Cost – $3-30 depending on caulk cost & amount used
Savings – $50-100/year1
Installation time – 1-2 hours
Materials/Tools Needed – Caulk gun, tubes of caulk
Maintenance – None
Caulking cracks that leak cool or hot air is relatively easy. Newer brick homes with energy efficient windows and doors may only require a touch up to close small cracks. Older homes may require substantial weather stripping and caulk to close large cracks. Estimate a half-cartridge of caulk for each window or door and 4 cartridges for the foundation sill.
1. Use a flat screwdriver or putty knife to remove old cracked caulk. Wipe the area to be caulked with a rag to remove dust so the caulk will stick.
2. A good caulk gun is important in helping you do a nice job. Borrow or buy a caulk gun with an automatic release.
3. Choose the appropriate caulk by asking at the hardware store or consulting http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/caulking
4. Trim the nozzle of the caulking tube at a 45o angle to match the size of the cracks you need to fill, e.g., ¼ inch. Once finished, seal the end of the nozzle with duct tape or small plastic bag & rubber band.
5. For hard to reach areas, tape a flexible straw to the caulk tube nozzle.
6. Practice to see if pushing or pulling the caulk gun while gently squeezing the trigger works best on a crack.
7. Use a wet finger or spoon to smooth out the bead of caulk.
8. Cracks wider than ½ inch will need to be filled with insulation or weather stripping in order to hold the caulk well.