Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with Window Caulking
Window caulking can go a long way in reducing your energy bills. By blocking any possible air leaks, you will be in a position to make your home a lot more efficient. However, you need to ensure that you hire a professional for window caulking because it may look an easy task but all of its benefits depend on how well you have applied it. In case you are willing to do the hard work, here are some common mistakes to avoid.
- Do not apply caulk if there is old one already in place. You need to remove the old caulk properly before applying the new one or else it will not stick to the surface. Removing the old caulk will also help you remove any mold present in the area. A wire brush usually works great to remove the old caulk, but you can use rubbing alcohol as well.
- Do not cut the tube of caulk in a wrong way. When you squeeze the caulk gun, you get a bead or the line of caulk that needs to be in line with the crack you are trying to fill. Some tasks would require a thin bead, and that is when you will benefit from cutting the tube near the top – you should be cutting further down the tube to get a rather thick bead. Many people make a mistake here and fail to use the caulk gun in an efficient way. In case of silicone caulk, you should careful pierce the seal inside the tube – you can accomplish the task by using a stiff wire.
- Do not let your hands move while pressing the caulk gun. Keeping your hands steady is the key, and if you cannot do it, be sure to let a professional deal with window caulking. The steadier your hands, the easier it becomes to get a smooth bead. Ideally, you should hold the gun at a 45-degree angle and maintain an even pressure when squeezing the caulk gun. Keep in mind that you will be getting globs if you do not keep your hands steady.
- Do not add too much of caulk even in larger areas. Many people make this mistake and add more caulk to cover a larger space. The better idea would be to fill the space with a backer rod first and then apply the caulk to get good results.
- Do not finish without ‘smoothing’ the caulk. Once you have laid the bead of caulk, the job is only half done. You need to make it look smooth for which you will have to use a smoothing tool. A good way to tell that the bead is smooth is to run your finger over the prepared area to ensure that it is neat and smooth.
The bottom line is that you can certainly try to handle the task of window caulking on your own, but you should avoid taking any chance if you are not sure about the right way to caulk the area. Be sure to hire a professional if you have any doubt about anything related to window caulking.