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Your heating system takes enough of a beating every winter and the best way to ease its use and save money is learning how to caulk your windows. Cold air tends to make its way through the windows, giving our heating systems a much tougher time to do its job. The best way to overcome those chilling breezes is by caulking your windows.
Caulking windows is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways of improving the energy efficiency of your home. It is also one of the most popular ways to winterize your home. Even though window caulking is perhaps the fastest DIY project, some homeowners are new to this mission and need a few pointers. That is why we have come up with our step-by-step guide for caulking windows. Before you know it, you will be caulking your windows like a pro.
When to Caulk
Homeowners can apply caulk to any window type or style. While we would all like to wait until winter, caulking windows is ideal in the fall. Caulk adheres to warm temperatures (around 40 degrees) and you will most likely be opening the windows as you complete the project. If you are working on saving energy, you don’t want to open your windows in the winter.
Types of Caulk
There are a variety of different kinds of caulk, but many homeowners go with latex or silicone caulk. While latex caulk is easier to put on and can be painted, silicone is much more durable and can withstand extreme temperatures. As I will touch on later, caulk frequently needs to be removed and latex caulk is much easier to detach.
Remove Old Caulk
Just as you would clean a wall before adding a new coat of paint, the surface area must be cleaned before any caulking can occur. In order to do that, homeowners will usually have old lines of caulk around their window. The old caulk must be removed before applying a new layer of caulk. Use a scraper or utility knife to remove all old caulk and debris. Then, clean the surface area as you would any wall.
If you happen to notice a permanent dirt spot on your window as you remove old caulk, consider hiring a window cleaning specialist. The average price for professional window cleaning is $202.
Buy A Caulk Gun
Caulk is not like toothpaste. You can’t easily dispense it by squeezing. You need a caulk gun to seal your window like a pro. Our friends at HomeAdvisor recommend buying a quick release caulk gun that releases pressure when you let off the trigger. It will save you a lot of clean up compared to cheaper guns where the caulk just keeps on coming out even when you don't need it.
How To Caulk
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We first have to load the actual caulk into the caulk gun. Cut off the tip of the caulk at a 45 degree angle. This is the angle at which the caulk will be released. Many caulk guns will have a pin to further puncture the hole. Then, pull back the trigger and place the caulk in the chamber, adding the back end first. Push the trigger forward until the caulk is firmly in place. You are now ready to caulk.
Apply a thin layer of caulk around your window, holding the gun at a 45 degree angle. You should cover all areas where air can seep through. The resulting line or square of caulk is called a bead. When you are caulking your windows, be sure to always smooth out the bead with a wet finger. This will keep everything even, looking just as though a professional did it.
Once you are finished, make sure to cap the nozzle, as you will most likely not use the entire caulk.
Caulking windows is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. It’s a great money-saver and easy DIY project to take on.
After caulking your windows, let us know how it went by posting your thoughts or pictures in the comments section below.