Follow these tips for caulking windows from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Weatherizing your home can cut down on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. One way to do this is by caulking windows and closing up leaks in your home. According to the Energy Information Administration, 65 percent of a home’s energy bill is from heating and cooling the home–and half of the conditioned air leaks out of the home. By caulking the exterior windows, you can save on your heating and cooling bill. Follow these tips for caulking windows with the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
1. Choose the Right Caulk
For exterior caulking projects, you’ll want to use a silicone caulk. It’s waterproof and extremely durable against the elements. It’s also flexible and shrink-proof, unlike acrylic caulk. Acrylic caulk can actually crack and shrink over time, leading to leaks and energy loss.
2. Remove Old Caulk Before Using New Caulk
Before you start applying new caulk, you need to remove the old caulk around your windows. Use a utility knife or putty knife to get a piece started, and peel away the existing caulk with your hands. To remove any leftover adhesive, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth. Make sure the surface is completely clean and dry before you apply the new caulk.
3. Use a Caulking Gun
If you’re new to caulking, you will need a caulking gun to dispense the caulk from the tube. Once you have the tube of caulk in the caulk gun, hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle. To ensure a smooth bead, hold your hand steady and keep even pressure while squeezing the caulk gun.
4. Start at the Top
Use a stepladder or extension ladder so you can easily reach the top of the window frame. Start caulking along the top of the window frame, where the frame meets the house. Once the top is done, start on the sides, sliding from top to bottom. Finish with the bottom of the window frame. Your goal is to have a smooth, even line of caulk.
5. Let the Caulk Dry
You should caulk your windows on a dry day. Some caulk can take 24 hours to completely dry and become waterproof. This is another reason it’s important to use a silicone caulk. Once the caulk is dry, the seal is complete.