Summer is a great time to invest in your home and get Fall ready! To prepare for cooler weather, it is important to check a few key areas around your home to make sure that it is properly sealed. Below are some of our favorite home projects that help you to increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce water damage without taking a lot of time. These projects help to seal in the savings and can easily be done over the weekend.

Check High Moisture Areas

First, we recommend checking the condition of your sealant in some of the high moisture areas of your home like the kitchen or bathrooms. Make sure to double-check the sealant around the fixtures, tubs, toilets, sinks and counters. If the sealant is discolored, cracked, or pulling away from the surface then it’s time to replace it. It is important to keep high moisture areas properly sealed to help prevent water damage to your home.

Tips to Choose the Right Product

Choosing the right product is an essential part of successfully sealing your home and preventing damage. To protect your home, we recommend using a product that has the below features:

  • Stain prevention: It’s beneficial to choose a product that repels stains so that the sealant doesn’t become unsightly and discolored.
  • Low-VOC: When using a sealant indoors choose one that doesn’t emit as many harmful chemicals.

What is Low VOC?: VOC’s or volatile organic compounds are carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate into the air at room temperature.  Low VOC products emit less of these harmful chemicals. Inhaling large amounts of VOCs can potentially cause headaches, nausea, and even damage to livers and kidneys.

  • Durability Guarantee: When choosing a product, it is reassuring to pick one with a durability guarantee. 
  • Permanent Flexibility: Although homes are stationary, they do experience a certain amount of shifting and settling. Choosing a sealant that is permanently flexible allows it to move with your home rather than cracking and breaking the seal.
  • Mold & Mildew Resistant: For high moisture areas it’s imperative to choose a product that resists mold and mildew.

Completing Your Indoor Sealing Project

  1. Before you start caulking, make sure the surface is dry and clean. Existing caulk can be removed using a knife or a caulk remover
  2. Cut your spout at a 45-degree angle, and make sure the opening matches the size of the bead.
  3. You can smooth the caulk using a caulk smoother, damp cloth or gloved hand. Be sure to protect from water until the sealant is fully cured.

 

The Product We Recommend

Red Devil’s® Kitchen & Bath Stain Block™ Sealant has a high-gloss finish specially formulated with StainBlock which repels the toughest stains like mustard, red wine, and coffee. It’s an interior/exterior caulk, and the cured bead is mold and mildew resistant. It’s low-VOC, provides a durable, water-tight seal, and is paintable. Red Devil’s® Kitchen & Bath Stain Block™ offers excellent adhesion when fully cured while it remains permanently flexible and will not shrink, crack or discolor. This advanced sealant features easy application and can be painted with latex and oil-based paints and cleans up with water. It also comes in a squeeze tube that’s great for small jobs.

Pros: For more technical information about this product click here.

 

Check Your Exterior

Now, let’s head outdoors. During the summer cool air can escape through the gaps and cracks around your windows, doors, trim, and siding, increasing your energy bill. Take a close look at the sealant around the exterior of your home. Do you see any cracks in your sealant or areas where it’s no longer adhering to your home? Are there new gaps or cracks around your trim, windows, doors or siding that need to be sealed? If so, it is important to complete this project as soon as possible. These cracks can decrease your home’s energy efficiency and could potentially allow pests to enter your home.

Tips to Choose the Right Product

To protect your home, we recommend using a product that has the below features:

  • Weather Resistant: To ensure the product can stand up to mother nature, be sure to choose one that is weather resistant.
  • Low-Odor/Low-VOC: To prevent the amount of toxins you inhale during your sealant project, be sure to choose a low-voc and low-odor product.
  • Permanent Flexibility: Although homes are stationary, they do experience a certain amount of shifting and settling. Choosing a sealant that is permanently flexible allows it to move with your home rather than cracking and breaking the seal.
  • Durability Guarantee: When choosing a product, it is reassuring to pick one with a durability guarantee. 
  • Paintability: To make sure the sealant blends seamlessly with your home’s exterior choose a product that comes in multiple colors or is paintable.
      • Multi-Surface Application: To get more bang for your buck select a product that is made to adhere to multiple surface types so you can use it on various materials around your home.

Completing Your Outdoor Sealing Project

  1. Before you start caulking, check the weather and make sure no rain is in the forecast. Prepare the surface you’re sealing to ensure it’s dry, clean and the existing caulk has been removed. (You can remove the old sealant using a knife or a caulk remover. (link this to one of our caulk removers on Amazon).
  2. Check the recommended joint width for the product you are using. If the width or depth of the gap you are planning to seal exceeds what the manufacturer recommends for that product you may need to use a foam backer rod or another support structure. 
  3. Cut your spout at a 45-degree angle, and make sure the opening matches the size of the bead.
  4. You can smooth the caulk using a caulk smoother, damp cloth or gloved hand. Be sure to protect from water until the sealant is fully cured.

The Product We Recommend

Red Devil’s® Lifetime® Ultra 230 Premium Sealant includes HomeShield Antimicrobial Protection to ensure against the worst types of mold and mildew. It’s weather-resistant, mildew-resistant, and available in multiple colors. Red Devil’s® Lifetime® Ultra 230 Premium Sealant is also paintable, and comes in a squeeze tube, which can reduce the amount of product waste. It features excellent adhesion to multiple surfaces, permanent flexibility, low odor, VOC compliant, and water cleanup. Red Devil’s® Lifetime® Ultra 230 Premium Sealant is formulated to last the lifetime of your home – in fact, we were the first company to promise this. This unique formulation provides the maximum level of durability on a variety of substrates indoors and outdoors.

Pros: For more technical information about this product click here.

 

Check Your Exterior: Foam Sealants

Lastly, take a look at the faucets, spigots, hose or pipe hookups, and vents on the exterior of your home. Be sure to especially check the hose hookups that lead to your home from your air conditioning unit. Typically, the unsealed spaces around these areas are larger and a polyurethane foam sealant is needed for these sealing projects. Since vents, outdoor faucets and hose or pipe hook ups can create larger voids it is imperative to seal them to prevent entrances for pests or energy inefficiencies.

Tips to Choose the Right Product

There may be many products on the market but all polyurethane foam sealants aren’t created equal, we recommend using a product that has the below features:

1. Choose a foam sealant with no HCFCs or CFCs: Foams with no HCFCs or CFCs are generally considered to be better for the environment.

2. What are HCFCs and CFCs?: Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are considered volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When released into the environment they can end up in the stratosphere where they can trap heat within the atmosphere. Because of this characteristic they are considered contributors to Global Warming (through “the Greenhouse Effect”) and harmful to the environment.

  • Pay Attention to the Expansion Potential: Depending on the size of the void you are sealing you may want a product that’s made for large gaps rather than smaller gaps.

Completing Your Polyurethane Foam Sealing Project

  1. Before application, be sure to clean the surface of any residue or dust.
  2. Read the label and see if the product needs to be shaken before applying. Some manufacturers recommend shaking the product for a certain amount of time before application.
  3. Remove the cap and apply the nozzle to the valve. Many require the nozzle to be applied in a clockwise motion. Make sure you are wearing gloves to prevent getting the product on your skin.
  4. Generally to dispense the foam the can should be held upside-down. Slowly pull the trigger for foam to flow smoothly. For faster curing time, you may moisten the application area with spray water. 
  5. Remember the foam will expand so be careful not to overfill. Aim to fill at 30 percent of the void to allow for expansion and avoid overfilling. 
  6. Wipe away any excess with your gloved hand. When the sealant is fully cured, you may trim the excess with a utility knife. Finally, you can smooth over the finished area with a hand sander.
    The Product We Recommend

         

Red Devil’s® Foam & Fill® Large Gaps & Cracks Polyurethane Sealant triple expands to create an airtight, waterproof seal to fill large holes, cracks, gaps and voids.  It contains no HCFCs or CFCs so that it’s better for the environment and is not harmful to the ozone layer. It’s ideal for sealing out drafts, moisture and pests. Red Devil’s® Foam & Fill® Large Gaps & Cracks Polyurethane Sealant can be sanded, painted or stained, and is available in 8, 12 and 20 ounce cans.

Red Devil is Centrally Located & Many Products Are Made in the USA

Many of our customers appreciate the fact our manufactured products are made in the USA. Due to our manufacturing plant based in the heart of Oklahoma, we have the added bonus of being centrally-located, which allows us to ship products to just about any location in the country in a timely manner.

Are you a pro with tips of your own?  Contact us here to share your knowledge or comment below.

Do you have questions about your home improvement project? Connect with us here or comment below to receive help from one of our pros.

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