While I was watering the rose garden, I noticed that the wasps and other flying bugs were inspecting my house. They were doing their annual search for warm accommodations for the upcoming winter season.
These bugs would love to move into the walls where the expensive heat that I pay for is leaking out. The best time to stop them is before they move in with their friends and relations.
First, I gather my supplies for this battle. A good caulking gun is a must have weapon. Do not go armed with a hard to use cheap one. Load up with a couple of tubes of good quality outdoor caulk.
Remember the golden rule of supply and demand. If you buy one, it will not be enough, if you buy two; one will be more than enough.
I recommend polyurethane caulking. My architect friends specify it for commercial buildings because it lasts a long time. Pick a color that will get you the fewest complaints. Be ready with this line, âBut, dear white was the only color they had.â
I take a flashlight, a screwdriver, a rag and a radio to listen to a football game. Being on the short side, I need a stepladder to reach the tops of the windows and such. A cool beverage of your choice is required to keep vital fluid levels up. You can not do a good job with out enough vital fluids.
The flashlight is my most important inspection tool. I do not need it to see. I use it to focus my attention on one small area at a time.
Starting on the front porch, I look all around the electric outlet and dream of plugging in my electric car. I search around the front door inch by inch. I pay close attention to the area above the door. The screwdriver is to push and pry at the old caulk to see if it will come off. After plugging all the holes, I move on.
Next, I check all around the porch light fixture. No problems here. Note to self, replace that light bulb with a CFL. (That is not the Canadian Football League. It is Compact Fluorescent Light.)
Did you notice any bugs flying around looking for a home? We have been working for 7 minutes now so it is time for a break. Step back and look for house hunting bugs. There is a couple inspecting the pillars of the porch now. I watch and see if they find an entry. They move on. Since they found no entry holes, there is no need to climb the ladder and look there. It is great to have some help with the inspection.
On the side of the house is a hose outlet. The hose bib gets jerked around by the hose and sure enough, the caulking around the pipe has broken loose from the siding. A quick prying with the screwdriver knocks off the old caulking so I can seal it with new.
A window is next. After setting up the stepladder, I check the top of the window frame. This area is out of sight, but it gets a full dose of sunshine and weathering. Yup, there is a crack starting to open up. If I leave it, water will sneak in and freeze opening it up more. A little caulking now will prevent wood rot, block the bugs and save energy.
I run the beam of the flashlight down both sides of the window frame. I discipline myself to look only where the light is so I focus on one inch at a time. If I find my focus wandering, I dock my self a swig of vital fluids. Ouch.
Get down low enough to check under the window too. While you are down there check along the foundation. Caulk any cracks in mortar joints in the block or brick work. Ok get up and stretch your backbone.
At the corner, check the downspout. Look where it is attached to the house. If it is working loose, there maybe a hole opening up to be caulked.
Ah yes the dryer vent, there should be caulking around the edges where the vent seal attaches to the house.
We could go on with the tour but your home will be slightly different from mine. You get the idea, check every inch around anything that attaches to or pokes out of the house. Did the cable guy drill through the wall to let the cable in? Iâll bet he did not caulk it. Take it slow and caulk every little hole or crack. Keep at it until the end of halftime.
The second half of the football game is far too exciting to miss. I usually cheer for the defense. I enjoyed playing linebacker in high school.
During the commercials put your tools away and enjoy the day.
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