Caulking is used to fill gaps and cracks around doors and windows to stop air, water, and even insects from getting in. For the best protection, it should be applied to both the interior and exterior of your home. Read on to find out why you should apply caulking, and how to do it right.
How to Caulk Windows and Doors Correctly?
There’s no doubt that caulking is essential for keeping your home warm, dry and energy-efficient, but do you know how to do it yourself? Here are our top tips on how to apply it.
- Check the Temperature – Cold weather can affect your caulking, and since the temperature can drop to below freezing in Toronto winters, this isn’t the ideal time to do it. Humid summers aren’t good either, as cracks in the frames of windows and entry doors in Toronto are liable to swell. Instead, apply caulk when the weather is warm, preferably above 45°F.
- Prepare the Area – Before applying caulk to windows and doors , make sure the area is clean and dry. Remove any existing caulk or paint with a screwdriver or a knife. If you’re having trouble, you can use a solvent to help remove stubborn residue. Leave it to dry for a while, as applying caulk straight away will lock in moisture, which could lead to problems later on.
- Choose Your Caulk Wisely – When shopping for caulk, you’re likely to have a choice between silicone and acrylic. Acrylic is best avoided, as it can shrink, leaving cracks open for moisture and air to seep in. Without regular reapplication, damage could be caused. The best type of caulk to use for protecting your windows exteriors and doors is 100% silicone.
- Use the Right Technique – The knack of applying caulk sufficiently is holding the gun the right way. In order to fill cracks smoothly and avoid the formation of air bubbles, hold the gun at approximately a forty five degree angle. Once you start, caulking, keep going in a continuous action from one corner to another instead of stopping and starting. This will result in the smoothest finish.
- Fill the Cracks – If the caulk doesn’t completely fill a crack, it’s essentially useless. Make sure you apply enough to fill the space properly, sticking to both sides. If it comes out, simply use a putty knife to direct it back in.
- Use Tools – You’ll need more than just a caulking gun. For big gaps, a backer rod can be laid down before caulking to help fill the space. Keep a putty knife to hand in case things get messy and the caulk doesn’t quite go where you want it to, you can use it to push the caulk into the right areas. Aside from that, you’ll also need to use your fingers to smooth the caulk as you apply it, making sure it’s neat and even without lumps or gaps. That way, you’ll get the best possible seal.
- Take Care of Your Gun – When you’re done caulking, be sure to cover the end of your caulking gun to stop it from drying out. Otherwise, you may find it to be useless the next time you pick it up. There should be a cap provided for this purpose, but if you happen to lose it, a nail will suffice.
Get the Best Doors and Windows in Toronto
Caulking will help to prolong the life of your windows and doors, but it’s not a magical cure. If too much damage has already occurred, you may need to replace them completely. We have a range of entry, basement and patio doors, and can provide custom windows to fit your home. See our range and contact us for a consultation.