Winter is here, and air leaks can potentially waste a lot of money for homeowners. These are a few quick and low-cost solution you can do yourself to keep the cold winter air from leaking into your home. Winterizing your home by caulking, sealing and weather stripping all cracks around doors and windows with keep your home warm, lower your energy costs.
When deciding how much caulking to purchase, consider that you’ll probably need a half-cartridge per window or door and four cartridges for the foundation sill. The typical price of a tube of caulk is $4, with more specialized compounds costing around $10. Additionally, a caulk gun to help squeeze out the sealant will run your between $8 and $20.
Once you have the correct amount of caulk for the project, follow the steps below:
- Clean all areas that are going to be caulked. Remove old paint and caulk with a putty knife or screwdriver. Dry the area so moisture does not get sealed in.
- Prep the caulk cartridge by cutting the tip at a 45-degree angle. Insert the tube into the caulk gun—if using one—and do a test squeeze to check the thickness and speed that the caulk is coming out.
- Using a “pulling motion,” hold the caulk tube or caulk gun an a slight angle, and slide down the cracked area which you will be filling—squeezing to dispense caulk while sliding.
- Smooth the caulk, and push it into the crack to ensure a tight seal. Wet the tip of your finger (or use a tool like a spoon and/or small piece of wood) and run it down the bead of caulk with a firm and even pressure to push it into the crack.
- Clean up any mistakes with a damp rag as soon as they occur.
- Allow the caulk to dry according to the directions on the original package.