If you have an old or new Brownsburg-area home, checking for air leaks and caulking where needed is a good autumn activity to reduce heat loss this winter. Though caulking seems like a fairly straightforward procedure, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. This guide to caulk will explain some of the finer points.
Select the right caulk for the job. Here is our guide to caulk options. The most common choices are silicone, water-based acrylic and vinyl latex, and butyl rubber.
- Silicone lasts long, doesn’t discolor, and is great for areas that get wet such as showers and tubs. It needs to be applied in a well-ventilated area because it releases ammonia. This product allows flexibility so that the joints can stretch.
- Water-based caulks are acrylic and vinyl latex. They’re easy to work with, clean up is with water, and they’re nontoxic. They adhere to most materials.
- Butyl rubber caulk is used mostly outdoors, can seal dissimilar materials together, and has great stretching and recovering qualities. It’s a toxic product so follow directions.
Before applying caulk, clean the surface. Use a razor scraper to remove old caulking and then wipe down the area. Apply masking tape to either side of the areas as a guide to caulk a clean straight edge.
Cut the tip of the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and then puncture the seal.
Hold the gun over the trash and slowly press the trigger. This practice gets you comfortable with the amount of pressure to apply before starting the job.
Apply the caulk slowly and steadily at a 45-degree angle. Apply in one long stream rather than starting and stopping. The latter will cause it to glob.
When done, use your finger or a wet cloth to smooth the joint, applying firm pressure. Then remove the masking tape and you should have a nice, straight seam.
For more expert advice about caulking and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We proudly serve Indianapolis, Brownsburg and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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