Caulking

Caulking seals the leaks in your home that let the hot or cold in. If you want a cheap and effective way to save that cash that regularly goes to pay your electric or gas bill then caulking is your ticket.

Caulk forms a flexible seal for cracks, gaps or joints less than 1-guarter-inch wide.  You can use it to seal air leaks in many places throughout your home, including around windows and door frames.

Caulking is very easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.  With a ladder and a caulking gun you can caulk all your windows in no time.  Caulk guns are pretty cheap, but caulk compounds can also be found in aerosol cans, squeeze tubes, and even caulk ropes.

 

Most caulk compounds come in disposable cartridges that fit in half-barrel caulking guns.  Some pressurized cartridges do not require caulk guns. 

When you are trying to decide how much caulk you will need, consider that you will probably need about a half-cartridge per window or door.   For the foundation sill you will probably need at least 4 cartridges, depending of course on how large your house is.

Okay, here is how you apply caulk:

  • For good adhesion, clean all the areas you want to caulk.  Remove any old caulk and paint using a putty knife or large flat head screwdriver.  Make sure the area is dry so you won’t seal in moisture.
  • Apply caulk to all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and the wall.
  • Hold the gun a consistent angle.  Forty-five degrees is best for getting deep into the crack.  You know you’ve got the right angle when the caulk is immediately forced into the crack as it comes out of the tube.
  • Caulk in one straight continuous stream, if possible.  Avoid stops and starts.
  • Try and shoot the caulk into the bottom of a large gap or crack to avoid bubbles.
  • Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of a crack or seam.
  • Release the trigger before you come to a stopping place to avoid applying too much caulking compound.
  • If caulk oozes out of a crack, use a putty knife or a something similar to push it back in.
  • If the caulk shrinks after curing, reapply more until a smooth bead seals the crack or gap completely.

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