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To Use Caulking or Not


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My house has two foot extend eves from the main frame. The fascia is 8"(h) x 3/4" thick and soffits are 1/4" plywood. Quarter round molding is used were soffits meet fascia and is finish nailed. I have replaced areas of rot and wondering if I should use caulking throughout for the new and old quarter round or will it cause rot if I do by trapping moisture. Caulking was not used previously.

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I wouldn't bother with it if the fascia extends slightly below the quarter round so the rainwater can run off.

If the quarter round is flush with the bottom of the fascia then I'd bed the quarter round in sealant before nailing, otherwise capillary action will draw water up in between trim and fascia and rot it.

Use an exterior grade sealant. Something that won't lose it's flexibility with time.

Marc

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You are wise Sir. The fascia does extend about 1/2" past the quarter round in all areas except about a 3 foot section. I will caulk that section. I have a tube of DAP Dynaflex 230 (hope it's not crap) that should work.

Another ? if care to answer. Is wood spackle okay to use to fill chipped paint on exterior wood or would Bondo be better?

Thank You

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1/4 round is interior grade finish material, not exterior. If you have to have 1/4 round, use plastic.

Caulk is the DIY'ers solution to everything. Never has there been a single product so heralded that is so universally lousy. "Spackle" comes in at a close second.

Treat the whole area with an epoxy; I use WEST system, but Abaton is great and so are a lot of others. Mix up some epoxy, thin it with lacquer thinner or whatever thinner the mfg. indicates, brush it on. After epoxy, then do whatever you feel is appropriate.

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Standard soffit material around here is 3/8" BC. Once upon a time you could buy rabetted fascia that would accept the thin soffit panels. If there is quarter round there is likely no rabbet and the mold attempts to control the wavy gravy factor. Caulk would likely help hold it all together but the whole assembly is sort of sub-standard.

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Sure is. I see it all the time and it's exactly as you describe.

I might forgo the 1/4 round in favor of some other trim profile that allowed use of other materials.

What I know for sure is, when you take interior grade trim wood, use it outside, and rely on caulk or spackle for anything, you end up with mold and rot same as before. Maybe the caulk would put it off a season or so, but the greater likelihood is the caulk holding moisture in than keeping it out.

I'm a great fan of epoxy. I've repaired stuff with Abaton systems, and my own methods of WEST epoxy and fillers, that have held up for decades in conditions where all common sense says they shouldn't. I discovered the benefits of epoxy back when I was torturing myself with a small wooden boat collection; if it works maritime, it'll definitely work on a house.

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Thanks for the replies... great info. Never thought of using an epoxy, but makes a lot of sense. Fortunately I don't have a lot of quarter round to replace.

Also, it looks like there is some extensive old termite damage to the 2" x 6" behind the fascia that will need to be dealt with when a (future) new roof is installed. Very tempted to do the existing roof removal and wood repair myself when the time comes. I have cheap labor (my son 16 year son and his buddies) to get it done quicker.

Damn I wish I knew more about construction when I purchased my home 11 years ago.

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Thanks for the replies... great info. Never thought of using an epoxy, but makes a lot of sense. Fortunately I don't have a lot of quarter round to replace.

Also, it looks like there is some extensive old termite damage to the 2" x 6" behind the fascia that will need to be dealt with when a (future) new roof is installed. Very tempted to do the existing roof removal and wood repair myself when the time comes. I have cheap labor (my son 16 year son and his buddies) to get it done quicker.

Damn I wish I knew more about construction when I purchased my home 11 years ago.

I always tell my clients to keep the relationship open after closing and contact me when they need guidance on things related to the house and property.

If you've used an inspector before, you might try that with him/her.

Marc

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