A house might seem like a fixed object on the surface, but all homes shift slightly and “breathe” as time passes. This includes the caulking done to the home. The house shifting can effect how long the exterior caulking can last. The movements may be subtle, but their effects on the home can be noticeable and may lead to serious problems if left unchecked.
Thankfully, a solution exists in the form of caulking. Caulk is a waterproof filler that works to seal two materials together. It can also be used to seal cracks and fill any holes or gaps in surfaces. Although it can hold up for many years to keep insects and air outside, it does start to lose its effectiveness over time and requires regular replacement.
How Does Exterior Caulking Work?
Exterior caulk is a moldable material that is used to protect a structure such as a home or building from water and pests. It seals up small gaps and cracks in the structure before they turn into bigger problems. For example, it can keep water and moisture from entering a home and causing damage. Even the tiniest of gaps can allow water to get inside and cause issues such as mold, mildew and rot. This can eventually cause health problems in addition to structural damage.
This type of caulking can also improve a home’s energy efficiency by stopping wind and air from getting into small gaps and cracks in the house, which can lead to significant savings on utility bills.
In addition, it can help keep insects outside. Caulking seals up the spaces where small insects often live so they do not make it inside the house where they could cause damage that leads to costly repairs.
How Long Does Exterior Caulking Last?
Exterior caulk needs to withstand continuous exposure to weather extremes, so it is important to look for any signs that it is damaged or deteriorating and replace it right away to ensure uninterrupted protection.
A good-quality caulk will provide excellent adhesion and flexibility to allow it to remain airtight and watertight. Caulking needs to maintain these qualities over time or it risks pulling away from the surface, which means it will not be effective.
A lot of settling occurs to homes over the first year, so experts suggest that people check and replace caulking after one year in a new home. It is not unusual for caulk to become separated from wall joints as the home settles, but this is easy to repair.
Those living in an established home need to redo their caulking approximately every five years, so a check every couple of years should be sufficient to keep problems at bay. However, if the home is situated in an area of extreme weather conditions or has recently experienced flooding rains, an inspection is a good idea.
Homeowners who have noticed drafts or unexplained rise in their energy bills should take a look around the house for any signs of damaged caulking.
Signs Your Home Needs New Exterior Caulk
One of the best ways to know whether your home needs new exterior caulk is by walking around the house and performing a visual inspection. Exterior Caulking does not last forever and by looking at all the existing caulking for signs of deterioration or failure, such as cracking of the bead, dusting or powdering on the surface or any shrinking of the bead of the sealant. It is also important to look for any areas where the caulk is no longer sticking to the surface.
Deterioration In Sites Where Walls And Windows Meet
The first place to check is where the siding meets the foundation as deterioration here could allow water into the foundation, which will require major repairs. Places where window and door frames meet any siding on the house are another common trouble spot, but it is important to check anywhere that building materials meet outside the home.
Cracks Around Windows Have Appeared
Cracks around windows could cause rain or melting snow to get in and travel down within walls. This moisture can eventually make its way along the frame and to the subfloor, where it can saturate the wood and cause rot. This could result in a problem that can be very expensive to fix and creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive.
It is also a good idea to check around skylights and chimneys. Homeowners who do not feel confident that they can safely check caulking in these areas may want to enlist the help of professionals.
Old Caulking Needs To Be Replaced
A professional inspector can carry out a check of the caulking and make recommendations about repairs. Before caulking can be fixed, it needs to be removed completely. The area must also be thoroughly cleaned before new caulking can be applied. Experts can advise on the best type of exterior caulking to use for specific areas of the home.
Speak To Professional Exterior Caulking Contractors
Exterior caulking can last a while is done properly. If you want to ensure that your home is properly caulked, contact the professional exterior caulking contractors at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration to find out more about their services.