How to caulk windows

Caulking is one of the easiest fall home-improvement chores. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started.

A note: Caulk around the windows’ molding and stay away from the movable parts that allow you to open and close the windows.

  1. Caulk on a day when your windows are completely dry inside and out and on a day that is not extremely hot or cold.
  2. Choose a good caulk: Some can be painted; different kinds are compatible with masonry, vinyl or wood; some are formulated for use in humid climates. Also, different caulks are for indoor or outdoor use. Read the label before purchasing.
  3. Collect the caulk, a caulk gun with a trigger, a putty knife, a sponge or rags, and a wire brush.
  4. Use the putty knife to scrape the old caulk off of the windows. If it won’t budge, buy a caulk softener.
  5. Clean the windows with a damp sponge or rag and then dry them. Wait until they are completely dry to apply fresh caulk.
  6. Fill the caulk gun with caulk and point it to the corner of the window farthest from you. Press the trigger and work your way backward. Get caulk in all of the joints.
  7. Smooth out the caulk by applying water to your fingers and working it into the cracks.
  8. Let the caulk dry, which can take several hours.
  9. Read the instructions that come with the caulk and the caulk gun; they’re more detailed and full of tips for success.
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