The Basics of Caulk

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Caulks may strike you as straightforward but the large variety of options can baffle you. Let us walk your through on how to use it for different projects.

Seal with Caulk

A house must be free from cracks or gaps to avoid leaks that can easily propel energy bills. You also want to keep certain areas from water to avoid drafts, mould and water damage.

For bathrooms, look for caulks that are specifically labeled for tiles and tubs. These are made of substances that are ideal for high-moisture zones because they resist mould and mildew and can still stick on wet surfaces. You will find a number of variations under this type which include sanded ceramic-tile caulk.

Sanded ceramic tile caulk comes in various colours to match the grout and the tiles so you’re not restricted to white.

If you are going to caulk around windows, doors and mouldings, find a product that is clearly marked for this application. Choose something that is paintable because some caulks resist paint. For outdoor projects, look for a product that is formulated for outdoor applications. It is usually made of either acrylic mixed with silicone or silicone only.

You might be tempted to use caulk as filler, but it is discouraged by professional handymen. Treat gaps that are larger than 0.25 inches with a backer rod or spray foam, then polish it with caulk.

Take note that most caulks are contained in a tube. To be able to use the caulk, you need a caulk gun that will trigger the plunger to push the caulk out. Don't worry because caulk guns are very affordable. You don't have to purchase the most fabulous one, just settle for a midrange with decent reviews.

The Application

Apply a droplet of caulk then smooth it out using a moist paper towel wrapped around your finger. If it's a big project, consider some spreading tools to reduce the mess.

Caps and Applicators

Some products are sold with caps. If the caulk you purchased doesn't come with a cap, professional handymen simply use a wire connector to open the tip. Threaded connectors clutch the tip and remain there.

There are tubes of caulk available in the market today that don't need a gun. They are the size of standard-sized toothpaste with tips that can be fastened and removed easily.

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