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The Home Depot

Caulking Inspection Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Caulking Inspection Guide
Caulking Inspection Guide

Caulking is quite literally the glue that holds your home together. You can find it around your pipes and joints, helping seal them and hold them together. Caulking also helps your home be more energy efficient. You use it to seal your home up tight, keeping the heat in and the cold air out.


Caulking can serve as what the Department of Energy calls an air barrier. “Air barriers block random air movement through building cavities,” the DOE’s website says. “As a result, they help prevent air leakage into and out of your home, which can account for 30 percent or more of a home’s heating and cooling costs.”


Caulking plays an important role in your home. It’s strong, but it’s not unbreakable. That’s why it’s important to inspect your caulking every once in a while to make sure it’s doing its job. How do you do that? Read this caulking inspection guide to find out.

  1. 1.Why is it Important to Inspect your Caulking?

    Caulking plays an important role in your home. It’s strong, but it’s not unbreakable.

    It’s important to inspect your caulking because it has to take a lot of abuse. If your caulking is around pipes in your kitchen or bathroom, then it has to withstand heat, moisture and the wear and tear of instruments that are used daily. If it’s up on your roof, it has to withstand wind, rain and animals.

  2. 2.How do you Inspect Caulking?

    If your home is in an easily accessible part of your home, you can check it in just a few minutes. Take a look at the places where you can see caulking. This could be around pipes, the area surrounding your bathtub and shower, or even around windows. Make sure there are no chips or cracks in your caulking. Look to see if it looks stained or discolored, which could indicate water damage or mildew. Make sure it is staying put – not loose or peeling up. If your caulking is somewhere in your home that is less accessible, you might want to bring in a professional home inspector. Many home inspectors offer this service as part of an energy efficiency audit.

  4. 3.What to do if you Discover Caulking Problems

    If you or your home inspector uncovers a problem with your caulking, take steps to address it right away. Failure to do so could mean serious water damage if the problem is in your bathroom or kitchen. It could mean lost money heating or cooling your home if the caulking is acting as a sealant. Remove the caulking completely, clean the area, and then apply new caulking. Caulking doesn't cost much and comes in easy to use canisters, so if the job is small you could probably do it yourself. But, don’t be afraid to bring in a professional if you think the job will be too time-consuming or you don’t quite have the skills to do the best job.


    You probably don’t spend large portions of your life thinking about caulking, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't matter. Whether it’s on your roof, in your basement, or around your pipes, caulking helps preserve your home and keep it running well.

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