With summer sadly coming to an end, checking your home’s exterior window and door caulking for cracks and gaps can be a great step to prepare for the upcoming cold months. The hot summer weather can dry out and crack caulking around windows and doors and break the seal. A good seal is essential for efficient heating and keeping your energy use and cost down in the winter. A good caulking job can help keep out moisture and even keep insects from making their way into your home.
Visually scan the exterior of your home, paying special attention to areas around doors and windows, wall and roof vents, and even skylights for places where the caulk needs to be filled in. Depending on the weather, you may even be able to feel a draft from your heating/air conditioning inside leaking through to the exterior. Another good place to looks is around any outdoor faucets, gas pipes and electrical lines come into the house.
If you see some places that need filling in, take a moment to prepare the area. If the area is pretty clean, go ahead and strip and scrape out the old caulk and wipe everything down with a damp cloth to remove any loose debris or dirt. Let everything dry for a few minutes before you begin caulking.
Depending on the material you are using the caulk on, make sure you are using a quality product made for the area you are applying it to. Most exterior surfaces can use a good quality polyurethane caulk as it is flexible and can last a while in extreme conditions.
Load up the caulking gun and apply it directly to the area you’d like. It’s not necessary to smooth out the caulk after it has been applied, but many prefer the look of it smoothed out. If you want to smooth it out, make sure you do it before it begins to dry, or it could cause it to crack.
Give the caulking 12 – 15 hours to set and dry out completely, and you should be done. You are now one step closer to keeping your home cozy and warm throughout the wet winter!