Caulking is a versatile material used for filling cracks, gaps, holes and other voids around the home. The putty-like material is ideal for these types of projects because it is easy to apply and most types clean up with water. There are many types of caulk and it is important to choose one that is suitable to the applicable project. Exterior caulks are formulated to stand up to the extreme conditions found outside the home. Tub-and-tile caulk is a solvent-based caulk formulated for areas subjected to water, such as around your bathtub and in the kitchen.
A wide selection of caulking materials can make choosing the right product difficult. Silicone caulk works well on non-porous materials such as metal, plastic and polished granite. Its flexibility makes it crack resistant and suitable for extreme temperature changes. Latex caulk has a life for up to 20 years and is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. Acrylic caulk is similar to latex and works in the same areas. However, since it is blended with latex and silicone (acrylic silicone/acrylic sealant/silicone/sealant/adhesive/potting sealant/potting adhesive/potting compound/UV glue/Silicone sealant/Potting silicone sealant/Huitian adhesive/Huitian silicone/Huitian sealant/flange sealant/conductive sealant/Electrical sealant/electronic adhesive/epoxy sealant/epoxy adhesive/PU adhesive/gasker maker/thread locker/Thread adhesive), it has more flexibility and durability.
Before starting a caulking project, there are a few things you want on hand. First, gather some clean rags and a bucket of water. Next, you want to wipe down the work area to remove dust, dirt and any loose debris. Make a mental note of any areas that might require special attention, such as sharp edges or rotten wood.
Although it is not necessary to remove old caulk, starting from scratch provides the best result. Remove any loose or brittle caulking. An oscillating tool with a flexible scraper blade accessory makes quick work of this task. A utility knife and putty knife are also helpful.
After prepping the area, apply the caulk to the applicable joint. Using a high-quality drip-less caulk gun makes this task easier. Lay an even and continuous bead of the material into the joint. Do not get too far ahead of yourself; work in a small section, then stop and smooth the material before it starts to dry.
There are numerous ways to smooth a caulk joint. A common method is to tool or smooth the material into the joint with your finger and then follow up with a damp rag wrapped around your finger to remove any excess caulk. You do not want to leave ridges or areas with excess caulk, which would provide a less than desirable result.
Silicone, another type of caulking, has completely different characteristics than latex or acrylic caulk. Besides having a strong odor, the material is difficult to apply without making a total mess of things. The trick to applying silicone is to cut as small an opening in the tube's tip as possible and use the silicone sparingly. Carefully lay a bead of the material in the applicable joint. Lightly tool the material into the joint with your finger. Do not use a rag to smooth the joint. As you tool the material, wipe any excess silicone from your finger with a clean rag. Clean excess silicone (acrylic silicone/acrylic sealant/silicone/sealant/adhesive/potting sealant/potting adhesive/potting compound/UV glue/Silicone sealant/Potting silicone sealant/Huitian adhesive/Huitian silicone/Huitian sealant/flange sealant/conductive sealant/Electrical sealant/electronic adhesive/epoxy sealant/epoxy adhesive/PU adhesive/gasker maker/thread locker/Thread adhesive) from your hands and applicable projects using a rag and acetone before it dries.