By: Custom Coatings on January 31st, 2012

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Caulking is More Important Than You Realize!

Colorful Insights

Why Caulking Is Important

Caulking provides two beneficial purposes.  The first is to cosmetically enhance the appearance of a project by closing gaps and creating a smoother transition;  The second (and most important) is to provide a seal between two areas or surfaces to keep water from getting into the building or house.

Painters generally use caulking for aesthetic reasons. Uncaulked gaps between: exterior surfaces, between two surfaces, along the top of baseboards, in wood trim, along cabinets and counter-tops - will look unsightly and unprofessional. Caulking eliminates the gaps.

Water intrusion into a home or building can have devastating effects on the property. The water can rot wood, freeze inside masonry and cause defects or potentially create mildew. Caulking is just one basic step to help keep these and other problems from happening.

Like any skill, proper caulking requires practice.  Here are some helpful hints to help with your next caulking project…

  • Read the labels and buy the correct caulking for the job. When using caulking on the exterior of your home, be sure not to apply it in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
  • Buy a good caulking gun that comes with a built-in cutting tool and wire attachment for piercing the tube's inner seal.
  • Cut the tip at an angle and at the smallest opening you think you will need. Be sure to apply enough caulking to cover the entire gap properly so that the edges of the caulking can adhere to the surface and the caulk is thick enough to fill the gap. Most errors installing caulking are due to not installing a large enough bead in the gap. However, too much is not good either. It does take practice.
  • Use a damp rag, usually followed by a wipe with your finger, to smooth out the bead of caulking. Do this right away, or it will start to skin over quickly and will get lumpy and hard to work with.
  • Always leave ample time for the caulk to dry if you are going to paint over it, or it will shrink and crack the paint as it cures.
  • When you are finished using the caulk make sure to push a nail into the end of the tube of caulk for storage, as this will prevent the caulk from drying out between uses.

If you follow these simple tips you too can caulk like a pro!