As far as finishing materials go, it is tough to beat the utility of caulk. This material can fill in cracks, gaps and breaks across a wide range of surfaces. Exterior caulking can also help to keep heating and cooling bills down by helping prevent heat loss around doors and windows. In addition, caulking used on the exterior of the house can seal up cracks in the home’s foundation and driveway that could lead to expensive repair bills if left unchecked.
Many of the tiny cracks on the outside of a home that seem insignificant initially could turn into a bigger problem surprisingly quickly. Caulking can prove valuable in keeping these problems from growing out of control. However, choosing the right caulk for a particular job can be incredibly challenging given the vast number of options in the caulk aisles of home improvement stores. Outlined below are some important factors to consider when deciding on the right caulk for the job at hand.
What Factors Affect The Type Of Caulk I Should Use?
First, it can be helpful to narrow down the range of caulking to use on the exterior of the house based on consideration of three important factors related to where it will be used: location, season and foundation type.
There are many areas on the outside of a home that might need to be caulked, and the specific location should be used to determine the composition of the caulk. Foundations, doors, windows, driveways, roofs and gutters all require different types of caulk to seal successfully.
The caulking area’s exposure to certain types of temperatures should also guide the decision. Not every type of caulk can stand up to extreme temperatures. Some caulks may have difficulty setting up initially in extreme heat, for example, while others may not be suitable for homes in very cold or windy environments.
Cracks in a foundation can cause a loss of structural integrity and lead to high-cost repairs if they are not addressed early. Latex concrete, silicone and polyurethane caulks are all good choices for foundations, but it is important to keep the type of foundation in mind and check the label carefully before making your decision.
What Exterior Caulking Should I Use For My House?
Exterior caulking comes in a wide range of materials, and some are easier to work with than others. Below are some of the most popular choices of exterior caulking and where they work best.
Caulks made of polyurethane, also known as poly caulks, tend to be far tougher than other choices which makes them ideal for driveways, trim and areas of the home that are exposed to the elements. However, it is important to keep in mind that it has a rather gooey consistency that makes it difficult to control.
Acrylic Latex Caulk
Acrylic latex is a great choice for inexperienced caulkers because it is considered one of the easiest types to apply and create a smooth finish. It is also the only variety that can be cleaned up with water. Acrylic latex is the best option for caulking when painting. When choosing acrylic latex caulking, look for versions containing silicone as they offer greater flexibility and adhesion.
For roofing jobs and gutters, solvent-based exterior caulks are ideal because direct sunlight does not degrade them. Additionally, they can be applied to wet surfaces if necessary. However, applying this type of caulk does require some skill as its consistency makes it difficult to apply neatly.
Silicone caulk was once the go-to material for many types of caulking jobs. It is resistant to temperature, water, chemicals and weather, making it a good choice for exterior as well as interior applications. These days, there are better caulks for nearly every type of use, but it remains popular because so many people are familiar with it and it can be used for a range of purposes.
When the qualities of both silicone and polyurethane are needed, hybrid caulks are a great choice. They will not necessarily bear the word “hybrid” on their label, but are identifiable by their mix of materials and higher cost. Although hybrid caulks are easier to apply than polyurethane, they are not quite as easy to use as those made of acrylic latex.
Speak To Professional Exterior Caulking Contractors
It is important to keep in mind that the durability of caulk will depend on how well the crack or joint is cleaned before the caulk is applied, the skill of the person applying it and the tools that are used for the job. Some types of caulk are notoriously difficult to apply, so it may be useful to hire experts. If you want to ensure that your caulking job is done correctly, speak to the professional exterior caulking contractors at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration LLC.