Caulk is perhaps the most basic, but most effective, material to use to produce a reliable and weathertight seal. Here are some caulk basics that will help you choose the best caulk to stop air drafts, water leaks and energy loss in your Michigan home.
Use of Caulk
Caulk is a moist substance that resembles paste or glue. It is most often made of plastic or rubber and is used to fill holes, cracks, gaps and other openings where air can escape or enter your home. It’s sold in tubes or cartridges and is applied directly to areas where sealing should occur. When caulk dries, or cures, it creates a flexible weatherproof seal that keeps out air and water.
Types of Caulk
- Latex: Probably the most common type of caulk, this substance is effective for sealing gaps and openings around door frames and window casings. It can be used to fill cracks and holes in tile, plastic, plaster and glass. It can be smoothed or shaped with a tool or your finger, and can be trimmed once dry. Avoid using latex caulk on metal surfaces.
- Silicone: Silicone caulk is usually clear and is best used to seal areas around window panes and joints between bathroom fixtures and tile, such as the base of a toilet. Silicone caulk is effective at sealing between metal joints around plumbing fixtures and gutters. It is a good choice to use in areas where some amount of flexibility is required for movement of joints.
- Polyurethane or spray foam: This material is sprayed into place as a foam that quickly hardens and produces a seal. It is often used to seal large openings and cracks in both indoor and outdoor applications.
- Butyl rubber: Butyl rubber is very flexible and is commonly used for sealing areas between dissimilar materials such as metal, glass, wood, concrete and plastic.
Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing has provided professional HVAC services in the Traverse City area for more than 30 years. Contact us today for more information on caulk basics and for expert help choosing the type of caulk that will work best for your weatherproofing project.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about caulking and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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