If you have been considering caulking some areas of your home that are made of wood, you may have looked at the wide variety of caulks available and wondered which one is right for you. For many people, silicone caulk stands out as a top-of-the-class contender for its large number of potential benefits.
However, it is important to be aware that silicone caulk is almost never the right choice for wood. If you are looking to seal wooden joints such as those around many types of windows, here are the problems you will face if you opt to use silicone caulk instead of other options like vinyl latex caulk.
Why Is Silicone Caulk So Popular?
So, why all the commotion about silicone caulk in the first place? The reason that many people have heard good things about it is that it lasts for a long time; while many types of caulk will begin to break down and need repair after about seven years, silicone caulk can last for up to 20 years on average. It is also aesthetically pleasing and generally fairly simple to apply, so it appeals to many DIYers and beginners.
However, whether you are using silicone caulk or something else, know that installing caulk on your own can be a recipe for trouble if you do not have experience. Caulk works by carefully and completely bonding to a surface to create a tight seal; if you do not have the experience needed to correctly remove the previous caulk cleanly and apply the new caulk in a uniform manner, you could not only damage your surfaces but spend time and money on an incomplete seal that does not perform its intended task.
Wood + Silicone: Removal Is A Challenge
If you are considering using silicone on a wooden surface, one of the most important things you need to know is that silicone bonds tightly to wood. This may seem like a good thing; after all, one of the problems that caulks often run into as they age is that they begin to pull or flake away from the surface they are trying to seal.
However, the bond that silicone creates with wood is extremely firm. At some point, you will need to replace your silicone caulk; this is a fact. At that time, even the most experienced caulkers will have a monumental task before them in trying to remove the silicone, and it is almost impossible to do so without leaving some uneven residue or damaging the wood underneath.
In particular, because the silicone holds on so tightly, pieces that you do manage to pull up will often bring fibers of wood with them. This means that not only are you looking at messy removal, but you also need to contend with damage to your wooden surfaces.
Future Modifications Are Almost Impossible
In addition, if you would like to use silicone on a wooden area that is painted, you will likely be interfering with your ability to repaint that area in the future. Silicone caulk does not accept paint; your paint will simply bead and fail to adhere to the surface.
So if you are considering applying silicone caulk anywhere that is painted—which is most commonly the wooden surfaces in your home—you will be unable to touch up any of the paint in that area later. In addition, even if you remove the silicone at a later point in order to paint, you will still face the same problems mentioned earlier: damaged surfaces and residual silicone.
These elements will make your paint job appear inconsistent and blotchy, impacting not only the visual appeal of the surface but also your ability to effectively re-caulk it later. A number of other types of caulk work better on wood, so avoid silicone in these circumstances.
The Experts Can Help You Find the Right Caulk For Your Needs
Choosing the right caulk for your project can feel overwhelming with so many options to choose from: latex, vinyl, acrylic, silicone and more. And this does not even consider the added challenge of applying them correctly and removing the previous caulking in the area. For the best results, trust the pros for these tasks.
The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration would be happy to answer your questions about which type of caulk is best and can even tackle the project on your behalf. Reach out to discuss your project and goals and set up an appointment to get your repair and re-caulking work done by professionals with years of experience in waterproofing.