Most homeowners know that their home’s exterior needs to be maintained regularly to prevent any unwanted problems from occurring. At the change of each season, walk around the exterior of your home to identify areas that need waterproofing attention. When repairing cracks, holes or leaking gutters, here are some tips to avoid improper caulking.
What Needs Waterproofing?
Anyplace where there is a hole or protrusion that can let in moisture or air needs waterproofing. Things like bathtubs, sinks, and pipes (house interior) or siding joints, gutter seams, roof flashings, and chimneys (house exterior) or around windows and doors (both interior and exterior) need to be inspected occasionally for leaks and gaps. Signs that caulking should be redone include cracking, deterioration, shrinking, discoloration, and pinholes.
Right Type of Caulking
Different types of calking have different purposes. Select the type of caulking for the specific job at hand; using the right caulking first time is more effective.
Polyurethane caulking is ideal for waterproofing around windows and doors and keeping outside air from getting in. Depending on the type of gutter system, silicone caulking is ideal for Vancouver gutters exposed to the region’s typically wet fall climate – latex caulking or hybrids will eventually mold.
While silicone caulking will adequately seal roofing tiles and flashings, for the best long-term waterproofing results, use a high-quality roofing sealant specifically designed for all types of roof work.
Choosing the right type of caulking is essential. But it’s also important to select a caulk that includes certain properties for the specific task. Some caulks are water-resistant; others are waterproof. Some kinds of caulking can be painted over. Other kinds of caulk for bathrooms and kitchens are mildew-resistant.
While differences between brands are to be expected, even within the same kind of caulking, they might differ, depending on the target purpose of the caulking. Factors to consider that affect caulking properties are: functionality, drying time, durability, and sealing ability.
You Need a Gun
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can get by with just the caulk tube’s applicator. It might seem like an unnecessary expense but you need a gun to successfully apply the caulking in a neat and efficient manner. Without a caulking gun, you could end up over-applying, missing the gap or gutter seam altogether, or having a line of clumps instead of one continuous smooth line.
Choose an Ideal Weather Day
When recaulking gutter seams, the trim around windows and entry doors, roofing tiles, or siding, choose an ideal weather day. Since joints and seams tend to swell in hot weather and shrink in cold, plan to caulk on a day that is temperate. You also want to pick a day that is not too windy or has high humidity.
Temperature affects how well the caulking adheres to the surface to which it is applied while selecting a day with little wind and low humidity help to prevent dust, pollen, bits of debris, etc. from sticking to the gutter seam, siding joint or roofing tile being repaired.
The area where you will be recaulking should be completely dry, particularly if it rained the previous day.
More Caulking Tips
When purchasing silicone caulk make sure it’s not blended with anything else. For example, caulking that includes acrylic in its ingredients can shrink or crack, leaving gaps.
Caulking for around doors and windows should be flexible, long-lasting, and able to adhere to wood, vinyl, or aluminum siding.
Selecting a paintable caulking for exterior applications might be self-defeating. Over time, natural expansion and contraction will eventually cause the paint to crack – choose white or clear caulking instead.