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caulking tips

DIY Minute Maintenance Tips: Caulking

July 14, 2021
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When you own a home, inevitably you’ll have to do a bit of home maintenance over the years. Caulking is one of those tasks that seems simple to do, but can easily become a mess of a project if the proper techniques are not used. In this post, we’ll review what caulk is used, the different types of caulks used and for which types of projects, and how to properly apply it. Let’s get caulking!

 

Caulk is a waterproof substance that is used to seal and finish edges and seams in materials. It is used in nearly all parts of the home — both indoors and outdoors. On average, caulk lasts about five years before it needs to be replaced, though that can vary based on the type of caulk used and the application. 

 

Types of Caulk

 

Latex caulk is used mainly for interior areas like moldings and trim. It is easy to apply and is paintable.

 

Silicone caulk is often used when installing shower doors and countertops. It cannot be painted but it comes in a wide variety of colors to match the finishes in your home. Silicone can be used outdoors but it does not weather well when exposed to UV light.

 

Polyurethane caulk is used mainly outdoors and does not weather or dry out in UV light. It can be used when caulking to wood or other surfaces that will be painted. Polyurethane is the sealant of choice when installing doors and windows

 

Applying Caulk

 

If you are replacing old caulk, be sure to remove any traces or residue from the joint that you are re-caulking. You may need to use a utility knife, razor blade, putty knife, or scraper. Thoroughly clean the area using rubbing alcohol, then rinse well with water and allow it to dry. 

 

Cut the nozzle of the new caulk tube at a 45-degree angle. This helps create a u-shape when the material is applied. Evenly squeeze the tube while moving it along the joint. To smooth it out, wipe your finger on a damp rag to prevent caulk from sticking to it, then drag it along the joint to ensure smooth coverage.  Allow the caulk fully dry, or cure, before painting.

Caulking is an easy DIY project once you know what you’re doing. For a full demonstration, watch the Sego Minute Maintenance video above!

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