A high-quality caulking job goes a long way toward keeping the winter cold and summer heat from creeping into your temperature-controlled house. Caulk also helps keep your home protected from an invasion of insects. Let’s talk caulk and how this attention to detail can save homeowners significant amounts of money.
Latex caulk is easy to apply and remove. It’s also paintable. For clean up, use soap and water. Latex is best for interior jobs where the temperature is stable and direct sunlight can’t cause joint expansion or contraction. Latex caulk may also be labeled as acrylic.
Silicone caulk is better for outside applications, such as around windows. It is more durable, withstanding direct sunlight and temperature extremes. It requires surface preparation and may or may not be paintable, so consult the label. Its durability makes it long lasting, but also more difficult to replace.
Specialized caulks are also available, each tailored to certain jobs or areas of the house. Bathroom caulks are mildew resistant for use in showers, bathtubs and around sinks. Gutter and flashing caulk is highly resistant to temperature extremes. Concrete caulk fills cracks in driveways and sidewalks. Specialized caulk for window installation is resistant to UV rays.
Tools for the job. If the caulk job in question is small, use a squeeze tube. But if the job is fairly extensive, it’s better to use a caulk gun. It’s not overly difficult, but using a caulk gun requires a little skill that can be easily learned. The line of caulk you create is called a bead. If you are replacing an old bead of caulk, use a utility knife and a five-in-one tool.