The Importance of Choosing the Right Caulk

Applying caulk is not something that every homeowner has done before. You might think it only needs to happen when the old caulk wears away. However, knowing when and how to caulk properly is essential, and will better protect your home in the long run.

Caulk has numerous functions that help protect your home and building materials. The flexible material helps provide a transition between two or more of these materials that are adjacent to each other. The seal that caulk creates reduces air or water transition, and is primarily used on cracks or joints up to one-half inch wide.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as picking a tube of caulk and laying it down as needed. There are certain types of caulk required for different situations, as well as different methods of application.

Silicone caulks are the ones that you would want to use around your bathtub. They adhere to a wide range of materials, and are waterproof. This type of caulk stays flexible, but it is difficult to tool. 

Latex caulks, also known as acrylic or vinyl caulks, are water-based and therefore the easiest to use. They are also the least expensive, but also not as durable as others. There are no volatile solvents in latex caulks, plus they can be found in a range of colors.

Rubber caulks provide significant water resistance, but their solvents are highly flammable and dangerous to breathe. Because of this, we recommend rubber caulks for outdoor use. These are sticky and difficult to tool, and rubber caulks shrink as they cure.

Lastly, polyurethane sealants are durable, but it comes at a price. At an expensive cost, this caulk is best used sparingly, and only where strength, durability and weather resistance are crucial. 

Applying any type of caulk will be tricky, so you need to be sure you have the right tool. A caulking gun can provide many of the things you will need, such as a built-in cutter for the tip of the tube, and a steel pin for puncturing the seal. 

Some tubes do not require a gun. Squeezable tubes are great for small jobs, and pressurized cans will allow you to lay a smooth bead when working with just one hand. But before you grab any tube of caulk, you should know what space you are working in and how to best protect it.

Many homeowners learn how to caulk by trial and error, but you should never be afraid to ask for help. Call Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at (616) 293-9326, and we can provide the assistance you need for the job. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.