Exterior Windows

3 Reasons Why a Sealant Is the Key to Winter-Proofing This Year

Learn how you can benefit from a fully sealed home this winter and beyond—and how simple and painless this project can be with the use of a specialty sealant.
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3 Reasons to Caulk Before Winter

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Along with colorful falling leaves, tailgate parties, and family gatherings, autumn’s crisp air brings a reminder of Old Man Winter’s imminent arrival. While you’re busy enjoying all that the season has to offer, don’t forget about the icy winds and snowstorms lurking just around the corner. This is the time to think about winterizing your home. The maintenance tasks you perform now will help protect your home from the frigid weather to come and will yield benefits all year long.

One of the most important tasks in getting your house ready for winter is sealing any gaps that are letting cold air creep into your house. Filling these gaps doesn’t have to cost a fortune, nor does it require the services of a professional. Plus, when you use an innovative product such as GE Silicone 2*+ Window & Door sealant, you can tackle this job on your own schedule! While most types of caulk used for this purpose can’t be applied if rain is expected within the next 24 hours, GE Silicone 2+ sealant can be conveniently “rain-ready” in as little as 30 minutes. (This is possible as long as you apply a bead of sealant no larger than 3/16″-wide on a day with temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and at least 50 percent humidity. Otherwise, the sealant should not be exposed to water for eight hours. Then, do not touch or clean caulk for 24 hours for the best seal.)

Keep reading to learn exactly how a spare hour or two and a little help from this sealant can help you take care of three key winter-proofing goals as you get your home ready for the cold days ahead.

3 Reasons to Caulk Around the Windows
Photo: G Taylor

1. You want to create a waterproof seal for your house.

Water and construction materials often don’t mix, particularly the wood used to frame your house and the drywall panels that form its interior walls. Rain and melting snow can seep into unsealed cracks, and you may not be able to spot the leak right away. Left unchecked, leaks often travel down inside a wall, trailing along the framing members and then saturating the subfloor beneath, quietly rotting it away. Hidden leaks can cause thousands of dollars of damage before they’re discovered and can necessitate both structural repairs and mold remediation. An ounce of prevention—or, rather, a couple of 10.1-ounce cartridges’ worth—is key.

The best way to help minimize the risk of water damage and the mold growth associated with it is to caulk all cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and other openings with a high-quality sealant, such as GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door sealant. This popular GE-branded sealant is 100 percent silicone, so it won’t shrink and pull away, even in sub-zero temperatures, and it won’t crack or degrade under harsh UV rays. Best of all, its packaging fits a standard caulking gun, allowing for easy application at the squeeze of a trigger.

When checking the exterior of your home for cracks and gaps, carefully inspect all of the following areas:

3 Reasons to Caulk Before Winter
Photo: G Taylor
  • Between window jambs and adjacent window trim
  • Where the trim abuts the siding on the top and sides of each window
  • Between door trim and siding on top and sides
  • Where the door jamb meets the threshold
  • Between siding and corner trim (inside corner and outside corner trim)
  • Penetrations in the siding, including pipes, dryer vents, and conduits
  • Cracks in masonry siding
  • Where two different siding materials meet
  • Where porch or patio railings attach to the house

2. You want to get a handle on energy bills.

When you caulk the gaps in your house, you prevent cold outside air from seeping in and affecting your comfort level—and likely your utility bills. During winter, cold air coming in through drafty windows and doors can leave you feeling chilled and force your furnace to work overtime. Then in the summer, those same gaps let that lovely, cool comfort generated by your AC escape from your house. No matter the season, sealing those gaps with GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door sealant can help save on utility bills.

Humidity, as well as temperature, plays an important part in your indoor comfort level. High humidity levels tend to reduce comfort, leaving you feeling clammy and chilled in the winter and sweaty in the summer. Gaps in your home permit unwanted humid air to enter, forcing HVAC units to run longer in order to dry out the air. The more these units run, the more energy they’ll consume. Sealing up those gaps can allow your HVAC system run more efficiently.

3. You want to keep your home looking great.

3 Reasons to Caulk Before Winter
Photo: G Taylor

Refreshing your home’s exterior doesn’t have to involve installing new siding or even repainting what’s there. Something as small as an exterior crack or gap can hurt curb appeal by making the whole house seem tired and worn. Fortunately, these imperfections can be easily fixed with a touch-up of sealant. A smooth bead of white or colored caulking can fill and effectively hide the imperfections, giving your home a more attractive “finished” look. Available in six common siding and trim colors, GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door sealant is sure to complement the cladding on any house.

Keeping your home looking great doesn’t end there. When you seal cracks with GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door sealant, you’ll also be tackling blown-in dust and fine dirt particles that settle on furniture and make for frequent dusting. As well, dirt particles that settle on upholstery and carpeting tend to work their way deep into the fabric, damaging the fibers and dulling colors over time. Fine dust is even harder to remove completely, even with daily vacuuming. Sealing all exterior gaps, and doing so as soon as possible, can lighten your workload in the future.

BobVila.com partnered with the manufacturer of GE Sealants & Adhesives to bring you this content and has been compensated for its honest opinions.

GE is a registered trademark of the General Electric Company and is used under license by Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

*Silicone 2 is a trademark of Momentive Performance Materials Inc.