Caulking Cracks

Cost –  $3-30 depending on caulk cost & amount used

Savings –  $50-100/year1

Installation time –  1-2 hours

Materials/Tools Needed –  Caulk gun, tubes of caulk

Maintenance –  None

         Caulking cracks that leak cool or hot air is relatively easy.  Newer brick homes with energy efficient windows and doors may only require a touch up to close small cracks.  Older homes may require substantial weather stripping and caulk to close large cracks.  Estimate a half-cartridge of caulk for each window or door and 4 cartridges for the foundation sill.


1.    Use a flat screwdriver or putty knife to remove old cracked caulk.  Wipe the area to be caulked with a rag to remove dust so the caulk will stick.

2.    A good caulk gun is important in helping you do a nice job.  Borrow or buy a caulk gun with an automatic release.

3.    Choose the appropriate caulk by asking at the hardware store or consulting

4.    Trim the nozzle of the caulking tube at a 45o angle to match the size of the cracks you need to fill, e.g., ¼ inch.  Once finished, seal the end of the nozzle with duct tape or small plastic bag & rubber band.

5.    For hard to reach areas, tape a flexible straw to the caulk tube nozzle.

6.    Practice to see if pushing or pulling the caulk gun while gently squeezing the trigger works best on a crack.

7.    Use a wet finger or spoon to smooth out the bead of caulk. 

8.    Cracks wider than ½ inch will need to be filled with insulation or weather stripping in order to hold the caulk well.


         Instructional videos

Basic tips