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Momentive performance materials

Keep Your Cool with Silicone Caulk This Summer

Survey Reveals Four out of Five Professional Contractors Use Silicone Caulk to Seal Their Homes
Huntersville, NC (May 8, 2007): It's time to start your spring home sealing projects to keep the air conditioning in, the heat out, and energy costs down. Gaps and cracks around windows and doors let air conditioning escape, accounting for 25 to 40 percent of the energy used to cool a home, according to the Environmental Protection Agency1.

Choosing the right caulk to seal a home is important, and following the lead of professionals can help. According to our recent survey2, four out of five professional contractors use silicone caulk when sealing their homes. When properly applied, silicone caulks, such as GE Silicone II* Caulk, provide an exceptional watertight and airtight seal, maximizing comfort and energy savings.

"Contractors know that a silicone seal is the best long-term seal against water and air," said Carey Evans, designer from the HGTV show My First Place. "Silicone won't shrink, crack, or peel. Nobody wants to do the same job twice, and with silicone caulk you won't have to."

For a long-term seal, caulk should shrink or crack very little. Because silicone is not water-based, shrinking or cracking is minimal when it cures, so it maintains its seal over time. Shrinkage of GE Silicone II* Caulk, for example, is less than 5 percent. Acrylic caulk is water-based and some acrylics shrink up to 25 percent as water evaporates during the curing process. That shrinkage may leave cracks and gaps for air and water to move through.

Sealing a home is an easy way to cut down on energy use and expenses. Follow these simple steps to reduce your energy bills by up to 20 percent3.

  1. Make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of soap, grease, dirt, and dust. Clean the surface with plain water or a wire brush and wipe with a clean cloth.
  2. For a straight edge, use masking tape on each side of the joint; remove immediately after applying the caulk.
  3. Remove the cap. Cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle to the desired bead size.
  4. Pierce the inner seal with a stiff wire or a similar object.
  5. Insert the cartridge into a caulk gun.
  6. Push the GE Silicone II* caulk out of the tube.
  7. Smooth or tool the bead as necessary.
  8. To store, reseal the cap.
  9. If painting, consider GE Silicone II* Paintable Silicone Caulk.
  10. Use mineral spirits for easy clean-up of silicone caulk.
For more information on home sealing, visit www.gehomesealing.com.

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1 Change for the Better with Energy Star: Air Sealing," US EPA, Energy Star.
2 Survey based on online interviews conducted among 100 professional contractors nationwide between March 23-26, 2007. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 10%.
3 Heat and Cool Efficiently Web page, US EPA, Energy Star, http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac