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Exterior caulking seals cracks

Q: As cold weather approaches, I want to make sure that my house is weatherproof. I have installed new weatherstripping at the doors, but is there anything else I can do?

A: Weatherstripping your doors is a great idea. It will stop breezes, bugs and other outside nuisances from entering your house. You might venture outside and take a look at what you can do there as well. You should also take along a tube of caulking.

The type of caulking to use will depend on the application, but you will probably need exterior paintable caulking for doors and windows.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is used for its intended purpose.

Caulking is a fix-all for all sorts of situations since it’s a great adhesive in a pinch, but it shines at filling gaps. You might even call it “weatherstripping in a tube.”

Walk around the house paying close attention to doors and windows. Around the doors, lay a bead of caulking around the perimeter of the door, in between the molding and the siding (or stucco).

Also, check at the threshold of the door and lay down a bead between the bottom of the threshold and the slab or deck. This will help keep bugs out. Plus, on doors that have no protection via an overhang, the bead of caulking will help keep rainwater from seeping under the threshold.

By the way, don’t buy the caulking that’s squeezed out by hand. Use a caulking gun and load a tube into it. Cut the tip at a 45-degree angle.

The size of the opening can vary, but start out at about one-eighth of an inch. Use a long nail or piece of wire to punch through to the caulk. Squeeze the trigger and lay down the bead of caulking, then run your finger over the bead to push and smooth the caulk into the cracks.

Check out the windows in the same manner. The general rule: When in doubt, caulk it. Caulk around the perimeter of the window, being careful not to cover the weep holes in the window frame.

Water is a home’s nemesis, so seal around any points of entry, such as vents.

For sealing roof gaps, use a roof sealant (it also comes in a tube that can be loaded into your caulking gun). Now, working on the roof can obviously be dangerous, and this is one area where you might consider hiring someone. Not only is working on your roof dangerous, but you can also damage your roof by walking on the tiles.

The idea is to keep the elements outside the house.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and owner of Las Vegas Handyman. Questions may be sent by email to handymanoflasvegas@msn.com. Or, mail to 4710 W. Dewey Drive, No. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89118. His web address is www.handymanoflasvegas.com.

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