Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Your Airtight California Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Caulk

Sealing your home against the outdoors is both an energy-efficient way to save money on your energy bill and a way to improve comfort in your home. A basic guide to caulk will allow you to understand the right type of caulk for your needs, providing you with an inside track on what type to get and how and where to use it.

Latex caulk is an indoor caulking compound. It’s primarily used for interior use around tubs and showers. It can be used for minor repair work, such as filling cracks in tile, plastic, and glass, and it will also fill nail holes.

Butyl rubber or oil-based caulks are made for sealing exterior seams and gaps. An oil-based caulk is relatively inexpensive and works best on seams or joints. Although it covers well, it has poor durability because once the oil dries out, the caulk will become brittle. On the other hand, butyl rubber caulk is a similar all-purpose type that seals dissimilar materials such as glass, metal, and concrete, among others. Though relatively expensive, it’s very durable, and can even be used to bond loose shingles in place.

Silicone household does much the same tasks as latex interior caulk, but it costs more. However, you will get superior stretching ability that works well in joints that move or flex.

Silicone construction is an all-purpose caulk that can be used both indoors and out. While it’s expensive, it flexes well, lasts as long as a butyl type, and will even adhere to painted surfaces for maximum versatility.

Foam caulks are made of expandable polyurethane that fills large gaps or cracks in virtually any material. They come in self-contained cans and are both interior and exterior capable.

Using the knowledge in this guide to caulk will give you a head start to find the right type of caulk for any household need.

For more information, please contact us at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air. We serve the North San Diego and Carlsbad areas, along with surrounding communities, giving you prompt and courteous service for all of your HVAC needs.