Which window sealant should I choose?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ June 24, 2013 ~ No Comments

I was reading one of the DIY posts about sealing my home's siding. The gap between the window frame and the edge of the siding needs to be filled, but it does not say what type of sealant to use. Can I have an actual name, and some instructions that make sense?

- Carl S.

Brett Kulina

Carl, you'll need an exterior grade sealant when sealing off the gap around your home's window frames. When comparing brands, look for one that offers a color option that matches your window frames, or select a caulking that can be painted, such as DAP Dynaflex 230. I like this product because it is available in several colors, holds paint well, and cleans up easily with water.

This sealant comes in a 10-ounce tube that fits any standard-sized caulking gun. To get started, use a razor knife or scissors to cut off just the very tip of the plastic nozzle. Ideally, you want to create an opening at the tip of the nozzle which is just big enough for a large nail to fit into. To get the sealant flowing, you'll first need to pierce the top of the tube by sticking a nail, or the poker attached to the side of the caulking gun, into the nozzle's opening that you just created.

Once you depress the trigger on the caulking gun, the sealant should start flowing out of the tip of the plastic nozzle. Because the sealant will keep flowing until you disengage the pressure from the gun, make sure to constantly move the nozzle along the seam that you are filling so that you avoid creating a messy gob of sealant in just one place. After you have filled the seam, you'll need to use your fingers to push the sealant further into the crack and then to wipe away any excess sealant. In general, I find myself wiping away about a third of the sealant that I squirt into a seam. I overfill the gap and then use my finger to smooth out the bead.

It's best to work carefully and to fill just one gap at a time. Also, keep a damp cloth at hand to wipe off any sealant that gets on the windows or siding.

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