What is the Difference Between Caulking and Weather Stripping?

By HomeAdvisor

Updated February 28, 2017


Upgrading your home’s energy efficiency is always a good idea. But before you jump into pricey energy audits or new HVAC systems, it’s also a good idea to spend some time caulking and weatherstripping your home. Here’s how to use both energy-boosting (and money-saving) solutions:

For Immovable Areas, Use Caulking

Caulk is a waterproof sealant used for small cracks and openings less than one-quarter inch wide. Caulk is great for sealing immovable areas like window frames, doorframes, outlet plates and cracked windows. You can buy caulk in tubes — usually costing no more than $5 per tube — but be sure to pick up an applicator (also called a “caulk gun”) as well. For indoor use, silicone-based caulk works the best because of its resistance to mildew. If you’re sealing windows or doors from the outside, HomeAdvisor recommends latex-based caulk.

For Moveable Areas, Use Weatherstripping

Weatherstipping is an adhesive sealant that stops leaks around moveable areas like door sweeps and window tracks. Weatherstripping costs around $8 for a 10-foot roll — which is perfect for spot stripping particularly leaky areas. But, to maximize the effectiveness of weatherstripping, it’s best to hire a pro to seal your entire home. According to HomeAdvisor’s Trust Cost Guide, most homeowners pay between $132 and $379 for professional weatherstripping.

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