Caulk is a magical adhesive that seals windows and lowers utility bills. Well, maybe it's not magical, but it sure beats the cost of installing storm windows. If you want to apply caulk around the outside of your windows, opt for a clear silicone caulk that is nearly invisible. Some homeowners caulk their windows right before winter, but you can caulk them anytime. Caulking should never limit a window's ability to open and close, and for safety reasons, it should never seal a window shut. Caulking around windows keeps your real estate investment energy efficient and well-maintained.
Remove old caulk from a window frame with a putty knive or utility knife. Once you get a piece started, you should be able to peel most of the existing caulk away from the window with your hands. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any residual caulk adhesive.
Press the release on the bottom of the caulking gun and slide the long metal plunger all the way back. Insert the silicone caulk tube into the opening of the caulking gun and press the plunger against the bottom of the tube. Secure the release to hold the tube in place. Cut the tip of the caulk tube with scissors. The farther down the nozzle you cut, the wider the stream of caulk. Poke a stiff wire through the hole to break the inner seal.
Stand on a stepladder or extension ladder to start caulking at the top of the window. Hold the caulking gun at 45-degree angle to the window whenever possible. Compress the handle on the caulking gun slightly to squeeze a steady stream of caulk out of the tube. Glide the caulking gun along the top of the window frame where it meets the surface of the house, dispelling caulk as you glide. The goal is to produce a smooth, even flow of caulk. Release the handle to give your hand a rest. Wipe up excess caulk with a soft towel.
Continue caulking down each side of the window, starting at the top and sliding the gun down the seam. Don't smooth the caulk with your finger. As the caulk dries, it shrinks slightly and seals the area between the window frame and the house. Apply caulk along the bottom edge of the window. Allow the caulk to dry before washing or cleaning your exterior window panes.
Things You Will Need
Silicone caulk tube
Soft clean cloth
Stepladder or extension ladder
Caulk outside windows on a non-rainy day. Silicone caulk is water-resistant once it dries, but it's best to install it during dry weather. Avoid getting caulk on window panes because it's difficult to remove. However, it won't damage the glass.
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