At first, caulking your home may seem like a pretty intimating feat. However, it is one of the simplest ways that you can ensure that your home has a tight seal, and that you are not at risk for developing drafts, or inviting critters into your home. There are a lot of places in your home that require caulk in order to prevent these pesky issues from becoming a problem.
Ensure that You Choose the Right Caulk You will want to ensure that you are choosing a caulk for your purpose. By choosing a silicone caulk, you are reducing the risk of the caulk shrinking, as well as ensuring that it has a more permanent seal. Using an inferior caulk will lead to cracks and gaps that will ultimately lead to water damage, possible mold growth and an increased heating or cooling bill.
Clean the Surface Well By cleaning the surface well, you will ensure that the new caulk will stay in place. Use a 5 in 1 to remove any loose caulk from the area Wipe down the area with a clean, wet cloth, making sure to remove all debris. If you are caulking a brick or cinder block area, use a masonry wire brush to clean the area well
After you are sure the area is cleaned well, apply masking tape to both sides of the crack. This will ensure that the edge of the caulk bead is straight and does not leave behind any excess that may become problematic or unsightly. If you do not want to go through the extra expense, or hassle of taping off the area, you can purchase a caulking tool at your local hardware store that will make your job easier.
Prepare the Tube of Caulk and Break the Seal Using a box knife, or a strong pair of scissors, pierce cut the top of the caulk nozzle at an angle to create the desired sized you want the bead of caulk to be Using a wire, nail or other stiff device, pierce a hole in the top of the caulk tube where you cut the angle. Place the tube of caulk securely into the caulking gun. This gun will hold the caulk tube in place, and apply pressure to the bottom of the tube. Use the caulk to seal any cracks or spaces you see both inside your home, or outside your home. Make sure to squeeze with consistent, easy pressure to avoid too much caulk coming out at once. The amount of pressure you use on the trigger of the caulk gun will determine how much caulk comes out of the tube.
Smooth Out the Caulk, Sealing the Crack In order to smooth the caulk, you will need either a wet finger, or a caulk smoothing tool that has been dipped in water. The caulk must be smoothed within the first five minutes of application or it will begin to harden and will not smooth out Regardless of what method you choose, make sure to use equal pressure all the way down the crack and try to smooth the entire line with one swipe.
Store the Caulk away for the Next Use If you have any extra caulk left in the tube, simply replace the cap on the tube or place a nail down in the hole. Wipe off any caulk that has accumulated on the nozzle. Store in a temperature controlled environment to ensure that the caulk remains fresh for the next time you need it