Understanding Caulk

Caulk throughout the home is the unseen protector, guarding against small cracks and leaks. It provides a seal to keep out moisture, and prevent air from leaking. The prevention of air leaks can help to keep your energy costs lower, and sealing of moisture will help prevent water damage. Subsequently , it can add aesthetic appeal by helping your paint job look clean. Let’s put the spotlight on this unsung hero.

caulkThere are two primary forms of caulk: Acrylic latex and silicone. While there are a few specialty types, the majority of household jobs will use the previous two. Acrylic caulk is generally the preferred option for a few reasons. It is more convenient for many because it is less messy, and easier to work with. This caulk is a good option for sealing cracks, and filling gaps where water damage isn’t a concern. Windows, paint jobs, and wall gaps are usually satisfied with a good acrylic job. While acrylic caulk can be used for moisture prevention, overtime it is prone to cracking and shrinking. If used, it will need more frequent replacing. Silicone caulk, though more difficult to work with, is tougher, making it the appropriate option for preventing water penetration. It lasts for many years, and will not crack. It’s rubbery nature will make it an effective waterproof seal that will last, even past a decade. One of the downsides of silicone caulk is that it is not a paintable substance, making it less visually appealing in certain situations. This caulk is generally best suited for the bathroom or outdoors.

Successful application of caulk might take some practice, but there are a few tips that can help. First prepare by cutting the tip right. For most jobs, you’ll want a forty-five degree angle. Don’t cut it too large. It is better to err on the small side, as you can always cut it again a little larger if needed. Too big of an opening can create a mess. The next key is, believe it or not: confidence. A steady hand will go a long way in making a smooth application. Shaking, or slowing and speeding, can result in an uneven line and create more cleanup. Apply the first bead quickly and move at consistent pace. Avoid using too much caulk, which will need to be cleaned up and is wasteful. When applying your first bead, don’t worry about filling it completely and making it perfect. You can fix it later, make the priority a smooth line across your board. Finally, keep a damp cloth with you to wipe your hands as you go. As you apply the caulk on the crack, you don’t want to accidentally apply more, and create a mess.

A job well done is a small, but worthwhile investment that will protect your home and save you money down the line. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, ask a professional to do it for you. Preventing water damage, and saving on energy is worth having it done right! If you need a handyman to help, check out http://www.responsiblecontractors.com/handyman.html, where you will find someone you can trust!

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