4 Window Caulking Mistakes to Avoid 4 Window Caulking Mistakes to Avoid
Caulking a window is a simple project that can save a lot of money. If your window has an air leak, you are paying money in your energy bills to heat and cool the outside of your home, and losing energy that would be used on the inside as well. However, before you caulk your window, you should be aware of how to avoid these simple mistakes.
1. Learn to Use Caulk First
While the basics of how to use a caulk gun are relatively straightforward—simply point and squeeze the trigger—getting it exactly right the first time can be tricky. This is because caulking requires a steady hand, a good angle, and good judgment as to how quickly to move the tip of the caulk gun across the surface. Additionally, you should be aware that different types of caulk behave differently, so even if you have caulking experience, it may not be applicable to the job you are doing.
If you have the slightest bit of doubt as to your ability to do a good job caulking, you should take some time to either learn to do it, or refresh your existing skills. Get out a piece of scrap material and your caulk gun. Use your caulk gun held at a slight angle. You should hold it roughly at a 30 degree angle from the surface, but this does not need to be exact. Next, practice making an even bead of caulk on your scrap material. Do not caulk your window unless you have the hang of this first.
2. Having a Dirty Surface
You may want to get started caulking right away, but this could be a mistake. While the small particles of dirt and dust on your window might not be visible to you, they will definitely have an effect on how well your caulking job goes. A dirty surface will simply not accept caulk as well as a clean one. You can clean most ordinary window surfaces with soapy water and a sponge, but you should be sure to rinse afterwords as well.
3. Avoid Having a Wet Surface
Like a dirty surface, a wet surface is simply not very good at accepting caulk. While your job might go passably if your surface is wet, this is not a risk you should take. Remember, if your fail to seal off all of your cracks or gaps, you will have to start over completely and do the work again. To save yourself time and effort, it is important that you dry the surface after washing it, and let it air dry until no moisture whatsoever remains.
4. Do Not Use Insufficient Caulk
Since you know perfectly well how much caulk is necessary for a good joint from seeing many examples of proper caulking jobs in your home, it is tempting to use only that much caulk. This is a bad idea. You should always use more caulk than necessary. This is because once you are done, you will smooth out the caulk and push it into any empty spaces that are available. Using more caulk than necessary also lets you have enough to spread around if you do a slightly uneven job.