Is your home energy efficient? Even in a well-insulated home, energy can be wasted through air infiltration. One-third to one-half of a typical fuel bill is the result of air penetration. Air can leak around your doors and windows, foundations, chimneys, exterior plumbing, or other parts of the structure. In the winter, air heated by your furnace is lost to the outside. In summer, hot outdoor air puts an additional load on your air conditioner.
Caulking seals joints and cracks in your home. Your goal when caulking is to cut down on drafts, making your house more energy efficient and comfortable. In addition, you want to close up places where water and insects can come through.
All caulking joints move somewhat, expanding and contracting in response to temperatures. Joints with different materials, such as masonry and wood, shift more than joints with the same materials. The ones that last the longest are those that are the most flexible and can endure a lot of movement.
Weatherizing your home by caulking can successfully cut down on energy waste. In fact, the cost of caulking is usually paid back in energy savings in about one or two years. This makes weatherizing one of your best investments in energy conservation. Weatherizing to limit air penetration also decreases drafts as well as noise and dust, making your home more comfortable
For a Lasting Paint Job
Choose the Correct Caulk
Using a high performance caulk to seal all gaps and cracks is a very important part of exterior painting. Plus, with interior applications it adds a decorative touch to painted woodwork.
There is a caulk for every type of surface and every possible job you are planning. Modern sealants have incredible elongation characteristics, are resistant to temperature extremes and harsh weather.
The use of sealants is a great way to save money and help the environment. In the summer the hot air can get into your home. In the winter the warmed air can leave your home. This is not good for your wallet.
Leaking causes your air conditioner or furnace to work harder and more often. Putting extra load on these appliances. This also adds to the wear and tear and premature death of this expensive equipment. Plus, the gaps and cracks around the exterior of your windows and doors can let in water. This water will cause damage to your walls and peel the paint. Also mold and insects can enter the walls through the same cracks.
Exterior caulking is one of the most important preparation steps before painting while interior caulking is often considered decorative, but applying the highest quality sealants to these areas is an important step of many house painting projects.
Always Choose the Appropriate Type of Caulk for the Job
The volume of sealants at your local hardware store will be overwhelming. Generally four types will serve all your needs and provide the performance required to achieve lasting results.
- 100% Silicone sealants are not paintable. Use on non-porous surfaces like tile and countertops.
- Siliconized acrylic, excellent for most interior or exterior applications.
- Elastomeric sealants, superior to most paintable caulking compounds with excellent flexibility and adhesion properties.
- Polyurethane sealants, the best for almost any application. The absolute finest for creating a truly permanent seal, but can be difficult to use and requires solvents for applying.
Quality Makes a Big Difference
High quality sealants cost more per tube, but will out perform cheap versions in every aspect. Some inferior products to look out for are latex and butyl.
Latex caulk is an inexpensive alternative to the better acrylic and urethane sealants. In my experience latex caulk will harden quickly and need replacing often.
Latex caulking can be used on either interior or exterior surfaces, but it’s recommend for use on interior surfaces only. This sealant will harden in a couple of years when exposed to the elements, plus the durability is questionable. Some manufactures add silicone to increase flexibility.
Butyl has lost its popularity with house painters since there are so many superior alternatives on the market. This type of sealant will require solvents for tooling and clean up, is difficult to use, plus experiences excessive shrinkage and slow drying.
Butyl caulking can last for a few years, but will harden and crack in 5 years or less. Usually less!
Several different forms of caulk are available. Disposable cartages designed for caulking guns are the most common. Some types of sealants are available as pressurized aerosol cans and squeeze tubes. These are best suited for special and small jobs.
Premixed colored caulk is available in a large variety of colors that match many surfaces in your home. These surfaces can be tile and grout, counter tops and even painted surfaces. This is very convenient.
Before purchasing any caulking compound, check the manufactures instructions carefully for its recommended surfaces and make sure it’s paintable. It is always best to choose the highest quality. Often the sealant is the only thing standing between you and damage, either from water or insects.
|Dripless SH 200 – Caulking Gun|
|The Dripless SH 200 Contractor/Professional Grade Caulk Gun is designed for the professional painter. Features quality open frame construction that accommodates 10oz. cartridges, designed for daily use. All steel construction. Suitable for most caulks and sealants.|