If there’s some caulking work to be done around your home, but you’re not experienced with a caulking gun, take some time to look over these simple steps required for any successful caulking project.
If you’re an old pro at caulking, come see us at Maxwell Supply in Tulsa to pick up all the supplies you need.
Choose the right caulk
The caulk you need to use depends entirely on where you’ll be using it, and what your goals are for the project. The most common use is to keep air and water out, but there are many types of caulk that can get the job done. Your best bet for a long-lasting seal is using 100% silicone caulk, which is waterproof, flexible and shrink and crack proof. The dangers of other types of caulk, like acrylic, is that over time, they tend to shrink or crack, which makes your seal fail. If you’re planning to paint the caulk after sealing, be sure you purchase caulk specifically made for that. And, if you’re planning to use it in one specific area of the house, look for varieties like Window and Door caulk, or Kitchen and Bathroom.
Clean up first
Before you can start installing new caulk, you need to clean the surface. That means not only removing dirt, and any other particles present, but also completely removing any old caulk in place. A caulk removing tool or a wire brush will be vital here. You’ll then want to place masking tape on either side of the surface to ensure a straight edge, but be sure you remove it immediately after applying your caulk.
Now your surface is ready to seal, but you’ll need to prepare the tube of caulk first. The size of the bead you apply depends on how you cut the nozzle on the caulk tube, so do so carefully. Then, puncture the inner seal on the tube with whatever you have handy. A stiff wire works great. You can now insert the cartridge into your caulking gun and begin sealing. Be sure to apply even, constant pressure to the gun’s trigger so your caulk will exit the tube at an even rate.
Smooth it out
Let’s face it, if this is your first time using a caulking gun, you probably won’t apply the caulk completely evenly and perfectly. That’s OK. Even pros need to smoothing tool, or their finger, to ensure the bead of caulk is smooth and clean. To fix any mistakes that were made along the way, be sure to smooth the caulk two to five minutes after application. It needs to set slightly, but letting it set too much makes it impossible to smooth out.
Clean up and prepare for next time
If you’ve got caulk leftover in the tube, you can’t just put it aside and expect it be usable when you need it next. Squeeze the tube until there’s the slightest bit of caulk coming out of the nozzle, then replace the cap, or insert a nail to keep the opening, well, open. If there’s caulk around your surface that needs to be cleaned, mineral spirits are great for cleaning up silicone caulk.
Whether you’re sealing up your home, or are on a professional work site, we’ve got the caulking and sealant supplies you need at Maxwell Supply in Tulsa. Come see us, or give us a call at 918-836-8606.