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Choose the Right Caulk

Seal with silicone, and save energy. Did you know that not all caulk provides energy savings over time? 100 percent silicone does provide sustained benefits. It is permanently flexible, shrink-proof, crack-proof and waterproof. In fact, 100 percent silicone remains unaffected by all weather and temperature conditions, so it helps prevent gaps and cracks, through which energy dollars can pass, from reforming. Need to paint? No problem.

Clean the Surface

Remove old caulk, dirt, and loose particles with a caulk-removing tool or wire brush. Apply masking tape to either side of the joint to create a straight edge. Remove immediately after caulk application.

Prep the Tube and Seal

Cut nozzle to desired bead size. Pierce the inner seal with a stiff wire or other similar object. Insert cartridge into caulking gun. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and seal around unsightly cracks or spaces inside and outside the home.

Smooth the Caulk Seal

Use your finger or a wet caulk-smoothing tool within two to five minutes of application.

Store the Tube and Clean Up

Squeeze the caulk until it’s barely coming out of the tube. Replace the cap, or use a nail in the tube opening. Wipe hands with a dry cloth before washing with soap and water. Use mineral spirits to clean up silicone.

Should I hire a professional or can I find and seal leaks on my own?

Your home should be tested twice a year (once in the spring and again in the fall) to see if you are protected from energy loss, pollution, pests, and moisture. You can perform an inspection yourself by using one of three simple tests. Click here to learn how to perform the tests.

Pending tax rebates programs such as the proposed Home Star and other promotions that offset the cost of hiring a professional for a home energy audit will make a professional energy audit a more accessible and increasingly popular option for homeowners. Trained professionals with special equipment evaluate energy loss throughout your home. After considering the results, the professional will provide you with a list of recommended upgrades and repairs to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. This total home approach is sometimes more efficient and effective than a DIY energy audit to set you on a path of comprehensive energy savings.

Below are resources to learn more about DIY and professional energy audits