If it’s your first time caulking, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. With so many different tubes and tools to choose from, how do you know which type to use? And how do you know if you’re applying it right? We’ll help answer those questions with a few tips on caulking. So, whether you’re a first-time homeowner or want to improve your technique, you’ll be caulking like a pro in no time.
Prepare the Area
You can’t just caulk over existing lines. Instead, you will have to remove the old caulk first. There are special tools available to help you do this, or you can use a knife. And, once you’ve done that, clean up the area to get rid of any moisture, dust or particles.
Pick out the Supplies
First, you’ll need the right tools and supplies for your project. Choosing the right supplies is one of the most important steps of a good caulking job. So, make a quick trip to Cape Ace! We carry a diverse selection of caulking materials, and our friendly staff will help you find exactly what you need.
Choose the Right Caulk
The type of caulk you choose will depend on what room you plan to use it in. Here are some tips on caulking products and uses:
- Kitchens and bathrooms. Look for a tube that says “waterproof, mold and mildew resistant”. Both the kitchen and bathroom have a lot of moisture, so it’s crucial for your caulk to last. Another thing to be aware of is that most caulk lines are visible. Think shower tile and sinks. This means you’ll want to choose a caulk that’s easy to remove because eventually it’ll become grungy-looking and need to be replaced.
- Other interior rooms. For the rest of the house, latex caulk is usually an excellent choice. It’s perfect for quick fixes, like sealing up nail marks, trims, and other gaps.
- Exterior surfaces. Need to caulk your windows or siding? Try polyurethane caulk. It’s flexible enough to withstand varying temperatures. It also doesn’t shrink. For windows specifically, where it’s extra important to keep out air and moisture, avoid using oil-based caulk to protect your insulation. This type of caulk can also be painted if you want it to blend in nicely. Although, just be sure to let the caulk cure completely before applying paint.
- Roofs. For the roof, you’ll need a more heavy-duty type of caulk, like elastomeric. This type of caulk isn’t affected by harsh weather and can easily stick to most roofing materials.
But, before you check out, don’t forget to get a caulking gun that fits your tube and any other necessary tools.
Cut the Tip to the Right Size
To get started, you have to cut the caulking tip. This step may seem trivial, but it’s important you don’t cut it too much. Start small and cut off more as needed. Then, secure the tube in your caulking gun. Also, be sure to follow the direction as outlined on your products.
Apply Caulking In a Straight Line
For the best results, make sure your caulk bead goes on straight. There are a few different tricks to help you do this. For example, you can outline the gap with painter’s tape (remove it right after). But, however you choose to do it, it’s essential to maintain a steady hand. Try moving your arms and bending your legs, instead of your wrists, to make a perfectly straight line.
To get help with your specific caulking project, stop into Cape Ace Hardware and speak with a knowledgeable associate. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!