Weatherizing Your Home: A Guide To Using Caulk

Caulk is one of the cheapest and most convenient solutions for sealing your home and preventing heat loss (or gain in the summer). Caulk is a thick, pliable material made from a combination of polymers that resist water, air, insects and dust. There is a confusing array of caulking available, so you might find it difficult to choose which type works with which job. Use this short guide for more information so you can start weatherizing your home the right way.

Sometimes known as vinyl caulk/sealant or acrylic caulk, latex is a water-based product that is easy to use and apply. Because it does not have volatile chemicals in its ingredients, latex is generally safe to use and can even be applied using wet fingertips. Most latex caulking works best for interior doors, windows and trims, specifically those that are not exposed to sudden temperature changes and a lot of moisture.

Silicone is a rubbery heat-resistant polymer that adheres to all types of materials except wood. It is flexible even after curing and can be highly viscous, making it a bit tricky to apply. Once cured, it should be peeled off completely before new silicone is applied. It is best used for metal, glass and materials that will be exposed to cold temperatures.

Synthetic rubber
This material can be used in high-moisture areas or those exposed to cold weather. Rubber stretches without breaking, making it ideal for use on external joints that might contract and expand.

Polyurethane is weather-resistant, flexible and paintable. It works best for driveways, flooring, basements and garages. This material is toxic, so care must be taken during application.

To learn more about the best techniques to use for weatherizing your home, ask our experts at Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating. We have been providing quality services to our clients in the mid-Ohio area for nearly 50 years. By learning the right solutions for your home, you not only increase its comfort and efficiency, you will also get to enjoy significant savings in the long run.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about weatherizing your home and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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