So what is caulking, why do we need to do it and how? It’s a subject we get quizzed about a lot about in Winnipeg.
So read on, and we’ll take you through the why, when, where, how and which of caulking.
Caulking Around Windows and Doors
Caulking is one of those things that needs to be done right, otherwise you waste a lot of time and money. And that’s what this guide is hoping to help you avoid.
- Why Apply Caulk at all?
Caulking your windows and doors is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, in preparation for winter. The gaps between windows, doors and the walls of your home are the most vulnerable to leaking air and moisture. This is where caulking comes in—it seals the gaps, making them airtight.
- When to Apply Caulk
As caulk typically adheres in temperatures of 4 to 27 degrees Celsius, it’s best to apply before the Winnipeg winter strikes, preferably in Fall. Any later, and you risk the caulk not curing properly. So apply caulk during dry weather, with the temperature in the above range. Low humidity is essential to avoid cracks from swelling due to moisture.
- Where to Apply Caulk?
On windows, we caulk in two places—where the trim on the inside of the window meets the pane, and behind the window trim where it attaches to the interior and exterior walls. With doors, caulk the gap between the doorframe and the drywall. We would not recommend you caulking a gap that exceeds half an inch wide at its midpoint.
- Which Caulk?
Caulking compounds come with different strengths, prices and properties. The two most typically used for homes are Silicone and Latex. Silicone caulks are durable and more expensive, have excellent adhesive properties, little shrinkage and allow for expansion and contraction as temperatures change. It’s limitations—Silicone doesn’t adhere well to wood, cannot be painted over and isn’t as easy as Latex to apply and remove. Whereas Latex is cheaper, can be painted over and is easier to apply and remove, it’s also liable to between 5% and 10% shrinkage, and is less durable.
- How to Apply Caulk
First, remove old caulk using a razor blade. This rids the area of any old mold or mildew. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth or wire brush. It’s essential that the area is clean, dry and free of dirt, dust, soap and grease. Next cut the hole in your caulking tube—it should be roughly the same size as the joints. Then apply the caulk with a steady hand, a little bit of “tooling” (smoothing with your finger) to make an even line that fully seals your window or door. Make sure it has time to set (up to 24 hours depending on the caulk used) before being exposed to the elements.
So that’s our short guide to caulking around windows and doors. We hope it’s given you an idea of what’s involved in caulking, and why it’s important.
At Weather Pro, we’ve been fitting Winnipeg homes with windows and doors for years now and have a wealth of expertise in the field.
If you have any questions or would like a free in-home consultation then call our Winnipeg office today at 204-583-6163. We’d love to hear from you!