10 Tips to Make Your Home Air- and Water-Tight
Caulk creates a flexible seal in cracks, gaps or joints no bigger than 1/4” to 3/8” in width. Caulking will seal air leaks, especially around windows and door frames. It also prevents water damage when applied around faucets, water pipes, bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures. For larger openings, you can use insulating foam sprays to seal up gaps between siding and masonry or vents. Here are some tips:
- Clean all areas to be caulked. Use a putty knife or large screwdriver to remove old caulk and paint and make sure the area is dry.
- Hold the caulking gun at a consistent angle–45 degrees to get deep into the crack. You’re at the cor- rect angle when the caulk goes in immediately as it comes out of the tube.
- Apply the caulk in one straight continuous stream, without stops and starts.
- Avoid bubbles by sending caulk to the bottom of the opening.
- Make sure the caulk is sticking to both sides of the crack.
- If caulk oozes out of the crack, push it back in with a putty knife.
- If the caulk shrinks, reapply it, forming a smooth bead that seals the crack completely.
- For windows, apply caulk to all joints in the frame and to the joint between frame and wall.
- If the crack is deep, use a “backer rod” — a round foam rod sold by the roll in various diameters. Pick one slightly bigger than the gap. Cut the rod and press into the gap so it’s just below the surface. Then caulk on top of it.
- For bigger gaps, use an insulating foam spray you can buy in a hardware or home supply store. It dries like styrofoam and can be painted if necessary.
P.S. With today’s mortgage rates at historic new lows and the most affordable home prices ever, many people are upsizing, downsizing or refinancing. Remember, we’re always here to answer any ques- tions…. Have a great day!