The weather in New Jersey is anything but consistent; with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees in the summer and diving below freezing over the lengthy winter, commercial buildings in the state must stand up to wide swings in climate. While it may seem that the siding or masonry of these buildings is ideal for keeping the heat or cold out and the temperate air in, what really performs this job is the caulking.
If a structure has damaged caulking, or if the caulk has not been inspected for a number of years, it could be costing owners a lot of money in subtle ways. Here is an explanation of what caulking does for New Jersey commercial buildings, including four benefits of keeping that caulk in good repair.
An Overview of Caulking
To understand why caulk has such a big impact on a building, you must first know what caulk is and what it does. Caulk comes in numerous varieties, but the most common in commercial structures are acrylic and vinyl.
With a caulking gun, a professional will apply a consistent, even line of caulk to areas that have gaps—places such as door frames, windows and areas where piping and other features exit a building. Because the masonry of the structure must be cut away to make space for these installations, there is always a small seam or gap around them.
Caulk completely seals this space off. However, caulk does not last forever. On average, most caulk will perform its job as intended for about five years before it begins to break down. This degradation becomes evident in cracking or crumbling, which interrupts the smooth line of the caulk.
It may also start to lift or peel away from the building, and it can even fall off completely. Committing to caulking repairs before the situation grows this severe can help to keep a building safe and free from damage.
The Four Benefits of Routine Caulking for a Commercial Building
Commercial building owners in New Jersey have a lot on their minds—so why bother worrying about a little bit of caulk that has started to crack? In reality, once caulk begins to degrade, it is no longer performing its job as intended. This can have significant consequences that do not become immediately apparent until a problem has arisen. The benefits of routine caulking for your New Jersey commercial building include:
White caulk on a brick building creates a pleasing aesthetic in the same way that the crisp, clean mortar between the bricks does. When caulk is kept in good condition, it contributes to a sense of professionalism and care with the building itself.
Customers and clients who visit the building to see dangling caulk, discolored materials or patchy installation may wonder why the business cannot seem to be bothered to take care of basic maintenance tasks—and this attitude may reflect in their opinion of the business itself.
2. Preventing Repairs
When caulk is not creating a complete seal, moisture can intrude into the building. Over time, thanks to New Jersey’s highly variable weather, that water may expand and contract repeatedly, putting strain on the structure’s bricks and joints.
This causes cracks and widening gaps, which allow more water to enter, and the cycle worsens. Without replacing the caulk, the masonry can eventually fall apart, and in the worst case, lead to a collapse in the affected area. Investing in a minor caulking repair can save significant money on large projects later.
3. Reducing Energy Consumption
The same gaps that allow water intrusion also serve as channels through which drafts can travel. As outside air mixes with the carefully controlled climate indoors, your HVAC system will need to work harder to maintain a consistent internal temperature.
This leads to increased energy costs from a furnace or air conditioner that is running for longer to fight against drafts from outside. Caulking eliminates these drafty locations.
4. Stopping Intruders
Mice can fit through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch, and smaller pests like spiders, roaches and ants are even less picky. Caulking seals off gaps to prevent outside intruders from finding a new home in the walls of your commercial building.
Get Caulking Done Right from the Experts
Caulking is a minor task with a major impact on commercial structures. When done correctly, it can last for years and keep a building looking clean and functioning smoothly. However, caulk installation and removal is best done by a professional to ensure that the building is not damaged in the process and that the new caulk properly adheres.
Waterproof Caulking & Restoration has helped with hundreds of NJ commercial caulking projects during our more than ten years of family-owned operation. Contact us to discuss the caulking issues your building may be facing or schedule an appointment to get started on repairs or inspections, both outdoors and indoors.