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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Caulking - Saves $1/month for each tube used

If you are adding on to a house or building one - whether you are doing it yourself or not - caulk the frame anywhere there are gaps.This will greatly improve your energy efficiency.

Now, after the house is complete or on an existing house, check periodically for cracks near where siding or windows and doors meet up. Caulk these with paintable caulk.

For every $2 (cost of a tube) of caulk you use, you should get $1 a month in return in lowered energy bills. That means it pays for itself in 2 months!

Don't know how to caulk? Here are instructions on how to caulk your house:

First take your caulk and put the nozzle end into the little circle that should be on the side of your caulking gun. Look on the nozzle for little tick marks that tell you how big of a bead will come out if you cut there. Squeeze the trigger on the caulk gun to cut off end.

Load caulk in gun. Twirl the metal plunger thing so that the grooves of the plunger catch with the little arm inside the gun. Press the trigger and you will be able to tell if it caught or not.

Find your gaps. This is in new construction. If someone else is building for you, save yourself some money and tell them you need to do this before they put up the walls.

Push on the trigger of the gun with a steady pressure. Moving faster over tiny cracks will leave a small bead behind. Moving slower when you have large cracks will leave more bead behind.

Now, take a rag that you never want to see again and get it wet using a handy dandy ice cream bucket.

While the caulking is still wet, take your finger inside that rag and run it along the crack, pushing the caulk into the crack and smoothing it out. Make sure there are no holes, if there are find some excess caulk and press it in there.

Now, if this is on an existing house, you will want to smooth it out as much as possible. You can paint over it according to directions. This project will be covered by walls so I don't care too much.

FYI - The closer to winter you do this the more likely you will be doing the same thing the wasps are doing - finding holes in your house. Thankfully they are cold and aren't too much interested in stinging you, but it is a little disconcerting to be hanging out with them.

FYI #2- Styling your hair with caulk is not recommended - it doesn't turn out too great! :)

1 comment:

Kat said...

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog. I love finding new ways to use things. I LOVE caulk! We lived in an older house that shifted during the seasons. Our finished attic wall would crack on one of the seams every year. We patched it over and over again. Finally, I can't remember the reason, we used caulk. It worked wonderful! It has enough "stretch" that it didn't crack. Also, unlike toothpaste and such you don't have to wait until it dries to paint it. It works wonderful for paint holes and such!
Thanks again!