Here’s the best way to seal draughty old wall vents, skirting boards and architraves in your home, without filling gaps with silicone.
Why to fill draughty gaps around your home …
Draught proofing your home is a great way to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer without cranking up the heater or the air conditioner. When you seal up all of those sneaky gaps and cracks, you can keep your expensive heating and cooling to a minimum, and stop the outdoor temperature from affecting your comfort.
Check these common places for gaps and cracks around the home:
- Unsealed, open wall vents
- Gaps between your skirting boards and the floor
- Gaps between your architraves and the wall
- Anywhere where one surface meets another surface in your home!
Why to avoid filling gaps with silicone around your home …
We’ve been draught proofing homes for more than 10 years, and in that time we’ve learned a thing or two and about how to stop even invisible sources of draught in your home.
Household silicone most commonly comes in a tube fitted with a long cone-shaped nozzle. This fits into a metal a caulking gun which is used to squeeze the silicone out through the nozzle in a continuous line. A silicone spreader is a plastic scraping pad used for tidying and finishing, it comes in a variety of shapes, often with a rounded and a right-angle edge to provide a different finish.
Yes, silicone is a good product, there’s no doubt about that. But when it comes to sealing up the draughty leaks in your home, there’s a few good reasons to avoid filling gaps with silicone. There’s an art to caulking, and if you’re not an expert caulker – silicone can be quite difficult to apply neatly and effectively.
So here’s what we know about silicone: In a nutshell – it’s really easy to apply too much, or too little… AND it’s really hard to clean up after you make a slip.
- ISSUE # 1: It’s Sticky and Nearly Impossible to Clean Up
It’s the best thing about silicone and the worst thing about silicone – it’s incredibly sticky. You only get one shot, and if you make a mess while caulking you’re looking at an eternity of turps, scraping and slicing – your damaged surface may never be the same again!
- ISSUE # 2: Not Applying Enough
When running your caulking gun along, if you don’t apply enough silicone, you’ll find it very messy work to add more. What’s the problem? Well, if you’re using a separating agent on your silicone spreader (like soapy water), you’ll find it impossible to add more silicone – because it just won’t stick to itself when you try to fill the low areas.
- ISSUE # 3: Applying Too Much
Here’s where it gets really messy. If you apply too much, your silicone spreader will get overloaded with excess, building up onto your fingers and meaning you have to scrape the same place twice, leaving an ugly join where you stopped and started again.
- ISSUE # 4: It Just Stinks!
If you’ve ever used silicone before, you’ll know what we mean. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it – imagine an intense vinegar smell, sometimes so potent that your eyes water! That silicone odour is the acetic acid fumes being released, which are not good for your lungs and leave your home very smelly!
What to use instead of filling gaps with silicone …
The answer is to use a water-based sealant like Fullers UltraClear, which is our personal choice when performing top-quality draught proofing for thousands of Victorian homes. It’s just as effective and much easier than filling gaps with silicone – and that means a better (and neater) job done at the end of the day!
Here’s why we choose Fuller’s UltraClear as an alternative to filling draughty gaps with silicone:
- Goes on White, Dries Clear
This means you can really see how much you’re dispensing, giving you the best possible shot at caulking evenly. You can see all of the little extra bits when you’re cleaning up, and then it dries clear for a neat and almost invisible finish.
- You Can Clean it Up with Water
No more solvents! UltraClear can be easily cleaned up with water when wet. We use a damp Chux cloth and it works a treat!
- Less Dangerous Fumes
UltraClear is much nicer to work with, it’s the healthier option for you and your household and won’t leave any lingering stench in your home afterwards.
See how it’s done …
Where do I buy Ultra Clear?
In Australia, you can buy Fullers UltraClear by clicking on this link
Don’t want to do it yourself?
We can help. All of our ecoHome Retrofit Plans include an inspection and diagnosis of fixing the draughts in your home – even the ones you can’t see!