One of the most effective ways to seal your home against cold winter air is to use caulking to seal gaps, holes, cracks, and openings where warm air can escape, and cold air can get in.

Caulking is a moist, paste-like substance most often made of rubber or plastic. It can be purchased in disposable tubes or cartridges. Somewhat like toothpaste, caulk is squeezed or pressed out of the container and applied directly to your home’s structure to seal air leaks and small drafts. When the material dries or cures, it produces an airtight and waterproof seal that keeps warm air in and cold air and moisture out.

The most common types of caulking are:

Latex: Latex is used to seal gaps around window casings and door frames both indoors and out, as well as to seal joints and gaps around plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and bath. Latex is often used to fill cracks and holes in plaster, tile, plastic, and glass. When wet, it’s easy to smooth with a tool or finger, and when cured, it can be trimmed, sanded, and painted. The latex type is not recommended for use on metal surfaces.

Silicone: Silicone is useful for sealing around windowpanes and the window frame, as well as around the joints between bathroom fixtures and wall or floor tile. It can be used on metal surfaces, such as joints around plumbing fixtures and gutters. Once cured, it’s somewhat flexible, which makes it a good choice for joints that might experience limited amounts of flexing or compression.

The basic application procedure proceeds as follows:

Remove old caulk and clean the area of the application.

Hold the caulking gun or tube at a 45-degree angle and apply the substance in a steady, continuous line without stopping.

Fill gaps, holes, and openings.

Smooth the material and press it into cracks, gaps, or holes as needed.

Pipe Works Services serves the needs of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning customers in Chatham and the surrounding New Jersey communities. Contact us today for more information on how to effectively use caulking for sealing your home against winter’s inevitable chill. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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