5 Fall Outdoor Cleaning Tips


Check Outdoor Window Caulking

Old, cracked window caulking can be blamed for about 10 percent of heat loss in your house, says the U.S. Department of Energy. How can you tell if your caulking needs help? You can hire a professional to do an energy audit on your home, or save money by doing it yourself with a candle on a windy day (move a lighted candle around closed door and window frames — if the flame wavers, that's a leak).

Re-caulking windows and doors will seal air leaks, and while you're already caulking take the opportunity to prevent water damage around your home by applying some around faucets, bathtubs, pipes and other plumbing.

To be sure the new caulk you apply adheres well and forms a nice seal, first do a little cleaning. Use a putty knife to remove any old caulk from around window frames, then apply new caulking compound with a caulking gun. Smooth it out and wait for it to dry. You'll want to apply new caulk before the temperatures drop — the best time to re-caulk is on a day where temperatures are above 45 degrees F and there is low humidity.

Did You Know?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spent an average of $1,400 to heat their homes.