Exterior caulking may look very similar to indoor caulking but these products and the application methods are quite different. For outdoor areas, you still want to properly seal off all of those cracks and get that same smooth and neat finish. But this type of caulk needs to be much tougher so it can handle years of constant exposure to harsh elements like sun, wind, rain, dirt, grime, and dust.
Here is a quick look at the most important things you should know about caulking for outdoor areas.
The Right Caulk Type Is Very Important
There are many different types of caulk and not all are suitable for outdoor use. Acrylic caulk types are some of the best for outdoor areas because this caulk type is easy to use, it offers a smooth finish and the caulk is easy to clean up. Acrylic caulk types also have good adhesion and are pretty flexible so you can use it on all sorts of material types. This caulk is ideal for small gaps narrower than ¼ inches.
Polyurethane caulk can also be a good option because it tends to stick better than acrylic caulk and it stays flexible for longer. This caulk type can however be more challenging to apply neatly and can be harder to clean up. Polyurethane caulk is a good option for filling wider gaps in outdoor areas.
Caulking Is Ideal For All Sorts Of Exterior Areas
You can use caulk to seal off all sorts of gaps around window frames, door frames, and in corner joints and corner trims of wood sidings. It is also ideal for gaps where different types of building materials meet like metal and brick. Caulking is also used to close cracks in siding, stucco, masonry, or even in building foundations. It can even be practical for sealing roofs, gutter corners, downspouts, and many other areas.
It Is Important To Start On A Clean Slate
Caulk doesn’t stick well when it is applied to dirty or greasy surfaces. Before you can apply caulk to exterior building cracks and openings, these areas need to be properly cleaned. The dust or dirt needs to be swept away with a dry brush or by blasting these areas using an air compressor. Any loose dirt, concrete, rust, or other deposits should also be scraped away before the caulk lines can be applied.
Some Surfaces Needs To Be Primed Before You Start
Caulk sometimes has a tough time sticking to certain surfaces like wood or wood-based materials. With these materials, it is important to prime the surface before you add the layer of caulk. This is because caulk clings better to primer than directly to wood. While it is important to prime the area surrounding the gap, it is important to avoid primer inside gaps.
It Is All About Application
Gaps in walls and buildings tend to move over time. They sometimes become wider or narrower due to temperature and humidity changes. This change in gap sizes puts more strain on the caulk and can make the caulk pull away from the surface. To prevent this issue, the caulk lines need to be applied to form an hourglass bead which offers more flexibility and prevents the caulk lines from deteriorating.
Outdoor caulking isn’t just hard work, it is a complex task that is best left in the hands of professionals like IB Caulking who will ensure that all of your outdoor caulk lines look fantastic and holds up for years to come.