A good caulk can protect
all of the vulnerable places
in your home.

Now's the Time to Caulk

When preparing your home for the cold months ahead, don't let anything fall through the cracks—literally. Caulking doors and windows to fill unwanted air and water gaps is key to keeping the indoors warm in winter, according to TOP GUN® Sealants and Caulks, a top-performing line from PPG Architectural Coatings for both professionals and DIYers.

"The ideal time to caulk is well before the winter arrives," says Mark Hembree, senior brand manager for Top Gun. “Properly sealing the seams of doors and windows is an excellent, low-cost way to stop air and moisture penetration and make sure the heated air stays in the living space to keep everyone more comfortable.

In addition, a properly sealed home will reduce energy costs by allowing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to function more efficiently, Hembree adds. “An added bonus is that it will also keep rooms cooler in summer, because caulking prevents cool air from escaping through cracks."

Hembree offers these five tips to ensure a top-quality caulking job every time:

1. Product selection is key. The type of caulk used can make or break a job, so it’s wise to invest in a high-quality product to ensure long-lasting results. With caulks and sealants available for every type of application, make sure you select the best product for your project. Be sure to read instructions carefully before using any product, noting in particular optimal weather conditions for use.

2. Take time to clean. Avoid caulking failure by removing dirt and dust from the joints to be filled before beginning a job. Debris often results from sanding the surface and must be cleaned thoroughly to enable the caulk to adhere to the joints.

3. Quantity matters. Be careful not to cut the caulking tube’s nozzle tip too small, as this causes less sealant to go into the joint and can result in cracking once it dries. Make sure the joint you’re filling is at least 3 millimeters wide, as a joint smaller than that can cause the caulk to work improperly. Similarly, whether using your finger or a hand tool, don’t rub off too much of the caulk after applying it, as you need enough sealant to bond the joints.

4. Work with it. When using a chiseling tool to get caulk to settle into the gap you're filling, make sure to do so immediately when the caulk is wet to avoid causing it to ball up as it dries. This means dispensing only as much caulk as you can work with at one time before it dries to the touch.

5. Paint at the right time. Most caulking products require one to six hours to dry. It’s important to wait the required time before painting to avoid cracking the surface. For those who are less patient, Top Gun 250 sealant enables users to spray paint a job immediately and brush paint in only 30 minutes after applying.

Top Gun products range in price from $2.19 to $7.99. More information can be found at www.dulux.ca/pro/products/Caulks-and-Sealants.

© Copyright, 2014, Your Decorating Resource. All bylined material on this site is protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced without express permission of the authors. However, limited excerpts and links are welcome.

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