As the temperatures continue to plunge, bugs have begun looking for a warm shelter from the cold, like your house. Once these bugs enter your home, they can reproduce quickly until you have a full-blown infestation on your hands. That's why it's crucial to help make sure that all the possible entrances to your home have been sealed tight for the winter.
Insects can use cracks in your doors and windows to sneak inside your home. That's why even the smallest of gaps between your windows and their jambs should be sealed with caulk. Caulk is cheap, easy to apply and goes a long way towards keeping out bugs. Sealing small cracks in your windows with caulk can also help keep your energy costs down.
How to seal windows
Follow these instructions to help keep bugs out of your home this winter:
1. Inspect and decide which windows to seal
First, inspect your home’s exterior to figure out the number of windows that need sealing. It is also crucial to understand the condition of your window frames and decide whether they need to be repaired before beginning the sealing process. Many caulk labels will provide recommendations about the maximum crack size that can be filled with caulk. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided for the best results.
2. Clean the area
Before you start, clean the cracks and remove any peeling caulk, dirt, debris or old paint that might hinder adhesion. You may wash the area, but make sure it is completely dry before applying caulk.
3. Decide which type of caulk to use
There are a few different types of caulk to choose from: latex (acrylic and siliconized), silicone and polyurethane. In the winter, use a moisture-resistant caulk, such as siliconized or polyurethane caulk. Polyurethane caulk is beneficial during the winter months because it is moisture-resistant, but it can be more expensive. Though the cost is not always the best way to decide which type to use, siliconized caulk is also moisture-resistant, and can be a lower cost option if you're planning on sealing a large number of windows.
4. Purchase caulk and other essentials
Once you've decided on a type of caulk, purchase it from a hardware store. Another essential is a good caulking gun. If you don't have one already, choose a caulking gun with the ability to halt the flow of caulk when desired, a slicer for cutting the tip off of new caulking tubes and a nail for puncturing the inner seal from within.
5. Apply the caulk
Load the caulk into the caulking gun. Start applying it from one corner of the crack and slide the applicator all the way to the opposite corner in a smooth line.
6. Remove excess caulk
Smooth the caulk with a spoon and remove any excess for a smooth finish. Let it dry for an entire day for best results.
These steps should help you seal your windows to help keep bugs out this winter. If you continue to see bugs at home or are already struggling with an infestation, contact Terminix® today.