Caulking is an underappreciated aspect of the home improvement process. Without it you could end up with a drafty home and skyrocketing energy bills, or mold issues because of a leaky seal in the bathroom. Let’s take some time today to talk about caulk and how much of a role it can play in your next DIY project.
Caulk is a very versatile substance. It can be great for painting applications or seals around windows. You can use it as a waterproof barrier around your sinks, toilets and showers. However, you need to make sure that you do your research and select the right type before getting started. Caulk falls into two main categories: acrylic and silicone. Acrylic is best used for sealing and filling dryer areas, is a bit easier to apply and cleans up well. Silicone on the other hand, is the right choice for outdoor use or any area that could be exposed to moisture. Silicone is not recommended when painting as paint will not bind to it.
From there you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with a caulk gun and equipment for tooling. Luckily, the best things to use for tooling are your fingers! If the area has been caulked on a prior occasion, you must remove what is currently there. You can do this with a caulk removing agent and tool both found at your local hardware store. Apply alcohol to the surface once old caulk is removed for cleaning purposes and wait to dry before adding new product.
Finally apply a consistent bead of caulk (but don’t overdo it) and use your finger to smooth out the surface. To be safe wait 24 hours for drying. If you’re applying the caulk outside try and find an open window of time with good weather.
As with anything in the home improvement department, messes can be difficult to avoid. Nothing is worse than an accident that puts a dent in the budget. Make sure that when you get ready to caulk, you take the proper precautions and cover up any areas that could be a danger zone. The next time you have a new project, live on the side of safety and lay out some Steelcoat® Plastic Sheeting. It’s great for floor and furniture protection and will make the cleanup process nice and easy!