65% of a home’s energy bill is used for heating and cooling the home yet up to half of conditioned air can leak outside.
Air sealing is an easy task that will save money while helping the environment. It could save a homeowner up to 14% on heating and cooling costs.
Let’s go over some of the most common mistakes to avoid when using caulk.
Handyman Alpharetta – Seal All Leaks in Your Home
Most people remember to seal leaks around their windows, doors, electrical wiring, and plumbing, but forget to inspect their attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Leaks in these areas can sometimes be bigger problems than leaks in windows and doors.
Remove Old Caulk Before Applying New
Never caulk over old caulk. Use a razor blade to remove the old.
Next, clean the surface with a household cleaner, rubbing alcohol, or a wire brush, and wipe with a clean cloth. Make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of soap, grease, dirt, and dust before caulking.
Watch Where You Cut the Caulk Tube
When you squeeze a line of caulk from a caulk gun it is called a bead. A professional-looking bead starts with the right cut. Be sure to cut the opening of the caulk tube to fit the job you are working on (e.g., cut near the top for a thin bead and further down for a thick bead).
For silicone caulk, there is an inner seal that needs to be pierced before you begin. A stiff wire can be used to break the seal.
Don’t Press Too Hard to Help Ensure a Smooth Bead
Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle. How smooth the caulk is dispensed depends on the person using the gun and the evenness of pressure while squeezing. Avoid “globs” by maintaining an even hand from start to finish.
Don’t Let Water Wash Away Your Hard Work
Some caulk needs 24 hours or longer before it can be exposed to water or it will wash away.
Don’t Glue It – Seal It
Caulk is used to seal gaps and cracks that exist between two adjoining materials—places where air and/or water could seep through (e.g., window and door frames, between a sink and countertop, etc.).
If you can see light through the crack, or feel a draft, use silicone caulk as a sealant! It is not an adhesive, and shouldn’t be used to bond materials together, like tiles to a wall or floor.
100 Percent Silicone
Whether you are sealing to save energy or to protect from water leakage, the choice should be a 100% silicone caulk. Silicone is permanently waterproof, flexible, and shrink-/crack-proof, it provides sustained benefits.
Acrylic caulk can shrink and crack over time, which ends up leaving gaps for air and water to seep through. These leaks can in turn lead to water damage, mold growth, and higher energy bills—all of which can translate into lost time, energy, and money.
Caulking can be messy and takes certain expertise. If you need assistance give Andy OnCall a shout and we can help!
If you need help with outdoor projects or changing up the curb appeal of your home give us a call and we would be happy to help! We’re highly experienced and guarantee all of our work.
Call Andy OnCall® Roswell/Gwinnett at (770) 640-6050 for all of your home improvement needs.