Most Bay Area homeowners know the importance of a high efficiency HVAC system and good insulation for keeping their homes comfortable while reducing energy costs. As trusted San Francisco HVAC repair and installation experts, the professionals at Ortiz know the importance of caulking your home as well. While it can be a tricky task, we’ve got a few tips to help you apply caulking like an expert so that you can stop air leakage in its tracks.
Choosing the right type of caulk for your needs
Caulking compounds are made for a variety of uses, and from different materials. Silicone is good for sealing materials that are dissimilar, such as brick, wood and metal flashing. The expandable spray foam type made of polyurethane is ideal for larger cracks; butyl rubber and water-based varieties are good for caulking around windows, door frames and flashing. Read the label before you buy to be sure the caulking is the right type for your intended application.
Tips for applying caulk
- First and foremost, apply caulk when the weather is dry and temperatures are above 45 degrees. It’s also recommended that you apply when humidity levels are low to ensure good adherence and setting.
- Hold your caulking gun at a 45 degree angle for the neatest application and to make it easier to get caulk deep into the crack.
- Avoid stopping and starting if possible, caulking in one straight continuous line.
- Use a putty knife to push any caulking that may ooze out back in.
- If caulk shrinks some after drying, reapply so that it fills crack completely.
- When caulking, look to make sure that the product is sticking to both sides of the seam or crack.
- VERY IMPORTANT – Before you begin caulking, clean the areas you intend to caulk thoroughly. Be sure to use a putty knife or large screwdriver to take off any old paint or caulk, or use solvent intended for this purpose if needed. Thoroughly dry the area after cleaning before applying caulk.
Cracks and holes around windows, doors or even around plumbing where it comes into your home can let in an incredible amount of outside air. This season, keep your Bay Area home comfortable and enjoy knowing you are saving on energy costs by sealing your home up tight!
Call the pros at Ortiz Heating and Air Conditioning for your San Francisco HVAC installation or repair needs for the best in products and services! Have questions about caulking? Give us a call, we’re happy to help.