Caulk and foam can serve as the first line of defense by sealing gaps and cracks around a home, helping to prevent pests from entering.
Each can be used alone as a proactive and insecticide-free approach or in conjunction with bug sprays if bugs have already penetrated the home.
Helping keep bugs out of your home is as easy as following these steps below.
- Locate the potential entry points for bugs and pests
There are several areas on the interior and
exterior of a home that could have gaps and cracks that should be sealed, including:
- Roof trim, roof rafters, joints, sheathing and siding
- Exterior columns, steps, decks and porches
- Exterior pipes and foundation
- Doors, windows, door and window frames
- Moldings and baseboards
- Floorings and walls
- Interior pipes and plumbing
When to use silicone caulk:
- Fill the gap. How do I know if I need to use caulk or foam?
- Gaps or cracks smaller than 1/2" by 1/2" (unless using backer rod)
- Inside or outside
- Applications that require flexibility due to joint movement
- Visible applications that require fine, detailed work
When to use foam:
- For gaps or cracks larger than 1/2" by 1/2" and/or larger, difficult-to-reach cavities
- Inside where little to no moisture will be present
- When needing insulation value
GE Silicone II Window & Door Caulk
Gaps & Cracks Foam
Instructions for Caulk:
- Clean the Surface
Remove old caulk, dirt and loose particles with a caulk-removing tool, or a wire brush for concrete and masonry applications, and wipe clean with a cloth. Apply masking tape to either side of the joint to create a straight edge. (Remove immediately after caulk application.)
- Prepare the Tube and Seal
Cut the nozzle to desired bead size. Pierce the inner seal with a stiff wire or other similar object. Insert cartridge into caulking gun. Seal around unsightly cracks or spaces inside and outside the home. If using a caulk gun, squeeze with even, consistent pressure to control the rate at which the caulk leaves the tube.
- Smooth the Caulk Seal
Use your finger or a wet caulk-smoothing tool within two to five minutes of application.
- Store the Tube and Clean
Squeeze the caulk until it's barely coming out of the tube. Replace the cap, or use a nail in the tube opening. Wipe hands with a dry cloth before washing with soap and water. To clean the area around the caulk, use mineral spirits for silicone caulk.
Instructions for Foam:
- READ ALL SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USE AND FOLLOW COMPLETELY. Wear safety goggles, gloves, respiratory protection and protective clothing.
- Shake can vigorously for one minute.
- Screw dispenser completely onto can valve being careful not to activate valve.
- To become familiar with product, test on an experimental surface by slowly depressing the trigger while the can is inverted. Continue use in inverted orientation.
- Fill rough openings approximately 1/3 full to allow for expansion. Release trigger five seconds before the end point, but keep straw moving.
- For deep section applications, allow the first layer of foam to cure before applying a second layer. Do not disturb uncured foam. Trim cured foam with a sharp knife or sand as needed. Foam exposed to sunlight must be painted or stained.
- To Store: one time use should be expected. Expiration date for foam by GE is located on the bottom of the can.
|Don't Waste Time and Energy
||Not all caulk is the same. Because silicone is permanently waterproof, flexible, and shrink-/crack-proof, unlike acrylic, it won't leave gaps or cracks for air and water to seep through over time. Those leaks can lead to water damage, mold growth, and higher energy billsall of which can translate into your lost time (when you have to do the job again), lost energy, and lost money.