A critical part of any paint job, especially exterior ones, is caulking-there are areas on your home that need caulking to keep water out. Gaps and cracks are your home’s worst enemy! Not only do they reduce energy efficiency by creating drafts, but they allow pests and moisture easy access. Moisture is one of the greatest causes of problems. If water gets under the paint, your paint job will peel, bubble, crack or chalk. Ugly mold or mildew may develop, causing health problems.
The best way to prevent all these problems is by carefully sealing gaps and cracks with a high quality sealant. In some places, it will be obvious where caulking is needed. It’s important to fully seal the entire home! A good rule of thumb is to apply a bead of caulk anywhere two dissimilar materials meet – brick and wood; wood and glass; wood and metal, etc.
There are a variety of things that apply to interior caulking. For example, baseboards, window sills, and around door sills. The tools you will need are simple. You need a caulk gun, a putty knife, a razor knife, a tile-grout sponge and a bucket. There are huge differences in caulk guns. My favorite is one that cost about three times what the cheap ones cost. The cheap caulk guns have notches in the ram-rod plunger. The ram rod on mine is smooth. You have to squeeze the handle on my gun about three times to get it to travel the distance you get with one squeeze of a cheap caulk gun. You may think this is extra work, but the effort gives you amazing control over the amount of caulk that flows from the tube.
It is ideal to caulk baseboards and trim after they have a coat of primer on them. Caulking bare wood can be problematic as it can be difficult to remove caulk from the wood grain. It is also easier to see the areas that need caulk if the wood is painted a light color. The gaps show up as the unsightly lines you currently see in your woodwork. The size of the hole at the end of the caulk tube is mission-critical. If you make it too big, far too much caulk flows from the tube. If the hole is too small, then you work too hard to fill the gaps. I have found that a hole size just over 1/16th inch seems to be perfect.
Caulking is tedious work that requires time, skill of hand and patience– GEM can help you seal your home and make it energy efficient. Call us today at 907-223-4666 for a quote!