What is Caulking?
Caulking, or sealant, is a material with numerous construction uses that you encounter everyday. Some common places you’ll see caulking are bathrooms, kitchens and window frames.
Caulking has been used for centuries as a construction tool, with some of the earliest known uses being nautical in nature - it was used to fill gaps between ship boards in order to prevent water leakage. Modern day usages are numerous, as it functions well anywhere you need to keep a material (such as water, gas, air, etc.) from escaping or entering between two other elements. You can use caulk to close spaces or joints even if the joined materials are very different in substance. You’ll commonly see caulk in kitchens and bathrooms between tiles, or around windows to provide insulation.
Caulk is a physical compound that is usually pliable when applying, then dries to a predetermined hardness in order to provide a seal. This seal is watertight as well as airtight, making it useful for a variety of construction projects. Some common types of caulk are: tub and tile caulk, silicone, urethane, and elastomeric latex.
If you are interested in using caulk for a construction project, first consider your usage. If you’re targeting an area that is frequently wet, tub and tile caulk is a great option because it’s mildew resistant. Elastomeric latex is useful for exterior cracks because it keeps the seal from expanding and contracting. Silicone is a highly versatile caulk and especially good in nonporous areas, such as showers, sinks, etc. Urethane is a sound choice overall for most other locations and is paintable.
You can buy caulk in 10-ounce tubes that work with a caulk gun, allowing for easy application. (Ten ounces is suitable for the average door or window.) Both caulk and caulking guns are generally available at places that sell hardware and home products.
When you open a new tube of caulk, it’s best to cut a small piece off the tip of the nozzle. Insert a needle to widen the hole, then check the size. It’s best to cut a smaller tip and make the hole bigger, than to cut a hole that is too big.
Over the years scientists and manufacturers have made improvements to caulk that have rendered it resistant to mildew, mold, sunlight, and other potentially damaging elements. It’s important when selecting caulk that you consider the purpose, and whether you’ll need it to remain flexible, paintable, able to take on physical stress, etc. You should also think about the temperature and the moisture level it will be exposed to. If you choose the right one, it will create a seal and protection that will last for years.
To learn more about caulking and home window cleaning in La Jolla, please visit this website.
David has years of experience in both commercial and residential cleaning. You can find his thoughts at Livejournal blog.
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