Seal Air Leaks with Caulk
Did you know heating and cooling accounts for roughly half of your home’s energy use? Caulking cracks and gaps around windows, doors and spaces around wires (telephone, electrical, cable and gas lines), water spigots and dryer vents can pay off with big energy savings.
*Approximate cost: $5-$30 *Energy savings: Approx. 5-10 percent – Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy
Materials You Will Need:
Caulk, caulk gun, knife or tool to cut, rags, water
1. Prep: Clean the area where you will be applying the caulk. Remove any dirt, loose paint or old, cracked caulk.
Be sure the area is dry before applying new caulk appropriate for your application.
2. Load: You will need to pull the plunger all the way back to load the tube of caulk into the barrel of the caulking gun.
Next, squeeze the trigger a few times until the plunger makes contact with the tube. Squeeze once or twice more to fill the tip with caulk.
3. Apply: To figure out the right amount of caulk needed, experiment with an out-of-the-way section. You may find that you need less caulk than you thought. Hold the gun at a slight angle. Apply steady pressure on the trigger to create a solid stream from the tip, which should be placed 1/2 inch or less from the intended destination of the material.
Use just enough caulk to do the job. Use your finger to gently press the caulk into the corner, crack or space.
4. Release: Once the trigger is fully depressed, allow it to spring back and depress it again. Keep the gun moving while caulk is still coming out of the tip.
5. Clean: Use a damp cloth or rag to clean off most of the excess caulk. Use a dry cloth to clean off the rest.