Studies show that up to 65 percent of your home’s energy is used to heat and cool your living space – yet almost half of conditioned air escapes through the cracks in your foundation. Caulking can help you save more energy. However, if you’re going to caulk on your own, be aware of these five common caulking mistakes.
Choosing the Wrong Caulk
With caulk, you always get what you pay for. For reliable, long-lasting protection, choose caulk made from 100 percent silicon. Silicon is permanently waterproof, shrink/crack proof, flexible and sustainable. Polyurethane is another good option, especially when caulking exterior doors and windows.
Leaving Old Caulk on the Surface
As caulk ages, it cracks and beaks away from the surface, allowing moisture to accumulate underneath. If you don’t completely remove old caulk, you risk leaving old moisture over the surface.
After removing softer caulk with a putty knife or another sharp tool, consider applying caulk remover gel on extra-hard surfaces and waiting for two to three hours for the caulk to loosen up. Then, clean the area with alcohol or a household cleaner.
Using the Wrong Applicator
Caulk should be applied with a caulking gun, not the cartridge purchased with the caulk. When shopping for a caulking gun, look for one with a smooth plunger rod and a comfortable grip.
Applying Too Little or Too Much Caulk
With each squeeze of a caulk gun, a line of caulk should form. This is called a bead. Just a bead is all you need. If the crack you’re sealing is wider than ½ inch or deeper than ½ inch, don’t apply more caulk. Instead, fill the crack with a backer rod, and apply caulk over the rod.
Forgetting to Smooth Out the Caulk
Smoothing out the caulk is called tooling, which helps give your finished work a neat look. Just dip your finger in soapy water, and run it along the bead, ensuring that it fills the gap up.
Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning is the preferred heating and air conditioning provider in Fresno. Contact us today, and let us help you avoid these common caulking mistakes.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about caulking and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ernest R. Prim/Shutterstock”