Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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Sealing Outside Cracks on Your Home


Sealing up cracks on the outside of your home is important to prevent rainwater from seeping in and causing rot and mold. Sealing cracks also increases energy efficiency by reducing air infiltration. Watch this video to find out how to fill cracks on the outside of your home. ...More




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Sealing Outside Cracks on Your Home

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Sealing up cracks on the outside of your home is important to prevent rainwater from seeping in and causing rot and mold. Sealing cracks also increases energy efficiency and lowers utility bills by reducing air infiltration into your home.

To seal cracks on your home:

  • Fill small cracks and holes with quality, exterior grade caulking.
  • Fill larger cracks and holes using expandable spray foam.

If you plan to paint over the caulking, be sure the caulking you use is paintable.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information



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4 Comments on “Sealing Outside Cracks on Your Home”

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  1. Jeremy Says:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I left a comment this morning about how foaming under the sill, as demonstrated in the video, can cause moisture problems and that perhaps that portion of the video should be edited out. The comment was up for all of about five minutes and was then edited out, yet that portion of the video remains.

    If I’m wrong, how about answering that in the comments rather than deleting the comment pointing out potentially bad advice?

  2. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 4th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Hi Jeremy,
    Sealing up cracks and holes on the outside of your house not only reduces air infiltration, which saves energy on heating and cooling; it prevents rainwater from entering the wall cavity, which would cause rot and mold inside the walls. If your home was constructed properly, sealing between the bottom row of siding and the foundation, is not as important for preventing rainwater from entering, since the siding should overlap the masonry foundation, but it can help reduce air infiltration and enhance the envelope around your home. Moisture isn’t meant to drain out from the interior of the house under the sill, so sealing up the gap won’t cause any moisture problems inside your home. If you do have moisture draining out of the interior of your house between the bottom row of siding and the foundation, you have a serious problem that should be addressed before it causes major rotting to the sill and framing. While it’s important to provide adequate ventilation in your home through the use of kitchen and bathroom vent fans to remove excessive moisture in the air from cooking and bathing, other areas of air infiltration only serve to weaken the envelope of your house and allow conditioned air to escape and unconditioned air to enter.

  3. Jeremy Says:
    March 4th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Ben. This is one of the few sites I turn to for interesting and accurate information, so I appreciate what you guys are doing.

    Having said that, I do weatherization work, so I am quite familiar with air-sealing and moisture issues.

    I also know that modern vinyl/aluminum siding is typically designed with small weep holes at the bottom so that any moisture that gets behind it can escape. They do that because despite best efforts or intentions, water does get behind the shingles/siding.

    Sealing the sill plate is the right thing to do, but sealing the bottom row of siding, as in the video, is akin to caulking over weep holes in a window – you’re trapping the water in there. You might want to check with some air-sealing pros in your area who will confirm this.

  4. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 4th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Jeremy,
    Thanks for the feedback and bringing up an important point about allowing vinyl, and particularly aluminum, siding to breathe and move by not caulking the weep holes or joints. Due to their thin nature, vinyl and aluminum siding are sensitive to changes in temperature, which may cause condensation to form behind the siding. While it usually isn’t enough to cause water to run out of the bottom, the weep holes do allow any moisture that might form to evaporate. The video above shows expanding foam being used to fill large gaps behind the bottom row of wood siding, which doesn’t experience the same condensation problems as vinyl and aluminum.

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Sealing up cracks on the outside of a home keeps moisture out and prevents outside air from influencing the inside conditioned air. For larger openings use an expandable foam spray from a can to fill in the voids. Smaller openings can be filled with caulk. Before you select your caulk think about how it will look after the gap is filled. If it will need to be painted, be sure to choose a “paintable” caulk so your touch-up will stick.