Window caulking is an important step for protecting your home from the elements. Although it is a relatively simple task, it can make a big impact on the appearance and energy efficiency of your home when done correctly.
What Is Caulk?
Caulk is a type of polymer that is applied around the edges of windows and other areas that need to be sealed off. It is a thick substance that is normally sold in a tube gun for easy application; squeeze tube formats are also sold.
Although caulking is best left to the professionals, some people choose to carry out small amounts of caulking on their own. Before embarking on any caulking project, it is important to ensure you understand the proper way of carrying out this task.
Tips for Window Caulking
Here is a look at some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind when caulking your windows.
Do Remove Old Sealant Before Applying New Sealant
Sealants can harden and pull away from the surface over time, and running a new bead over this will just make the situation worse. It is important to remove old sealant before you apply a new layer or water and moisture could seep inside the area and cause damage.
A sharp tool or putty knife can be used to remove the old sealant. Next, the area should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Caulking contractors can provide professional sealant removal services to ensure the new caulking will stand the test of time.
Do Clean The Area First
Before you caulk, you need to clean the entire area where you will be placing caulking and ensure that it is free of dirt and debris. Any grease or grime on the area will prevent the caulk from sticking properly. Make sure the area is fully dry before you begin caulking.
Do Choose The Right Caulking Gun
It is important to choose a caulking gun that is compatible with the cartridges you intend to use to ensure proper application. Cheaper guns may cause uneven results and an unattractive appearance, so consider getting a more professional model with a comfortable grip.
Caulking guns equipped with a thumb release that can be pressed to stop the caulk from flowing when you finish running a bead are a great choice for inexperienced caulkers.
Do Hold The Caulking Gun Properly
It is important to hold the caulking gun at a consistent angle the entire time you are applying caulk for even and professional-looking results. Start at one end of the area and hold the trigger down the entire time, making a straight and continuous line from one end to the other.
Don’t Choose The Wrong Sealant
If you want your window caulking to provide long-lasting protection, you need to select a high-quality and appropriate product.
For exterior windows, you will want to choose an exterior caulk that is impervious to changing temperatures, water and the sun’s rays. It should state on the tube that it is designed for use on exterior surfaces.
For interior windows, look for caulk that does not emit toxic fumes and one that holds paint well, such as paintable latex.
If the windows you are caulking are situated in humid rooms, choose interior caulk that is waterproof and mold-resistant.
Don’t Cut The End Of The Caulk Tube Tip Too Far Down
The tip on caulk tubes narrows to a point, so keep in mind that the more of the tip you cut off, the bigger your bead of caulk is going to be.
If your tube has measured cut lines on the tip, be sure to choose the one that is the closest match for the width of your seam. If it is unmarked, start by cutting off just the end and squeeze out a small amount of caulk to gauge the size of the bead. You can then cut off more if you need a wider line. However, if you cut off too much initially, there will be no way to make the bead thinner.
Don’t Forget To Shape The Sealant After You’ve Applied It
After your sealant is in place, be sure to shape it so that the final result will have a professional and neat appearance. Run your finger or a wooden stick across the sealant to ensure that it fills the opening.
Don’t Over-Apply The Caulking
It may be tempting to apply greater quantities of caulking over bigger gaps, but this can lead to problems. The best course of action for cracks that are greater than a centimeter in width or depth is filling the space with flexible backing foam prior to caulking.
Don’t Apply Caulking To Inappropriate Areas
Keep in mind that any part of the window that moves should not be caulked under any circumstances or you may be unable to open your windows. In addition, the areas above the window frame and the weep hole should not be caulked. These components stop moisture from getting trapped and causing water damage and should not be blocked.
Reach Out to The Window Caulking Experts
Professional caulking can improve the appearance of your windows and help increase the energy efficiency of your home. Reach out to the caulking experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration to find out how their residential caulking services can give you professional results and peace of mind.