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Using Caulk-Weatherproofing Part 3

Caulking should be applied to any gap where air, moisture or insects may penetrate the structure, including the following common locations:

Joints between foundation and siding

Joints between roof overhang and house

Joints between window/door and siding

At any penetrations into the house (i.e., telephone wires, TV cable, electrical conduit and gas and water pipes)

Dryer, bathroom and kitchen vents

Joints between the siding and chimney

As a rule, surfaces must be clean and dry in order for caulking to stick. Loose material should be brushed away, and dirt, grease or oil should be removed with a detergent solution. Do not apply in cold weather, except as recommended by the manufacturer.

To use a caulking gun, first pull the plunger all the way back and insert the caulking tube (see image). Turn the plunger so the notches engage the trigger of the gun, then push the plunger snugly against the heel of the tube. Cut the nozzle tip with the utility knife and make a hole the size of the bead you want. Puncture the seal at the top of the tube with a 16d nail.

To apply caulking, squeeze the trigger and push-don’t pull-the gun along the gap (see image). Pushing the gun drives caulking down into the gap and gives you better adhesion.

To tool the joint, first wet your finger with soapy water (if the caulking is formulated for soap-and-water cleanup) or a dab of automotive hand cleaner (if the caulking is formulated for solvent cleanup). Run your finger along the joint, smoothing it and pressing the caulking into the joint. Wipe away excess with a rag.

For home improvement advice, visit JS West Lumber & Ace Hardware Sonora, Ca. or visit and click on the Answers@Ace icon. Answers@Ace is an online resource with information for do-it-yourselfers about hardware and home improvement projects. The Everyday Projects section has pictures and detailed, step-by-step instructions for this and many more home improvement projects.

To speak to an Ace Hardware advisor in Sonora call: 209 532 7446.