How to Caulk Vinyl Windows for Winter
Even if it is cold and it is snowy and icy outside, this does not mean that you are late with caulk around your windows. Window chasing is appropriate anytime – even at the very last moment – and is a great way to prevent cold drafts from entering your home. We’ll show you how to properly patch windows, sliders and more to keep your home warm and cozy throughout the winter months, no matter the weather outside.
Choose the right caulk
Building material suppliers offer several different types of sealants. Not every sealant is suitable for caulking windows, keep this in mind. For example, a bathroom sealant won’t be as effective on your windows. For outdoor use, you need to take a special external sealant designed for outdoor use. The most common sealant is transparent because it will not change the appearance of the facade of the house and is suitable for caulking windows of any color. If you have colored windows, you can opt for a colored sealant. But keep in mind that it is difficult to find an absolutely identical shade of sealant.
Also consider the operating temperature of the sealant when it can be applied: some sealants can only be applied in warm weather (40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), while rubber or silicone sealants can be applied in cold weather such as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sealant is offered in the form of tubes or cartridges for a special gun. This option from a gun is the most optimal, because it will allow you to apply the sealant in an even layer and will not stain the adjacent surfaces. But it will be difficult to clean the sealant that gets on the window frame.
Prepare the surface
A properly prepared surface is essential for your caulk to be durable and strong. If ice is already frozen around your windows, it must be removed and the surface thoroughly dried. If this is not done, the sealant will not fill the gaps tightly and all the work will be in vain. To remove ice and dry windows, we recommend using a special ice-melting hairdryer.
If old putty remains in the cracks around your windows, it must also be completely removed. To do this, use a stiff brush and soapy water.
Once you’ve properly prepared your windows for caulking, proceed with applying the sealant between the window frame and siding. Smoothly squeeze out sealant and apply in a continuous, even batch, moving the gun nozzle along the slots. In this way, you will not only insulate your house and get rid of drafts, but also solve problems with mold and mildew, which like to settle in the cracks around the windows.
To fully winterize your window, you may also want to consider using seals to prevent drafts.