Learning the correct method for applying caulking may be one of the most important skills you can learn as a homeowner. It may not seem like it's all that important until you consider all of the purposes that caulking satisfies. A well sealed home is better prepared to fight the effects of moisture, allows for a quieter home by blocking unwanted noises from the outside, and saves a lot of money in energy bills. While learning to caulk isn't hard, there are a few tips and tricks that can make it easier.
One of the first rules to follow in applying caulking effectively is to be sure to start out with a clean and dry surface. It doesn't matter if you are applying caulking to wood, metal, or plastic. If it isn't clean and dry, there is no way it's going to do its job correctly. Depending on the surface to be caulked, soap and water or an industrial cleaner should do the trick. You will also want to be sure to limit the amount of dust around the site. With that minor detail out of the way, you are ready to start the real work.
Actually applying caulking really isn't that much work. While some caulking manufacturers package their product in pressurized cans or squeezable tubes, many home improvement experts recommend you use a caulking gun instead. It's simply easier to control the pressure and lay the correct size bead of caulking that way. You will want to lay a smooth, uninterrupted caulking bead on the crevice you wish to seal. To save yourself the hassle of using your finger, it's advisable to use a fitch brush dipped in water to smooth the caulking. Once you have the area sealed and dried, you can paint rubber caulking. If you used silicon or acrylic latex caulking, both can be painted to match the existing surface.
Applying caulking to doors and windows, cracks in the basement or foundation and a host of other areas that need to be sealed is the responsible thing to do to properly maintain your home. The various types of caulking can be used in just about any capacity you could need them for. Ask a professional if you have any questions about the correct kind.
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