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How to apply exterior caulking

1 hour | Easy | 10 STEPS

Proper exterior caulking around your home seals out moisture and outside air while reducing energy costs and preventing costly repairs. It will also help keep out insects and small creatures seeking food, shelter and warmth.  With some basic tools, supplies and a little work, your windows will be airtight and ready for the season.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Step

Check for drafts.

Check to see if any air flows through your closed windows. Also look at the caulk on the outside of the window. If there are visible gaps and cracks, it's time to re-caulk.

Step

Remove old caulking.

Be careful not to damage the door or window frame.

Step

Cut the nozzle.

Although this seems trivial, the proper cut will have significant impact on how thick and wide your caulk will be applied.

Step

Puncture the seal at the bottom of the nozzle using the caulking gun.

Step

Insert tube of caulking in applicator.

...and you are ready to go.

Step

Apply new caulking.

Use a step ladder if needed.

Step

Use your finger to add a finishing touch.

To get a really smooth finish, wet your finger and drag it along the bead of caulking compound.

Step

Clean up around the window or door with a wet rag.

Step

Wipe the nozzle of the caulking tube and replace the cap.

Step

Final tip!

If you're using paintable caulk, let the compound set for the recommended drying time before painting.