Caulking is one of those activities that every homeowner should know about. Caulking is actually a useful skill because it can be used to seal showers, baths, gaps in walls, and other areas. There are actually two types of caulk available on the market: acrylic and silicone. The silicone caulk is more expensive but is essential for certain tasks that require a waterproof barrier. By contrast, acrylic is popular, because it is much easier to clean up and results in a smooth, buttery surface when beaded. However, it is not ideal in the long run, because it can distort and shrink, especially if it is an area that is exposed to water and weather.
Whether you want to seal a gap in the bathroom or want to caulk some gaps in brickwork, it is important to understand how to caulk properly so that it doesn’t get messy. Follow these easy steps to make a success of your caulking project:
- Choose the right caulk: As mentioned earlier, both acrylic and rubberized silicone caulk are available to buy. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but if you want a flexible and waterproof seal, rubberized silicone is always the way to go. Acrylic is easy to clean up, and if you don’t need a waterproof seal for the job, it is an ideal investment.
- Clean surfaces: It is important that before you lay a bead of caulk down that you clean the surface it is going to be applied to. Ensure that all of the grime, dirt, dust and other debris is removed. If there is old caulking there, you will also need to remove it. In cases where there are stubborn dirt and grime particles, you may need to use a wire brush. This may be necessary on rough surfaces like brickwork and other types of masonry.
- Tape: After cleaning the surfaces to be caulked, stick masking tape on each side of where you want to lay the caulk. This will allow you to follow a guideline and create a straighter bead edge.
- Preparing the caulk: After the area is prepared, cut the nozzle of the caulking tube to the desired size of the bead that you want to lay down. You may need to pierce an inner seal before inserting it into the caulking gun. Now you’re ready to caulk!
- Caulking: Ensure that you apply consistent pressure to the caulking gun when laying down the caulk. This will help to create a consistent bead of caulk. Follow the masking tape guide with a steady hand and try to apply the bead all in one motion.
- Smoothing: After the caulking bead has been applied, you will need to smooth it with a wet finger. Just run your finger over the surface of the bead and try to make it a consistent and smooth surface. You can also buy a specific smoothing agent to help with this step.
Caulking Is Not That Hard!
Caulking is an easy skill to learn and can really help around the home. Whether you have a shower or bath to seal with rubberized silicone or some masonry or brickwork to repair, knowing how to caulk will save you the trouble and cost of hiring someone else!