In case there are any gaps or seams in construction joints, they can lead to a lot of heartburn later. Ingress of moisture is just one of the problems. This could be accompanied by other irritants like collection of dirt, grime or even small organisms. This is the reason caulks are used to ensure gas tight or water tight integrity of those joints. Additionally, caulking provides thermal insulation and also reduces noise transmission. Modern day caulking materials that are most commonly used are silicone, polysulphide, polyurethane, and acrylic sealants. In case you plan to do the caulking at your home or shop or office by yourself, you need not worry about not being a professional. You need to follow these pro tips for caulk/sealant success:
Preparing the surface
You need to begin by removing the earlier layer of silicone etc. To do this, cut through on both sides using a regular knife first. Once loosened, pull it out using your hand. After this, scrape the surface for dust and grime. Finally, clean the surface using mineral spirits. Many experts recommend using rubbing alcohol to swab the joints. This helps to remove body oils, soap scum and other such difficult residues.
Right use of caulk gun nozzle
You must be aware of the caulk gun used to apply the caulk accurately and completely. When you begin to do caulking, the tip of the nozzle needs to be cut for the caulking material to come out. There are nozzle cutters available, but we suggest you do it more simply. You can use a simple utility knife to achieve the same result much better. You need to cut at an angle of 45 degrees.
How to treat a narrow joint
When the joint is very narrow, the caulk you apply might mostly stay outside, or it might seep out. For joints less than a quarter of an inch, try using a putty knife to widen the joint if possible. This will allow you to push the sealant into the deepest recesses of the joint.
How to treat a wider joint
Most joints are narrow enough to allow the direct application of the sealant or the caulking material. But don’t try that if the joint is more than a quarter of an inch wide. For such cases, it is better to take the help of a foam backer rod. This allows you to fill the space in the joint better rather than using caulk only. Once the backer rod is tightly pressed in, lather it and the other remaining blank spaces of the joint with the caulking material. The joint gets sealed better, and you save money on caulking material.
Using caulk over wood
All the applications of caulk or sealant need not necessarily be over concrete surfaces. Sometimes, you need to fill caulk or sealant in a place which has a wooden surface on which the sealant would rest. For such situations, do make sure to paint the wood surface first.
Be very wary of moisture
This advice is true for all parts of your house, but more so for places which stay moist most of the time. A common example is your washroom or bathroom. Ensure you dry your tubs, lavatories, sinks, bidets, and showers before you begin applying caulk or sealant. When you are reapplying caulk at a place where caulk was already present earlier, do check for mould and mildew, and clear that first.
We do know the importance of proper sealing and jointing. In case you yourself wish to do it, then you can’t go wrong with the above pro tips.