You can use a caulking compound to seal leaks in a variety of places throughout your home, including around windows and door frames. In addition to plugging air leaks, caulking can also prevent water damage inside and outside of the home when applied around faucets, ceiling fixtures, water pipes, drains, bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures.
Caulk forms a flexible seal for cracks, gaps, or joints less than 1 quarter-inch wide. Most caulking compounds come in disposable cartridges that fit in half-barrel caulking guns (if possible, purchase one with an automatic release). Some pressurized cartridges do not require caulking guns. When deciding how much caulking to purchase, consider that you’ll probably need a half-cartridge per window or door and four cartridges for the foundation sill.
Caulking compounds can also be found in aerosol cans, squeeze tubes, and ropes for small jobs or special applications. Water-based caulk can be cleaned with water, while solvent-based compounds require a solvent for cleanup. Caulking compounds also vary in strength, properties, and prices.
Although not a high-tech operation, caulking can be tricky. Read and follow the instructions on the compound cartridge. And save yourself some trouble by remembering a few important tips: