Pro Tips for Caulking Windows and Doors

Homeowner caulking a windowAs we head into the colder months, this is a good time to do some fall home maintenance tasks to put your home and yard in good shape for the winter. One thing you should do at least once a year is inspect around the frames of your doors and windows and caulk any gaps. caulking around windows and doors will prevent drafts and lower your heating bills. Before you fire up your caulking gun, here are a few helpful tips on caulking windows.

  • Choose the right type of caulk
    There are two types of caulk, latex and silicone. Latex caulking is the easier of the two to work with and you can paint it, but it doesn’t last very long. However if you’re new to this, its not a bad choice because of the ease of use. Most window pros choose silicone caulk. It’s more flexible and lasts a long time because its nto as prone to falling apart or cracking. It can be tricky to apply and it can’t be painted, but it is sold in a range of colors so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that matches your windows. Not sure which to buy? You may be happiest with a siliconized latex caulk, which combines the two materials for the best of both worlds – ease of application plus durability.
  • When to caulk?
    For best results, apply caulk on a dry day when the temperature is between 40 and 90F (5-32 Celsius)
  • Always remove the old caulk first
    For best results, don’t be lazy and try to put new caulk over the old. Remove the old caulk first, using a putty knife or a razor blade and optionally a caulk remover. Clean all surfaces when you’re finished.
  • Use primer before caulking (optional but recommended)
    Applying any type of paint primer before caulking will make the caulk adhere better.
  • Use an appropriately-sized nozzle opening
    You will be cutting your caulk tube nozzle on a 45 degree angle. The nozzle is tapered, so you can cut towards the tip for a small bead and further up for a larger bead. Select a size appropriate to the gap you will be caulking.
  • Apply, Smooth, Repeat
    While evenly applying pressure to the caulk gun trigger, apply no more than about 2-3 feet of caulk at a time. Then, using your finger, a putty knife or the back of a spoon, go back and smooth out the surface of the bead you just applied. Caulk can dry quickly - If you wait too long, you won’t be able to do this.
  • Clean up promptly
    It’s much easier to clean up caulk messes before they dry. Keep a slightly damp rag handy and clean up errors as you go.

Are your windows showing their age? If you’re in the Edmonton area, you’re in luck! Contact the replacement window specialists at Reflect Window and Door for a free consultation.