Texas Living

Does Your Home Need Caulking?

By Lisa Martin 5.13.13

Place a dollar bill in your doorjamb and shut the door. Try to remove the bill. If it slides out easily, you are losing energy and could be giving pests a gateway into your home. Try the same trick between your window sash and sill — the same rule applies. The best way to fix this inefficiency is by caulking. Caulking the interior and exterior of your home at least twice a year can save energy, prevent water damage, and improve your property’s appearance. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Caulk Like a Pro

The makers of GE Silicone caulk offer the following advice:

  • Clean the surface. Remove old caulk, dirt, and loose particles with a caulk-removing tool or wire brush for concrete and masonry applications, and wipe clean with a cloth.
  • Prepare the tube and seal. Cut the nozzle to desired bead size. If using a caulk gun, squeeze with even, consistent pressure to control the rate at which the caulk leaves the tube.
  • Smooth the caulk seal. 
Use your finger or a wet caulk-smoothing tool within two to five minutes of application.
  • Store the tube and clean. Squeeze the caulk until it’s barely coming out of the tube. Replace the cap, or use a nail in the tube opening.

Caulking Indoors

Here are a few good places to start:

  • The bathroom. “Give your bathroom a clean, fresh look by caulking the sink, toilet, and shower/tub,” says Carey Evans, a designer who appears on the HGTV show Don’t Sweat It. “It’s important to use silicone caulk, because it is not water based, so there is minimal shrinking or cracking.
  • The kitchen. Your sink could stand new caulk, too. Just make sure to remove the old stuff first as it’s a magnet for mildew and mold.
  • Windows and doors. Caulking around interior windows and doors using either an acrylic or silicone product could lower your energy bills.

Caulking Outdoors

Tackle these projects to get real results:

  • Exterior windows.
  • Doors.
  • Siding.
  • Driveway.

Learn more about protecting your home from the elements with the right insurance coverage and these winterizing tips. © 2013 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance