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Sealing Up Your Home for the Winter

Sealing a Kitchen

Note: This DIY article is provided as a general guide only and is not intended to take the place of product-specific installation procedures; always follow applicable manufacturers’ instructions. Depending on your home’s age and condition, location within the home, and other potential factors, repairs and/or upgrades or other services may be necessary prior to the beginning and/or completion of your project that may involve the services of a home improvement professional. This article does not include advice pertaining to local building codes and/or any related inspections

With the summer heat breaking record highs,, it’s hard to imagine that cooler weather is right around the corner. But, before we know it, fall will have come and gone with winter beginning to settle in. So, why are we talking about winter right now? Simple: now is a great time to winterize your home before old man winter comes around. Ensuring your home is properly sealed not only helps keep the cold winter weather outside where it belongs, but also is an important step in properly maintaining your home that can contribute to long-term savings on your heating and cooling bills. Here are some ways to make sure your home is sealed up before the cold winter chill arrives.

Use the right sealant
The GE Sealants & Adhesives line offers a variety of products that can seal those gaps and cracks in your home, which can otherwise allow air infiltration, water damage and more. This is essential for winter preparedness. Silicone sealants in particular are a great choice because they’re 100% waterproof and extremely flexible, allowing them to withstand extreme weather. GE Silicone 1* All Purpose sealant creates a permanently waterproof, flexible and shrink and crack-proof seal. Plus, it can be same day rain ready1. If you’re looking for something that’ll be ready quicker, GE Silicone 2*+ Window & Door sealant is 30-minute rain ready1 and offers 10-year mold-free protection2.  Should you need a paintable finish,  Paintable Silicone Supreme Window & Door sealant creates a strong, waterproof seal that’s paint-ready in as little as 30 minutes3. These three sealants can help you get your home ready for the upcoming winter weather and will stand strong all season long. To learn more about the products mentioned above, visit our product page.

How to properly use GE-branded caulks and sealants
Now that you have chosen the sealant that fits your needs, it’s time for application. Start by inspecting the outside of the home: windows, doors, flashing and exterior trim. If these areas aren’t properly sealed cold air and moisture can get in. Before applying any new sealant, be sure to clean and remove any old sealant and make sure the surface is clean of paint, dirt, rust, mold and moisture. Next, apply a steady bead of sealant that runs the length of the crevice and repeat. It’s really that simple! Finally, don’t forget to inspect your basement or attic for cracks and gaps as well. While you may not go into either very often, they’re prone to similar exposure. Check out this video for more details on applying sealants to the outside of your home.

Other ways to winterize your home
Sealing your home is a priority for tackling the winter weather, but there are other steps you can take along the way. For example: make sure your home is properly insulated; use a smart thermostat to keep temperatures regulated; put a cover over your water heater to retain heat; ask your energy provider to conduct an energy audit. These are simple ways to help winterize your home that can add up into savings.
Staying warm in the winter doesn’t have to be costly or a huge undertaking. Start by using the right sealants around your home and then follow through on other important ways that you can keep the heat in and the cold out.

1Exposure to water possible in as little as 30 minutes with bead size max 3/16”, temperature min 65°F and humidity min 50%. Otherwise, sealant should not be exposed to water for 8 hours. Do not touch or clean sealant for 24 hours.
2Cured sealant is resistant to stain-causing mold and mildew. Regular cleaning of the cured sealant is required however, as soap or other residue can cause secondary mold & mildew growth.
3Sealant can be painted in as little as 30 minutes with bead size 3/16”, temperature min 65°F & humidity min 50%. Otherwise, seals should not be painted for 2 hours. Can apply spray paint immediately.

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