Caulk is an effective way to fill cracks, or gaps, between surfaces in your building. It is commonly used to fill air gaps around door frames, windows, wood trim, plumbing, pipes and many other surfaces; and to seal gaps against infiltration by bugs, water and outdoor air. In this post, read about what factors you should take into consideration when purchasing caulk and find out the benefits of waterproof caulk.
What Factors To Consider When Buying Caulk
Before you buy and apply the caulk, you need to ensure that it is appropriate for your needs. You will want to consider the following factors with respect to your caulking project:
- Surfaces: Some caulks perform better on specific types of surfaces, and others simply will not adhere well at all. Make sure the caulk product you buy is specifically manufactured for use on the surfaces you intend to fill
- Amount of Moisture on the Surface: If the caulk you are using is going to be in a high-moisture environment (such as a restroom), you need to ensure that the caulk is waterproof and designed to seal out moisture
- Exterior or Interior Location: If your caulking project is outside, you need a caulk that is designed for exterior use
- Paintable: If you need to paint the surface you will be caulking, make sure the caulk can be painted
- Clean Up: If cleaning up the caulk requires the use of harsh chemicals, then you need a caulk that can be easily cleaned up with water
Types of Caulk and General Applications
There are many different types of caulk available. They are made from different substances that, while not all waterproof, perform well for a specified purpose. These include the following types of caulk:
Latex caulk, also called ‘painters caulk’ or ‘acrylic caulk’ is suitable for use on either porous or nonporous surfaces. However, it will not hold up well if directly exposed to sunlight or extreme temperatures. It is best for filling gaps in interior trim and drywall; however, it will break down when exposed to moisture.
Silicone caulk is more difficult to apply and remove than latex caulk, but it is waterproof. Most silicone caulk cannot be painted and requires mineral spirits to clean up. It is good for surfaces that will be exposed to sunlight and extreme temperature. Silicone caulk comes in two types: acid cure and neutral cure. If you are working with nonporous surfaces like glazed tile or glass, you would want to choose an acid cure silicone caulk. However, acid cured caulks can corrode metal and leave etchings in some plastic surfaces, so you would need to be careful when using them around those surfaces.
Neutral Cure Silicone Caulk is a good choice for metal and wood surfaces. This type of caulk is made from a combination of latex and silicone, and is a good choice for occasionally wet areas such as windows, doors and trim.
Polyurethane caulk is designed for exterior applications and sealing joints made of two different materials such as metal to concrete or wood to concrete. However, it is not resistant to UV rays so it must be painted.
Specialty caulk includes caulk specifically made for use around windows and doors, kitchen and bath caulk that contains mildew and mold fighting properties, and highly waterproof caulks and sealants made for waterproofing roofs.
Keep in mind that not all the aforementioned caulks (latex and neutral cure silicone, for example) are waterproof, so you will need to ensure that the caulk you use is waterproof if you plan on using it to seal out moisture. ‘Waterproof caulk’ encompasses a wide variety of caulks (silicone and speciality caulk, for example), but you should still read about the specific product you purchase to confirm that it is waterproof. In general, silicone caulk is usually ideal for waterproofing because it is 100% waterproof, however some types of specialty caulk may use waterproofing technology that is superior to that of silicone.
Benefits to Using Waterproof Caulk
The benefits of waterproof caulk are many. Not only are they especially resistant to water and moisture, but caulk that is waterproof also provides the following benefits:
Waterproof caulk made of silicone is flexible and retains its flexibility in any temperature.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
Waterproof caulks resist the growth of mold and mildew. This makes silicone or other types of waterproof caulk ideal for use in high moisture areas inside and outside the building.
Superior Bonding to Nonporous Surfaces
Silicone caulks bonds well to any surface. As such, it is great for nonporous surfaces such as in restrooms, kitchens, and plumbing.
Great for Plumbing Applications
Waterproof caulks are great for waterproofing wet rooms like restrooms and kitchens, as they have excellent adhesion when fitting and servicing hold and cold-water systems. Moreover, waterproof caulk or sealant should stand up to water pressure as well.
Works Well for Waterproofing Below Grade or Exterior Surfaces
If your commercial project includes waterproofing surfaces that are below grade or on the exterior of your building, you can find a waterproof caulk that is designed for just such an application. Projects that are outdoors are subject to constant moisture and extreme temperatures, so you need to use the right waterproof caulk for your waterproofing project to succeed.
Consult the Experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration for more information
While there are many excellent products to choose from, a high-moisture caulking project demands a product that remains strong after years of application. If you need assistance finding the right caulking product for your specific commercial needs, contact the knowledgeable professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration for their expert advice. They can help you with your commercial project and will be happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.