If you undertake energy saving measures in your home with little results, the culprit could be your windows. Caulk forms an effective seal that prevents air loss from the home. This helps to keep heating and cooling costs down. Rain can also get through areas that are not sealed, and cause damage to the home.
Do Your Windows Leak?
While caulk is a strong material, it can start to deteriorate at some point. If you notice that your energy bills are steadily increasing, do a quick check of the windows.
- Look for damage to the windows themselves
- Check the spaces between the window frame and the opening
- Check the caulking to see if it is peeling or cracked
- Shake the windows to see if there is any movement or rattling noise
- From the inside, check if you can see light coming from the areas around the window
- Close the window on a strip of paper to see how easily it slides out. If it slips out easily, the window could be a source of air loss.
You can have a professional seal your windows or you can purchase a caulking gun and do the job yourself. The steps to completing this project are:
- Remove the existing caulk and clean the area around the windows.
- Check for dampness before applying the caulk. Make sure the area is dry.
- Holding the caulking gun at a 46 degree angle, apply the caulk in one continuous motion down each side of the window. Repeat this step for the other side as well as the top and bottom.
- Make sure to completely seal the area where the window frame and the wall meet.
- Use your finger or a wet rag to smooth the caulk and remove any excess for a professional finish.
A good reason why caulking is sometimes left to a professional is that it is possible to make mistakes and seal areas that are not supposed to be sealed. Windows have weep holes will allow moisture and rain water to leak out and keep the area dry. Sealing the weep hole can eventually lead to rot and mold growth. Keep the caulk from getting on the moving part of the window and affecting its operation.
You should talk to a contractor, or do some research on the different types of caulk. They range in price, and the various types are made to work with different types of materials. Read the labels when looking for caulk to make sure you get the right product for your windows.