how-to-seal-air-leaks-with-caulkAir leaks can happen around your windows, doors and foundation, which makes it difficult to keep the temperature of your home just the way you like it. Air leaks also lead to higher energy consumption and higher energy bills. However some air leaks are easier to detect than others, so make sure you inspect your house, inside and out, for best results. Protect your home and your wallet with this simple and inexpensive caulking tutorial.

Materials:

  • Caulk (latex or silicone-based)
  • Caulk gun
  • Putty knife or large screwdriver
  • Paper towels or an old rag

Step 1: Remove any old caulk and paint using a putty knife or large screwdriver. Make sure the area is dry so you don’t end up sealing in moisture.

Step 2: Cut the tip of the cartridge of caulk at a 45-degree angle and insert the tube in the caulk gun. If you’ve never used a caulking gun, practice first on a newspaper or paper towel so you have a good idea of what to expect before beginning your project.

Step 3: Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle to the dry, clean edge that’s to be filled. Using a pulling motion, start at the top and work your way down to prevent smears, sliding the tube nozzle along the joint while pulling the trigger of the gun to apply the caulking material. You know you’re holding the gun at the right angle when the caulk is immediately forced into the crack as it comes out of the tube. Avoid stops and starts by caulking in a straight, continuous line.

Step 4: Once you’ve covered 2-3 feet of the surface with caulk, dampen your finger and glide over the caulking material, forcing it deeper into the crack.

Step 5: Clean up any mistakes or excess caulk with a damp rag before it dries.

Step 6: Allow the caulk to dry according to the directions on the package (typically requires a minimum of 24-hours). Be sure to account for air temperature and humidity, as these could add to the drying time.

Now that you’ve sealed all air leaks, you and your wallet can rest comfortably no matter what season it is!