How to Recaulk a Window

What You'll Need
Caulk Gun
Caulk Tube
Utility Knife
Caulk Remover
Painter's Five in One Tool

If your window is drafty, you may need to recaulk it. While caulk is usually sturdy, it can wear out over time. It is also possible that your caulk was simply not installed correctly on the first try. Whatever your reason, removing caulk and adding your own are both straightforward tasks.

Step 1 - Remove the Old Caulk

If you need to properly seal off a window, and your current caulk is not doing the job, it will have to go. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to remove all of the old caulk. However, you can minimize the amount of work you have to do with the following techniques.

First, apply caulk remover to your old, damaged caulk. This will not actually remove your caulk, but it will soften it and render it easier to work on. Next, get out your utility knife and use it to separate and lift the old caulk away from your window. If there are any pieces left, you can remove them with a painter's five in one tool hook.

Finally, wash the area with a sponge that has been dipped in soapy water and dry it with clean rags.

Step 2 - Setting Up the Caulk Gun

To begin, cut off the tip of your tube of caulk with your utility knife. While a precise measurement is not necessary, about 1/8 inch is the ideal amount to get a good sized opening in your caulk tube. Next, insert your caulk tube into your caulk gun and lock it into place.

Step 3 - Using the Caulk Gun

Now that your caulk gun is set up, and your old caulk is removed, you can apply new caulk to your window. Pull the trigger on your caulk gun slowly and try to apply the caulk as evenly as possible. You should apply about 1/8 inch of caulk to any given point. Try to move the caulk gun away from the window as you pull the trigger. If you push the gun forwards, you may smear the caulk and make it uneven or hard to work with.

If you are unsure of how to use a caulk gun, it may be a good idea to practice your technique on a piece of scrap material before actually applying caulk to your windows.

Step 4 - Finishing Up

Once you have sealed off your entire window, you will need to position the caulk correctly. Get your finger damp, and run it along the caulk you have applied. It is a good idea to have a water source handy for this step, as you will have to do this multiple times. Your goal is to make sure that the caulk makes its way into all cracks, and also to remove any excess caulk. In order to do this effectively, you will need to remove excess caulk from your finger as it builds up, to avoid spreading it around.