How to Caulk Windows for Winter

Home Caulking Products in Grand Rapids, MI

Just because it’s snowy and icy outside, doesn’t meant that you can’t do last minute caulking around your windows. Window caulking is a great way to prevent drafts from seeping into your home. Keep reading to learn how to caulk windows, sliders, and more so your home stays warm and cozy through the winter months.

For more information, our building products supplier at Eikenhout Inc. recommend reaching out to a building materials supplier near you that sells caulk. If you are interested in saving money on energy bills this winter, Eikenhout recommends checking out our blog posts about attic insulation and preventing heat loss from skylights.

Choose the Right Caulk

Construction materials suppliers offer several different types of caulk. It’s important that you pick the right type of caulk for the job you have in mind. For example, bathroom caulk won’t be as effective for your windows as exterior caulk designed for use outside the home. Some homeowners and contractors prefer the look of clear silicone caulk (as opposed to colored caulk) so it doesn’t draw attention from the home’s façade. However, the choice of whether to pick colored or clear caulk is up to you.

While some caulk can only be applied in warm weather (40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), certain rubber or silicone caulk can be applied in weather as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The rubber or silicone base prevents the caulk from freezing in cold temperatures.

You can buy caulk as either a squeeze tube or cartridge. Our window suppliers recommend using a cartridge and caulking gun so you can apply an even bead around the perimeter of your windows. Silicone caulk is not only long-lasting, but it effectively fills in gaps that are leaking cold air into your home.

Prepare Surface

The surface needs to be clean and dry for caulk to adhere properly. In the winter, you may have ice around your windows that will need to be melted and dried before you can start applying caulk. Otherwise, the ice will form a barrier between the caulk and the window. Our window contractors recommend using a hair dryer to melt the ice. Any old caulk or peeling paint will also need to be carefully removed with a putty knife. Use a scrub brush and warm soapy water to clean the surface of any remaining dirt.

Apply Caulk

You’ll want to apply waterproof caulk between the window frame and the siding. The caulk will prevent water from seeping into your home, as well as reduce your risk of having mold and wood rot problems in the future. Apply a continuous bead of caulk around the outside borders of your window. To completely winterize your window, you may want to also consider weatherstripping to prevent drafts.

Eikenhout is a Michigan building materials supplier that has worked with contractors and homeowners for over 120 years. If you are interested in browsing our inventory of caulk and caulking tools, feel free to call any of our eight locations in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Holland, Traverse City, Saginaw, Petoskey, and Kalamazoo.