In this day and age, one of the fastest ways of raising the collective blood pressure of a neighborhood occurs when opening monthly utility bills. Energy cost is sky rocketing at an alarming rate. Companies in the business of providing energy to consumers are constantly lobbying for and receiving rate increases.
Why use caulking
Entering a drafty room on a cold winter day is instantly felt. Standing, sleeping or sitting near a window or door not properly sealed sends shivers of cold through the entire body. It seems nearly impossible to pump enough warm air into a drafty room. As soon as warm air enters, it is diluted by colder outside air entering through unsealed cracks. This is the opposite effect in summer.
In either case, more energy is required which produces a higher bill. One proven application, if not solution to a drafty problem is the use of caulking. This method is superior to stretching plastic across windows and around door framing. By using the appropriate caulking, controlling room temperatures and cost becomes easier.
Types of caulking
Experienced home builders and remodelers alike will tell you a leaky house is a financial bottomless pit. For this reason alone, applying caulking is extremely cost and energy efficient. However, before picking up a caulking gun, a few details should be considered. Not all caulking is the same, or serves the same purpose.
Paintable acrylic caulk with silicone
Acrylic caulk with silicone is an excellent interior and exterior energy saver. It is usually applied with the use of a caulking gun and tube of caulking. When using, keep a wet work cloth handy for cleanup and make sure work surfaces are dirt free and dry. This procedure applies to interior and exterior use.
When applied correctly, acrylic caulk with silicone will last about 40 years. For best results outdoors, apply 24 hours (after) rainfall has stopped. In climates prone to freezing, do not apply below 40°F. Better adhesion and sealing occurs with a few days in a row of above freezing temperatures before doing work. Acrylic caulk with silicone can be used to seal doors, windows, baseboards, molding, cracks and gaps around the interior and exterior of the home. It can also, be painted over in 30 minutes.
Clean up is quick and easy. Use a wet work cloth to wipe away excess while sealant is still wet. This type of caulking dissolves with water, again while it is wet. When it dries it adheres to the surface it has been applied. Storing is also simple – 12 months, if not opened. If sealant is used, but not empty, plug spout with a nail or screw. This will keep air out and drastically slow the drying process.
Butyl sealant caulk
Butyl sealant is a rubber sealant and is very resistant to changing weather conditions. It is best used for sealing problem areas on the roof. This sealant handles areas such as around chimneys and drain valleys very well, because of its resistance to weather. Rain, snow, sleet, ultraviolet radiation, ozone, pollution and atmospheric contaminates has little effect.
It is not recommended for areas to be painted immediately. It will stain masonry and stone work including marble. Like acrylic caulk with silicone, do not use on wet surfaces – it will not stick.
Butyl sealant does not clean with water, wet or dry. Cleaning will require the use of Xylene, Toluene or similar aromatic solvents. Instructions for use, painting and clean up are detailed. It is strongly recommend; read before purchasing or using.
Homeowners face multi-front battles maintaining their homes. For many, owning a home is the single largest investment they will ever make. In most cases, owning a home is an investment that appreciates. Even in economic down turns, home ownership is a preferred wealth building tool.
Being nibbled away at, on a monthly basis, by high utility bills, be they electric, gas or some other means, creates an adverse situation. Caulking cracks saves energy. By doing both, homeowners can help turn a residential money pit into a model house for the entire community.