Would you leave a window open all winter or summer long? Most people wouldn't, but the average home has leaks equivalent to leaving a 2-square foot window open all winter long. Eek! Read these caulking tips so you can seal those leaks, save on your energy bills, and spend that money on something better.
Where to Start
Check all of your existing windows and doors. All you need is a caulking gun and a few cartridges of high-quality caulk to make your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, you'll keep both moisture and insects out of your house.
- Make sure you don't skimp on caulk. The bead should be at least 3/16" wide and 1/4" thick, or bigger when possible. This ensures there is enough mass of the caulk to easily handle the movement that occurs with humidity and temperature changes.
- Prime first. Primer improves the overall adhesion and performance of your caulk. (Make sure your primer is chemically compatible with your caulk. Not sure? Check Give us a call at 800-767-5656 or chat live with one of our technical experts.)
- Speaking of....if your caulking project coincides with painting or staining, make sure the paint or stain you use will work with the caulk you're using. If the paint or stain contains wax, stearates, silicones, paraffinic oils or similar ingredients, the paint won't stick to the caulk, and may cause the caulk to lose adhesion over time. Contact us with your questions. You'll save yourself a lot of time, money and effort using products that work together.
- Your HVAC system can create a slight amount of air pressure inside your house when it's running. As you seal the cracks in your house with caulk, this pressure might contribute to small bubbles in the caulk while it's still wet. To minimize this risk, leave one or more of your windows slightly open just for a couple of days while the caulk firms up so that it can resist this slight pressure. (Spring and fall are perfect for this type of work, since you don't have to run the HVAC on many days.)
- It's a good idea to fill the large voids between the window frames and the framing of the stud walls (covered by the window trim boards). But don't use highly expanding foams! They can expand too much and put too much pressure on the window, causing it to bow inward. This can obstruct the movement of the windows themselves and create an array of other problems.
So take these caulking tips and get to it! And don't spend all that saved money in one place.
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This month's training tip comes directly from a question we received recently.