Your Weathertight Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Caulk

Winter is approaching¬†and bringing cold weather and windy conditions along with it. If your home isn’t sealed tight, you run the risk of facing substantial heating bills. Caulking windows, doors and cracks is a great first line of defense. Caulk is relatively easy to apply. A few supplies, a weekend and a beginner’s guide to caulk are all that you need.

First, you need to identify the areas where warm air is leaking out of your home. You can do this yourself by closing all the doors and windows and turning off your heating system. Walk from room to room with a lit incense stick. Whenever you see the smoke drifting in a particular direction, you have a leak.

For a more comprehensive assessment, consider getting a thorough energy audit. Your auditor will have sophisticated equipment, such as a blower door, that will reveal specific trouble spots.

Here’s a look at the different kinds of caulk that you can find at home-improvement stores:

  • Silicone is an all-around sealer that works on gaps in many building materials, as well as around sinks and metal fixtures.
  • Latex caulk is used most often in bathrooms, around tubs and showers, as well as on tile.
  • Oil-based caulk is best suited for exterior use and is inexpensive. Oil-based caulk does not work especially well in bathrooms and kitchens or on any other smooth or porous surfaces.

Silicone, latex and oil-based caulks are generally applied with a caulking gun.

Polyurethane spray foam and water-based foam are both applied with a pressurized can. They expand upon application. These are usually used in spots where large gaps need to be filled. They have good adhesive capabilities but can break down over time.

For expert advice on caulk and air sealing your home, contact Balance Point Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve been proudly serving homeowners in the Fort Collins area for more than 15 years.

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Call us at 970-480-0387!