Making your home more energy efficient will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year if done properly. Using caulk to seal holes where heat and air escape is a great step toward having a more energy efficient home. Below are several tips from the pros at A+ Insulation for caulking your home.
Get the Right Gun
When using caulk, it’s a good idea to shop around for the right caulking gun. Not all guns are made the same, and you’re going to want to get a heavy-duty gun with a solid metal shaft. This will give you more control over the caulk bead, without damaging the tube.
Keep an eye on the temperature outside. With many caulks, temperature affects how easy or difficult they’ll be to use. If the temperature gets too low, caulk becomes hard and nearly impossible to squeeze out of the tube. It’s always a good idea to bring tubes inside to warm up before using them if they have been out in the cold.
Get Your Joints Ready
Whatever you’re going to caulk, make sure the area is cleared of debris and dirt. You’ll want a clean surface for the caulk to adhere to. You can use a knife or compressed air to clear everything out if need be. Just make sure there’s no dirt or dust left behind.
Use Fillers for Large Cracks
Wider joints may require a filler. In all joints that are ¼” wide and ½” deep or more, a filler will help the caulk stay in place instead of sagging into the joint. A filler is simply a foam tube you push into the crack to take up most of the excess space. Fillers are faster and cheaper than caulk, and they create a better seal when used in larger cracks. Most window and door joints won’t be much larger than ¼ inch.
Cutting the Tube and Caulking the Joint
First, cut the tube at an angle and have the opening slightly smaller than the bead you’ll be using. Place the caulking tube in the gun and squeeze the trigger while running along the joint. If you’re particularly messy with caulk, use masking tape on either end of the joint to avoid smearing the caulk where you don’t want it. Make sure you have the most even bead possible, and don’t be afraid to use your finger to clean up any mess. Just be careful not to hit a nail or get a splinter!
With these techniques, your caulking job will be smooth and effortless, and your home will be more energy efficient.