to the silicone itself. Shellac may float on the silicone, but it won't bind to it either.

The silicone is obviously adhered well to the wood and windows, so removing it without damage is probably not possible. In my mind, the fairest remedy is for the window company to replace the wood trim and remove as much silicone as possible from the windows before using a paintable sealant. There are 8 small/medium sized windows with fairly standard, non-ornate wooden trim.

My questions:

1. In your experience, is the fix suggested by window company (covering silicone with paintable caulk) a viable solution?

2. Do you ever use silicone on a painted exterior surface?

3. How would you approach this dilemma?

Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate this resource.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2805
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison, Northern IL

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#2 Post by HomeSealed »

1. In your experience, is the fix suggested by window company (covering silicone with paintable caulk) a viable solution?
Can't say for certain, but it could be. I'd probably be looking to remove as much of the silicone and its residue prior to doing so.

2. Do you ever use silicone on a painted exterior surface?
Rarely, and for that reason. Can't say never though... Some guys do prefer it but it certainly shouldn't be used in situations where its obvious that paint is needed and coming.

3. How would you approach this dilemma?
I would explain your concerns and require a written guarantee for their proposed fix. I don't think that replacing all of the wood would be warranted either way, there are other creative potential solutions here. They should be willing to stand behind whatever they propose.

WindowsDirectCinci
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#3 Post by WindowsDirectCinci »

Could they just put some new wood trim over top of the silicone and you paint that. I see the weep holes on the windows so not sure 1/4" would work but I know the box stores have 1/4" thick wood in varying sizes. Replacing the wood is overkill and doesn't seem like a reasonable solution to me. Cleaning it off and recalling it is a pain but may be the best and easiest solution.

UThomeowner
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 1:00 pm

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#4 Post by UThomeowner »

Thanks for the feedback. I don’t think additional trim can be added because the weep holes are too low to accommodate it (don’t know why my photo rotated). I guess I’ll see if they’ll guarantee their caulk on top of silicone fix…I’m open to any other creative solutions!

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4964
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

If they cut back the facing trim, cleanly, a painted piece of PVC shoe or molding might be the easier fix and you'd have double coverage at that point.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2805
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison, Northern IL

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#6 Post by HomeSealed »

Good advice above, that's the "creative" part that I referred to. Adding a piece of wood, or aluminum trim, cutting back existing if needed, etc. Lots of possibilities there without needing to replace all of the wood.

User avatar
toddinmn
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#7 Post by toddinmn »

Clear silicone is big no-no in my book,
Should have used a product similar to a beige quad that matched the window.
It appears they got over the face of the frame in a not so graceful manner as well.
Don’t let them go over the top with another product because of bonding issues.
They may still have to cut out the silicone if they put trim over it due to their bead.
I think I’d have them do one and check it out before they create more issues.

User avatar
TheWindowNerd
Posts: 2140
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Such a shame, easy to avoid problem. A matching beige Quad Max or equal would have made things sweet.

We use silicone most of the time. When we know a contrasting paint will be used we use something paintable.

Toods advice to do one and see the results seems like a safe way to proceed.

theWindowNerd

UThomeowner
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 1:00 pm

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#9 Post by UThomeowner »

Thought I’d post an update for you helpful folks. Wish it were a happier one. The window installers came and scraped out as much silicone as they could and applied a beige, paintable sealant on top. We were concerned about applying the sealant in the summer heat, even though “the guy” said it would be fine, so asked them to come in the morning when things were cooler.

This morning they applied their bandaid and by this evening, the sealant is filled with unsightly bubbles! These windows are in direct sun and it was 100+ today so I assume that’s why. I’m almost don’t even care and have resigned myself to my windows looking crappy for the next 20 years!
4C3E65B5-EFE8-4DC4-8FB4-38392D97C2DA.jpeg

User avatar
toddinmn
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#10 Post by toddinmn »

How well did they remove the old stuff?
What product did they use?

User avatar
TheWindowNerd
Posts: 2140
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#11 Post by TheWindowNerd »

That looks like off gassing of foam.
Did they clean off the clear silicone, foam, and then caulk?
If so they did not wait for the foam to cure ( can take hours depending on the type and thickness of the foam) before they caulked.
theWindowNerd

User avatar
Randy
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:26 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#12 Post by Randy »

20 years is a long time. Don't let yourself get worn down, insist that it get done right. It does look like a foam issue to me as well, but perhaps it's the caulk. It needs to be redone again. Don't pay the balance in full until it's right.

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4964
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#13 Post by Windows on Washington »

+1. Some foam reactivity. Needs to be cut out and cleaned up.

User avatar
TheWindowNerd
Posts: 2140
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Install Gone Wrong - Non-paintable Silicone

#14 Post by TheWindowNerd »

I am sure you are discouraged. Hang in there and have them do it right.
Hard to believe they would leave it that way since this is supposed to be a fix.

Post Reply