Caulking windows adds both the finished
look and also the insulation you need to enjoy your home free of drafts and
leaks. A task that may seem simple at first caulking, windows, and similar home
improvements require some research and practice before getting that
professional look. The act of lining your window with a narrow strip of
continuous caulk is called running a bead. Learn how you can create a beautiful
and efficient caulk finish.
All Caulking is Not Equal
You’ll want to know what kind of window installation
and climate area you are working with before applying caulk. If you go to the
home improvement store, you’ll notice a very large selection of caulk-like
tubes. Make sure you carefully read the labels before selecting the right item.
Some of the tubes will be more of a glue and others will be a more flexible
rubber-like seal. You will likely choose between silicon and latex options, in
addition to some special applications like polyurethane.
For example, a humid room like a
bathroom, you’ll want to choose waterproof and mold-resistant caulking. Look
for an interior caulking, and then find a color complementary to your windows
and walls, or even use a clear sealant. Regular interior windows such as the
living room or bedroom may look best with an interior paintable caulk, such as
a paintable latex to match your decor. Exterior caulk is designed to stand up
to harsh UV rays, rain, snow, and fluctuating temperature. Make sure you don’t
accidentally grab an indoor variety for an exterior application. For specialty
sidings like masonry siding in a brick home or some basement windows, you’ll
need a specialty caulking to adhere to the surface such as an acrylic urethane.
Prepare the Area Before Caulking
Unfortunately, you can’t simply walk up to a window and begin caulking. First, you will need to prepare the area. Remove all of the old caulking if this is a window replacement. In new installations, you’ll want to make sure the area is clean, dry, and free of any debris. If you have an extremely slippery surface, you may consider priming the area (like you would in painting) before you begin. You’ll also want to check the weather before you begin any external applications. The temperature should be on the moderate side, but no colder than 40 degrees and no hotter than 90. Try to choose a day where it will be drier, and not rain or snow. In poor conditions, caulking may take as long as 24 hours to dry.
Assemble the correct tools before you start the job. Gather your caulk tubes, it’s always best to have more than one as a backup unless the job is extremely small. You will also need a caulking gun. You can choose between a ratcheting gun or a somewhat easier thumb-release for most home improvement jobs. Additional tools and materials to gather include:
- Utility Knife
- Wire Brush
- Painter’s Tape
- Caulk Finishing Tool
- Caulk Remover Solution
- Cleaning Cloths
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Your windows are an
important element of your home, not only in terms of its curb appeal, but they
also provide benefits in terms of interior design, energy efficiency, and
making your home feel relaxed, comfortable, and secure.
If your windows are
showing signs of age, it might be time to consider replacing them. While there
are less expensive alternatives, like repairing damaged windows, advances in
technology have given homeowners choices that are more energy-efficient, easier
to install, and can improve your home’s aesthetic style and curb appeal.
Here are five signs
that it’s time to replace your home’s windows.
to Replace Your Home’s Windows
that are well maintained have an average lifespan of 20 years or more under normal
conditions. While this is typical, there are many factors that can affect your
windows and how they perform. For example, windows in a coastal city like Fort
Lauderdale may age faster due to the heat, moisture, and salt air, then windows
in a more arid climate like Los Angeles.
If you look closely at
your home’s existing windows there are some pretty obvious signs that they are
in need of replacement. For example:
- Your windows are damaged, broken or warped.
While there are instances when it makes sense to repair a window, rather than replacing it. For minor issues like replacing weatherstripping, repair might be a good option, however, if the window frame or sash is warped, or broken, replacement might make more sense. Do your multi-pane windows fog up? Are they drafty, stick when you try to open them or refuse to stay open? Then it’s probably time to replace your windows.
- Your energy bills are rising.
Your windows can help hold the air conditioning indoors in the summer and can provide a little extra heat in the winter by letting in the sunlight. Drafty windows can increase your energy costs by 10 to 25% or more. Replacing your old windows with newer, more energy-efficient technology can help to reduce your heating and cooling bills. If you’re planning on selling your home, energy efficiency is a great selling point!
- You’re undergoing a home remodel and want to up your home’s curb appeal.
Your windows are a major component in expressing the style or your home and upping its curb appeal. If your windows look tired, worn out, or faded your house will too. Older windows and storms can detract from your home’s curb appeal. Aesthetics and good design is a crucial element of the longevity, and salability of a home. If you have fixed sash windows, consider replacing them with windows that open. They can improve airflow and create a more comfortable interior. If you’re remodeling, you can also install larger replacement windows to better flood your home with natural light.
- Improve your home’s safety.
Today, the weather seems to be getting more severe every season. If you live in an area prone to thunderstorms, heavy wind, snow, or hurricanes, upgrading to heavy-duty fiberglass windows
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