When a house starts getting old, it’s common for cracks to develop. These cracks are unattractive, and they can harbour snakes, insects, rodents and other uninvited animals. Plus, they can also allow moisture to enter the house.
For this reason, they need to be sealed appropriately. And that is where caulking comes in. Contractors use waterproof fillers and sealants to seal these cracks and other house repairs.
However, because your house has different parts and components, it’s essential to use the right caulk specific to that part. Today, we look at the best caulk to use on the exterior of your house. Let’s get started.
What Caulking Should You Use Around Your House’s Exterior?
There are different materials available for exterior caulking. Some are easy to work with, while others require specific skills and experiences. Here are some popular types of exterior caulking.
- Polyurethane Caulk
Poly caulk is more together than other caulking materials. They are mostly used in driveways, trim and other places exposed to elements. But, we should mention that this caulk has a gooey consistency. Therefore, it’s not easy to control.
- Silicone Caulk
This was the most preferred material for all types of caulking jobs. It is water, temperature, weather and chemical resistant. Thus, making it an excellent choice for both interior and exterior applications.
Even though many different caulk types have been introduced, this remains a popular option among property owners as it can be used for several purposes.
- Hybrid Caulk
Hybrid caulk combines both silicone and polyurethane properties to form an excellent material. Well, its label doesn’t exactly bear the name “hybrid”, but you can identify them by looking at the mix of materials. While these caulks are costlier, they are easier to apply than polyurethane.
- Acrylic Latex
Inexperienced caulkers should consider this type as it is very easy to apply. Plus, even finishing won’t give you a headache.
You can clean these caulks using water hence a suitable option for those who plan to paint. However, choose acrylic latex caulk with silicone as it is more flexible and adhesive.
Solvent-based caulks are recommended for gutters and roofing jobs. That’s because sunlight doesn’t affect their quality. Plus, you can apply it on wet surfaces if need be.
The only challenge is that their consistency makes it difficult to apply. Therefore, they need someone with some skill and experience.
What Affects the Type of Caulking You Choose?
Certain factors affect the type of exterior caulking you use. These include;
Foundation type– you should identify and repair cracks on your foundation quickly. Otherwise, they can weaken it and lead to high repair costs. Polyurethane, silicone and latex make suitable caulking materials for foundations. However, consider your foundation and check the package labelling before deciding.
Location- many areas in a home’s exterior can be caulked. But, the specific area will determine the suitable caulk composition. You can’t use the same caulk on doors and gutters.
Season- the current temperature also influences your decision. Some materials can’t withstand extreme temperatures. While some caulks can be easily set in extreme heat, others can’t. Therefore, you need to choose the right one for the job.
The type of caulking material you choose on your exterior can affect the overall outcome. Note that these materials come in different shapes and forms. As such, they have varying durability, physical appeal and strength. Therefore, pick the material that matches your needs and preference.
Caulk does a lot in keeping your space waterproof and airtight. It is easy to handle and reaches crooks and crannies like no other sealant. However, a sloppy application will most likely resort to beads of caulk in unwanted places.
Bricks are beautiful; they help boost the aesthetics of any wall. Now, imagine having these unsightly beads of caulk on your beautiful wall. You could be installing a new window, and some of the caulk smears into the wall.
The good news is that caulk is easy to correct. You can easily remove it with a few tools and in a short time. Here are some tips for you:
Tools you Need:
- A heat gun
- A putty knife and a utility knife
- Denatured alcohol
- A sponge
- Some warm water
How Use a Heat Gun to Remove Caulk from Brick
- Heat the gun in a power source
- Move the heat gun along the bead of caulk you want to remove. Make sure the gun and bead are not in contact. Maintain a minimum distance of 6 inches between the two.
- Move the gun back and forth until the caulk is warm and pliable
- Using the putty knife, scrape around the edges of the bead. Make sure to remove as much of the caulk as possible
- Using your utility knife, go back and remove the caulk in the problematic sections of the brick
- When you have removed as much caulk as possible, go back with warm water and the sponge.
- Keep cleaning the sponge to avoid smearing the caulk on the brick
Clean the Bricks with Denatured Alcohol
You have to wash the brick down after removing the caulk from the block using your utility and putty knife. Using denatured alcohol, in this case, isopropyl alcohol cleans the brick kills mildew and bacteria.
If you have any contaminants trapped by the caulk, the alcohol sterilizes it as well. However, be careful when handling this colorless liquid. It is highly flammable. Also, avoid using it in an enclosed space with no proper ventilation.
Follow the same steps used when cleaning the brick with warm water. Rinse the sponge as much as possible to avoid creating an even bigger mess.
Removing caulk from brick is simple. You have already seen that. However, you can take less time working on the mess by heating the bead of caulk, a small section at a time. This is particularly useful when removing a large stretch of caulk on your bricks.
Also, these products are not skin-friendly. So, make sure you always wear eye protection when working with heat, alcohol, and caulk.
Use gloves. Remember, you are handling the heat. Therefore, some thick gloves are a must-have in your toolbox.
Caulk is an excellent protection measure against water and air leaks. It is common for sealing windows. However, when a drop of caulk falls on the wrong spot, it can cause a distasteful appearance. You can handle that with readily available tools. Alternatively, you can use chemicals in the market meant to wash away caulk.
The tips given above will help you clean up your brick wall with minimal expense and time.
As you plan to apply new caulk around your shower, you must first eliminate the old one. Although it might seem an easy task, you must do it right since the new caulk will not stick well when the old one is not properly removed. You can remove caulk from your shoe through several methods, but the best way is by a combination of manual tools and chemical caulk remover. However, you must always ensure you use plastic tools, whichever method you choose to ensure you do not scratch or mar the surface you want to fix. Here are some easy tips to guide you on how to remove caulking from a shower.
What You Will Need
You will need a plastic putty knife and a razor scraper or a caulk removal tool as the equipment for your task. You will also need clothes, rubbing alcohol, and chemical caulk remover to efficiently remove the caulk from your shower.
Applying the Chemical Caulk Remover
A chemical caulk remover is one of the easiest ways to remove caulk from your shower. Ensure you squeeze the chemical onto the old caulk bead to cover it completely. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to allow the caulk remover to sit on the caulk for effective results. In most cases, you should allow the product to settle overnight to get better results.
Once you are convinced that the caulk remover has settled well on the old caulk, it is time to scrape off the caulk. You can peel the caulk in strips and use a plastic putty knife or your preferred tool to scrap off the old material. Peel off as you scrap and thoroughly inspect the repair area to notice any residual material. You can use a razor scraper or another caulk removal tool to clear any remaining old caulk at this point.
Cleaning the Surface
After you have cleared all the old caulk material, it is time to clean the surface of your shower. You can use rubbing alcohol for thorough cleaning and moisten it with a clean cloth. Ensure the surface is perfectly clean before you can apply new caulk. Also, allow the surface to completely dry out before applying new material.
Use a Caulk Removal Tool
When you do not want to go the chemical way, you can still remove the caulk from your shower through nonchemical methods alone. You can use caulk removal tools that come in kits to remove and also apply and smooth new caulk. But remember to choose tools made of plastic or are polished steel to avoid scratching your shower surface. The tools have angles and blades specially designed to scrap caulk out of corners and narrow crevices. You can use these tools alone or use them after applying a chemical remover.
Get a Razor Scrapper
This is another tool you can use when going the old-fashioned way. The trick to effectively remove caulk from your shower using a razor scraper is using a very sharp blade and ensuring it lies flat on the surface to avoid scratching. This method is ideal when removing thin smears of the old caulk.
Removing caulk from your shower should not be a big deal now that you know what you need and how to do it. You only have to decide if you want to go the chemical or non-chemical ways.
There are certain parts of the home that give you nightmares. If your bathroom is one of them, it’s probably because there are many things to fix and replace in this room. It could be anything from rusting pipes, mouldy toilets, to leaking taps. One major problem that most homeowners deal with is mould building up in their showers. This is especially if there are areas with silicone caulking.
Silicone caulk is commonly used for sealing gaps and joints in the bathroom. It also helps prevent water from entering behind tiling, around a showerhead, or faucets. Areas with silicone caulk are most susceptible to mould. And why does mould like to grow in silicone caulk?
mould needs a moist and dark environment to grow. Silicone caulk is made of rubber and can absorb water. It also has a porous surface that retains moisture and allows mould to grow through its cracks. And because you find silicone caulk in wet environments, it’s the perfect place for mould to thrive.
If you are looking for ways how to keep caulk from moulding in the shower, here are a few tips;
1. Regularly clean your shower and the areas around it.
mould thrives in moist environments. It is essential to keep your bathroom dry and clean. Use shower squeegees to wipe the water off the walls or tiles. You can also use a towel to wipe it down but ensure that every inch of wall in there is dry before closing the door. Also, use mildew-resistant cleaners to clean the shower and grout.
2. Use mould removing cleaners.
There are numerous products in the market that you can use to get rid of mould. Some people prefer to go for commercial cleaners. But if you want a more natural approach, try using white vinegar and baking soda. Mix the two until they form a paste and scrub it on the affected areas with a brush or sponge. If this does not work, you can also try hydrogen peroxide.
3. Install an exhaust fan in your bathroom.
Bathrooms without exhaust fans tend to be damp and humid, making them the perfect place for mould to grow. If you can’t install an exhaust fan, open up a window while taking a shower. It will allow the moist air to escape and will help to keep your bathroom dry.
4. Replace your caulk every few years
Caulk is a watertight sealant used to fill the gaps between two surfaces. It is essential that you replace it every few years, as it can start to peel and crack over time. If you allow it to stay for too long, you will end up with mould growing on top of it.
5. Take dampness-preventive measures.
mould growth comes as a result of dampness. You may want to consider installing a dehumidifier to control humidity levels in your bathroom. Leaks and plumbing issues can also accelerate mould growth. Inspect your bathroom for leaks and fix them immediately if detected. Also, leaving the lights on for some time after your shower can help to speed up the drying process.
You can follow some tips to keep caulk from moulding in the shower. If you have any problems with mould, we advise that you get in touch with professional cleaners.
If you’re looking for a perfect way to fix a bad or messy caulk job, then this article is for you.
Here are pointers to help you fix bad or messy caulking.
How to remove dried caulking
Caulk comes in paste form. It forms a hard rubber that seals off moisture and air upon drying. If your sealant is old and still an eyesore, it is high time you took action to correct this.
You only need a utility or putty knife for the job. Start by slicing through the caulk to peel it off the wall or floor. If there are multiple layers, you will need needle-nose pliers to get those inner layers.
Make sure you run your knife as close as possible to the top and bottom seals. Using a putty knife to remove chunks of the caulk saves you a lot of time.
If you find handling these tools problematic, you can buy a removal toolkit for easier and clean removal.
When you remove the old caulk, the next step is to install a new layer.
How to fix freshly applied caulk
Correcting the uneven work is simple if you have recently applied caulking to your walls or seals. If you used non-acrylic caulking, a damp sponge would do the job. Besides, you can use isopropyl alcohol to soften caulking with acrylic bases.
However, you need to be careful when handling highly flammable alcohol. Once you remove the sloppy caulk, you can come in later with a caulk gun for a more delicate installation.
Wet caulking is easy to wipe. A dry paper towel can remove the excess caulk when using silicone-based caulking.
When using a wet rag or sponge, you must rinse it as often as possible. This way, you avoid smearing the caulking all over your floor and creating a bigger mess.
Applying a new layer
You will need some tape if you are applying a straight caulk line. A painter’s tape to line up your seams is the best option because it is easy to remove and ensures neatness.
When the tape is in place, get your caulk gun. Take the caulking container and cut off the top at a 45-degree angle. Insert the container into the gun, and apply an even caulk line as you work towards yourself.
Moving towards you gives you better control of the bead. Next, wet your fingertip and press the freshly installed caulk for that concave look.
Finish the job by carefully removing the painter’s tape. Run down the work and look out for any messy spots.
Caulk is a multi-functional sealant that could save you a lot of trouble. However, you do not have to deal with ugly caulking jobs. Addressing the matter is simple, and you can do it with very little skill or tools. The guide above will help you correct an eyesore for something better
Caulk is useful for sealing air leakages through joints, cracks, and gaps less than ½ inch wide. It is applied between components of stationary buildings and other materials. Caulking is a home improvement project that most people assume is easy, requiring no instruction. It, however, turns out to be more complicated when one attempts to do it, causing a huge mess. Doing a good job involves following the steps outlined below:
- Understanding the types of caulks and equipment
The requirements of your project mainly determine the types of tools and equipment to use, and they are of major importance to its success. Understanding the different types of caulks and their different characteristics also determine how your project goes, as explained below:
Acrylic latex caulk is a paintable general-purpose caulk that is easy to clean and used in dry areas and sections where it is possible to paint it over to protect it from moisture. It is mostly used in sealing indoor appliances, wood moldings, and baseboards.
Pure silicone caulk is a premium, more expensive caulk used in high-moisture areas like showers and water tubs. It is solvent-based, thus requiring mineral spirits for cleanup, and not paintable, but available in various colors.
Latex caulk with silicone is the common acrylic latex caulk. The addition of silicone makes it more water-resistant. It is not as easily paintable, it is quite good for indoor and outdoor uses, and is easy to clean with soap and water.
Butyl rubber caulk is mostly used for outdoor activities like roof repairs, flashings, and sealing of gutters. It requires mineral spirits to clean it up.
Masonry repair caulk is highly flexible and is used in sealing seams in stucco, brickwork, and concrete slabs. It contains latex-based and solvent-based products.
Refractory caulk is a high-temperature variety used in high-temperature applications like fireplaces and has both latex and solvent-based products.
- Removing the old caulk and cleaning the area
Use a retractable razor blade scraper to scrape off the old caulk. Use a shop vacuum to remove debris from the joints and all surrounding areas before cleaning the surfaces dry with rubbing alcohol.
- Taping the surfaces
Use long, straight strips of blue painter’s tape to mask off the surface at the point where you want to stop the caulk bead. Press the inner edges of the tape down firmly to seal them so that caulk does not seep beneath it.
- Applying the caulk
Open the caulk tube by cutting the nozzle tip at an angle of 45 degrees and puncture the inner seal a few times for a smooth flow. Hold the gun at the same angle and move it consistently and slowly for a smoother initial application. Apply the caulk in a continuous line, and release the trigger before moving the gun away.
- Smoothing the joint and removing the tape
Apply rubbing alcohol or water, depending on the type of caulk to a rag, and use it as a thinning agent and a lubricant. Light pressure is used to smooth the joint from one end to the other. If any gaps are left, a small amount of additional caulk is added and smoothed with a wet finger. Remove the tape from the joint slowly, and allow the caulk to cure fully before painting over it or wetting it, depending on the manufacturer’s directions.
You have undoubtedly figured out that your worn or damaged caulk is not going to repair on its own. Thus, you have decided that caulking over the previous caulk is a time and cost-saving solution to the issue.
However, can you caulk directly over old sillicone caulking?
In some cases, using multiple coats of new caulk is recommended since the initial coating might shrink as it cures. Nevertheless, it is NOT advisable to apply new caulk directly over old caulk as most kinds of caulk will not adhere to the old caulk. It varies according to the material the caulk is constituted of. If it is silicone, you will have to take it off because nothing will adhere.
Suppose there are uncaulked surfaces on either side of the region you want to caulk. In that case, you could directly re-caulk it since the new caulk will adhere to the uncaulked surfaces on either side. Nonetheless, it is preferable first to eliminate the old caulk and wipe the surface beforehand with rubbing alcohol.
How to Remove Old Caulk?
The old caulk can be removed in a range of methods. It is usually determined by the type of caulk that is being replaced. You could cut elastic caulk off flat surfaces with a utility knife. Unfortunately, if the length exceeds 300 feet, it is not permitted.
On the other hand, silicone caulk should be eliminated with a silicone remover, like a WD-40 or Goo Gone. You could also utilize a blade scraper or razor tool. When employing a razor or scraper, keep it at a low angle and apply gentle pressure. If the caulk is new or acrylic, you could try softening it by soaking it in isopropyl alcohol. Nevertheless, be cautious not to meet with the uncaulked areas.
Once you eliminate the old caulk, scrub the surface with a wire brush or a home cleaner. Before applying any new caulk, wipe it using a clean cloth and dry it. What’s more, you must ensure you utilise the right kind of caulk.
Takeaway Tips For Caulking Over Existing Caulk
If you need to caulk over previous caulk or caulking a wide or deep surface, you can go ahead as long as the new caulk is not silicone. Additionally, double-check if they are created using the same ingredients. If the two are not compatible, they may drift apart over time. Here are some suggestions:
- Ensure the caulk is clean and dust-free before applying. Ideally, wipe the surface using a gentle cloth.
- Wait for the caulk to dry completely before applying another caulk layer. If necessary, use a heater or fan to dry a wet surface or existing caulk.
- You can re-caulk over small crevices, but not those that are too visible
- Before applying new caulk, ensure the existing caulk is completely sealed and attached
Ultimately, spending time on the planning stage will boost the likelihood of your second caulk coating succeeding. Therefore, if you want to caulk directly over old caulk, you now have the ‘know-how.’ However, it is unlikely to be a speedy process and might only be temporary.
Your house will develop cracks as it ages, and you would need an efficient material to fill the cracks or the joints between tiles. Caulk and sealants fill the cracks, and it might be overwhelming choosing one over another.
So, what is the difference between caulk and sealant? The main difference between caulk and sealant is they have different elasticities and surface applications. Caulk and sealants are materials used to fill cracks and spaces in a building. The sealants and caulks are applied to the cracks and joints using a caulking gun which precisely delivers the material to the cracks and openings.
Read on to learn more about the caulk and sealant difference to know the right material for your next project.
Caulk is rigid as it is made of acrylic and latex material, thus shrinking when cured. The caulk may be suitable for filling the spaces between the tiles in a home as it is rigid and would hold the tiles in place.
Therefore you would use caulk to seal cracks in the housing body as it is less prone to movement and would hold the building well. However, caulk may not be resistant to moisture and is least weather resistant. It is better to avoid using it in high humid rooms and the house exterior.
On the other hand, sealants are super elastic as they are made of silicone, and they work best in humid rooms and place with temperature fluctuations. The sealants may be suitable for fixing cracks in the drainage system as it maintains airtight properties despite temperature fluctuations. Thus you would use sealants in your bathroom, kitchen, doors, and windows. The sealant fixes small surfaces of the tiles and faucets together.
Rate of Drying
Since caulk is made of acrylic, it dries quickly without showing weakness. Thus, if you want a quick fix when hosting guests, you can fill the spaces in your room. Moreover, when cured, you can paint over the caulk surface, making it ideal for all home improvement projects. Contrarily sealants dry slowly as they are mainly made of silicone, and you would give it more time to cure before walking or touching the sealed cracks. Unfortunately, you may not paint over the sealants and would be best suited for the cracks in the hidden areas.
Which One Is Better
You can either opt for caulk or a sealant depending on the project at hand. For instance, caulk is easy to apply comes in different materials, making it easy to choose the ones best suited for your home. You can also paint over the caulk, but it is easy to crack as it is brittle, cannot handle high temperatures, and is not ideal for porous surfaces.
On the other hand, sealants are more water-resistant than caulk, flexible material that allows for more versatile uses and withstands high humidity. However, it is harder to apply, degrades over time, is hard to remove after application, cannot be painted over, and has a strong odor.
When repairing cracks or filling openings in your home, you may need caulks, sealants, or both. Therefore it is better to understand their difference and applications before purchasing them. Both have different functions and are suited for different areas in your home; good luck finding the sealant which works well for your project.