Podcast Show Notes
Episode Title: Keep Varmints and Drafts Out of Your Home
Contractor John talks about proper sealing of your homes exterior to keep drafts out and those pesky critters. Included is an in-depth explanation of the different types of Caulk and their uses.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
· There are several major types of caulks or groups of caulk; Latex, Silicone, Synthetic Rubber and Butyl, with variations of each type.
· Latex caulk is a good general-purpose caulk for small cracks, and wood trim. It does not stretch very well, but it can be painted easily once it cures. Water based latex caulk works well on the exterior of your home, as they adhere to most building products. o An example would be caulking windows to the wood clapboard siding. These types of caulk need time to cure, in a dry environment, and usually 48 hours above 40 degrees. High humidity will slow the curing process, and heavy rain can wash the caulk out before it cures
· Silicone caulk has been around for many years and has seen many evolutions. Experts seem to disagree if silicone caulk will even be around in 10 years. In my opinion silicone is a great product and it will be here. Silicone can be tricky to work with and requires a solvent to clean up. If you are using it for the first time, I would suggest you practice with it before working in an area that will be seen.
· Although there are some siliconized caulks that can be painted, pure silicone cannot be painted. What it does best is adhere to glass, metal, ceramic, and porcelain tile. However, it does not adhere well to one of the most common building materials and that is wood.
· There is what I call hybrid silicones that are formulated for just about every job and they get around some of the pure silicone limitations. Silicone can be applied at virtually any temperature and stands up to temperature extremes, cures soft and remains flexible. Since silicone is inorganic so it is safe to use indoors, does not mold or mildew and UV rays do not affect it.
· Synthetic Rubber caulks are the most flexible and clearest curing products on the market. This flexibility makes them excellent choices for use on exterior wood siding or any exterior surface that moves a lot. These types of caulk are said to have memory, which allows them to stretch and return to their original cured size and shape. They also adhere to most substrates or surfaces and can be applied in cold and wet weather and are resistant to mold and mildew. They can be painted with water-based paints. Synthetic· rubber caulks are flammable until cured and they produce a higher rate of VOC’s, and for that reason indoor use is not recommended.
· Butyl caulk is extremely messy to work with, but is the most water resistant caulk there is. It stretches like chewing gum but will not return to its shape like synthetic rubber caulks. Butyls resistance to water makes it an excellent below grade sealant. Gutters joints are an application that butyl caulk is well suited for.