Excuse me, what?

Caulk. PRG real estate & development coordinator Erin Wilson says maintaining the caulk around windows, tub, sinks, and toilets is one of her favorite ways to keep her condo in great shape. Here’s Erin’s wisdom:


It’s an inexpensive, simple way to seal up gaps. In wet areas, this can extend the life of your walls and cabinets by preventing water damage. And especially in older homes, eliminating cracks around windows and doors can prevent heat loss in winter, keeping your home warm more efficiently and reducing drafts.


Most caulk should last five years, but inspecting caulked areas should be part of your yearly home maintenance checklist. Look at each area carefully, and replace any caulk that has holes or is disintegrating.


First, remove the old caulk.

Then, choose the right caulk for your job. Ask your local hardware store staff for help, paying attention to the surfaces you want to apply it to, whether the area is wet or dry, and whether you’ll want to paint over it.

A caulk gun (very inexpensive) makes it easy to apply caulk evenly. Follow the directions on the container for cleanup and finishing.

You’ll be rewarded with a smooth, neat surface and the knowledge that air and water will stay where they belong.

Happy caulking!

Photo by Alyson Hurt used under Creative Commons license.

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