Caulking is an easy, inexpensive way to seal drafts around your home and make it feel warmer in the winter. Beyond keeping your house more comfortable, caulking can pay for itself through energy savings in only one year. Here’s the best part—it’s a do-it-yourself job.
Most caulking compounds come in disposable cartridges that fit in half-barrel caulking guns. Look for a caulking gun with an automatic release for the smoothest application. Caulk forms a flexible seal and works best for cracks and gaps less than a quarter-inch wide. To make your first caulking job a breeze, follow these application tips:
• Before application, remove old caulk and paint from the area using a putty knife. Clean and dry the area to avoid sealing in moisture.
• Hold the gun at a consistent 45-degree angle along the crack. This angle will help force the caulk immediately into the crack as it is applied.
• Caulk in one straight, continuous line. Avoid starts and stops.
• Release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid excess caulk. An automatic release will help avoid this problem.
• Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of the crack. If it oozes out, push it back in with a putty knife.
• If the caulk shrinks, reapply it to seal the crack completely.