Did you know that as much as 65% of a home’s total energy bill is used to heat and cool the home—yet up to half of this conditioned air leaks out of the home. Air sealing is an easy DIY task that can save money and energy, and help the environment all at the same time. It could save a homeowner up to 14% on home heating and cooling costs. When was the last time you checked all the holes in your home?
It’s hard to believe that something as simple as caulk can create such a difference isn’t it? But it does need to be done right let’s talk about the most common mistakes to avoid when caulking around your home.
Handyman Alpharetta – Select the Right Caulk for Your Project
100 Percent Silicone, Not Acrylic
Whether sealing to save energy or to protect from water leakage, the choice should be a 100% silicone caulk. The reason is silicone is permanently waterproof, flexible, and shrink-/crack-proof, it provides sustained benefits. Acrylic caulk can shrink and crack over time, leaving gaps for air and water to seep through. Those leaks can lead to water damage, mold growth, and higher energy bills—all of which can translate into lost time (when the job has to be done again), energy, and money.
Time to Find and 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 even bigger problems than leaks in windows and doors.
You Must Remove Old Caulk Before Applying New
Never should never caulk over old caulk. Use a razor blade first to remove the old caulk. By removing the old caulk you can also strip off any mold or mildew that may have formed. Then, 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 Tube of Caulk
With each squeeze of the caulk gun, the line of caulk that is formed is called a bead. A professional-looking bead starts with the right cut. Be careful to cut the opening of the caulk tube to fit the job at hand (e.g., cut near the top for a thin bead and further down for a thick bead). And, for silicone caulk, there is an inner seal that needs to be pierced before you begin. A stiff wire or similar object can be used to break the seal; many caulk guns have such a sharp object attached to the gun.
Steady Your Hand and Don’t Press Too Hard to Help Ensure a Smooth Bead
Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle. How smooth the caulk dispenses depends on the caulker and the evenness of pressure while squeezing the gun. Avoid “globs” by maintaining an even hand from start to finish.
Don’t Let Water Wash Away Your Hard Work
Some caulk requires up to 24 hours or longer before it can be exposed to water or the caulk will wash away.
Don’t Glue It – Seal It
Caulk is used to seal the 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 daylight through the crack, or feel a draft, seal it with silicone! It is not an adhesive, and therefore should not be used to bond materials together, such as tiles to a wall or floor.
Caulking can be a messy job and does take a certain expertise. Make sure the job gets done right and call Andy Your Premier Handyman Service Company at (770) 640-6050. We would be happy to do the job for you.