Caulking is a home improvement task that many homeowners overlook, and the repercussions can be significant. According to Energy.gov, the heat that is gained and lost through windows accounts for as much as 30 percent of residential cooling and heating energy use. Much of this heat loss can be prevented with proper caulking, which stops air from leaking. This is one of several reasons that it is essential that you ensure your window caulking is done properly.
What Is Caulk?
Caulk is a flexible material that is used to seal the cracks and gaps around windows and other parts of buildings. It comes in a variety of compositions, including silicone, latex, water-based spray foam, polyurethane spray foam and butyl rubber. It is typically applied using an applicator gun around windows, doors and other areas where different surfaces meet.
Why Is Caulking Around Windows So Important?
Here is a look at some of the reasons you should ensure your home’s windows are properly caulked.
It Can Reduce Your Energy Bills
Allowing your windows to have gaps around them can be likened to leaving them cracked open slightly. In winter, this can allow the heat in your room to leave the house through the window, causing you to turn up the heat and incur higher energy bills.
During summer, the hot air from outside will be able to enter your cool home through gaps around the window, which will cause your air conditioner to work overtime to reach the temperature that you set.
Caulking around your windows conceals these gaps to make it easier for the air in your room to stay at the right temperature for the season. Because your HVAC does not have to work as hard, your bills will be lower. Caulking around your windows in any season can lead to energy savings.
It Creates A Waterproof Seal
Any unsealed gaps or cracks around your windows, no matter how small, can allow rain and melting snow to make its way into your home. These leaks often travel down within your walls and make their way along the frame, where they can then get into the subfloor and saturate or rot the wood. This type of damage can take years to discover and can be very costly to repair. Moreover, it is also the perfect breeding ground for mold that can compromise the health of your family and impact the quality of the air within your home.
It is particularly important to apply caulking to the area of your windows where the window jamb meets the window trim and where the trim abuts the siding to create an impenetrable seal that can keep mold and water damage at bay.
It Can Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Having gaps or cracks around your window or crumbling caulk can give passersby the impression that your home is neglected. This is particularly problematic if you are trying to sell your home. A touch-up of new caulk can give your house a cleaner and more finished look.
It Keeps Insects Out
Unfortunately, insects can fit through any small spaces around your window frame. When they see a crack or gap, they can enter your home in search of a more comfortable and drier climate. By sealing the gaps around your windows, you can avoid the need for toxic sprays and insecticides to get rid of these insects.
What Can Happen If Your Windows Are Not Properly Caulked?
When your windows are not properly caulked, you can experience structural damage, higher energy bills and mold infestation, among other problems. Here is a look at some of the other issues that may occur.
Damage To Paintwork
When caulk around the outside of your window pulls away, it can allow water to seep into the drywall or plaster. This can make paint bubble and peel in your home’s interior as well as its exterior. In the case of storms, wind can drive rain into gaps of all sizes and severely compromise the paint.
Loose Window Panes
Caulk can be thought of as a cushion between a window and its frame. When this cushion is not fully intact, the glass in your window can become loose and rattle. Even window panes that are only slightly loose can break in bad weather conditions such as heavy wind, damaging furniture or injuring the home’s inhabitants.
Check Your Caulking Regularly
One easy way of checking your windows for drafts is holding a lit candle near the window’s seams on a breezy day. If you see the flame bend, this indicates air is pushing through your windows from outdoors. You can also perform a visual inspection of the caulking around the window frames to look for signs it is drying out or pulling away.
Reach Out to The Window Caulking Experts
Get in touch with the window caulking experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration to find out how their professional services can keep your home comfortable, reduce your energy bills and prevent costly repairs in the long term.