The Ins and Outs of Caulking

How to Properly CaulkCaulk is a pliable sealant that prevents air leaking out from the home. Properly used, caulk can keep down energy bills and seal up areas vulnerable to moisture where mold and mildew can form and keep bugs and insects out of your home.  Caulk is often used by professional house painters to seal up cracks and spaces between two different materials in the home.

With a little practice, anyone can properly use caulk to help close up the spaces where air can leak out and moisture can come in.

Common Types of Caulk

Most caulks today contain latex, silicone or polyurethane for adhesion and flexibility along with fillers to help control its consistency. Latex caulk is the cheapest and often used indoors around woodwork and wallboards, however it only lasts around 10 years at most which makes it less reliable

Generally speaking, a professional painting company will tend to use acrylic latex caulk for interiors because it is more flexible and lasts twice as long as standard latex versions. Plus, it can be painted in less than an hour after using. Ask your painting contractor Denver residents trust for the best types of caulk for solid advice on sealing up the cracks in your home.

Where to Caulk

Generally speaking, anyplace where two different materials in the home meet such as the following places;

–       House Trim against the House

–       Door or Window Frame meets the Siding

–       Pipe that sticks through a Wall

–       Vents, Skylights and Chimney meets the Roof

Do not caulk under the lap of lap siding, this will only trap the moisture inside the home.

How to Properly Caulk

The best time of year to apply caulk during the early fall or late spring months when the outside temperature is moderate. The summer and winter months have extreme temperatures that can adversely affect the quality of the seal.

You need to create a stream on cracks or spaces that are no wider than ¼”, otherwise, that crack will need proper repairs. You can use shims in wider spaces or a foam backer rod in deeper spaces that will drive the caulk properly into the opening.

How to Properly Apply the Caulk

Use a standard caulk gun on days when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees for outdoor jobs. Make sure that the surface you apply it to is dry and pry out any old caulk first.

Hold the gun at a slight angle, insert the tip into the gap if possible and run a smooth stream of caulk along the gap itself. Pull or push the gun slowly and steadily as you apply the caulk and you will get an even flow. Smooth out the caulk after applying and remove any excess.

Be sure to store the caulk properly by capping the tip and keeping it in a cool, dry place when not in use. One trick to get all the caulk out of the container is by inserting a two to three inch dowel rod into the cartridge after pulling the plunger back, then press the trigger again until all gone.

Remember to ask the experts if you have any questions about caulking.