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CAULKING

When outside air enters a house or building through unwanted cracks and openings, this can interfere with the indoor heating during winter months or cooling during summer.  Moldy or dusty air can also enter through crevices along the roofs and foundations, leading to health problems.  Proper air sealing can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, create a healthier indoor environment, and improve building durability.

What is caulking?
Caulking is the process of applying sealing compounds to joints, seams, gaps, cracks, and other spaces in buildings and other structures to protect against air leaks, moisture and water damage, dust, pests and other invasive substances.

In construction, caulking refers to the process of filling or closing up joints and gaps in the basic structure to provide heat insulation, fire-stopping, water control and noise reduction.  In marine industries and boatbuilding, caulking renders a wooden vessel watertight.  Caulking is also used to render a boiler watertight or steam-tight.  In tunnel construction, caulking seals joints between the segments of pre-cast concrete tunnels.

Does your building/home need caulking?
Part of the maintenance of a building or home consists of yearly checks to determine if cracks and gaps have appeared in the walls or other areas where different types of building materials are joined.  Repairing and sealing these gaps will go a long way not only towards saving on your energy bills but also in preventing major damage that may require more costly repairs in future.

Check for cracks around joints in a building exterior such as around door and window frames, roof vents and skylights.  Look into seams where the interior drywall is attached to the external walling material, where siding is joined at corners, where it meets the roof and foundations.  Scrutinize outdoor pipes, cables and lines that enter the house from the outside.

Different types of caulk:
Using the right caulking material ensures that the sealant or caulk will adhere to the surfaces to be bonded and last for a while.

There are caulks made for specific surfaces: wood, metal, concrete, brick and glass.  Polyurethane caulking is usually used for exterior jobs.  It does not shrink, sticks to just about anything and remains flexible after curing.  Butyl rubber is another outdoor caulking agent often used to seal downspout and gutter seams, as well as storm windows and doors.  Acrylic latex caulk is an all-purpose type for use on wood and other dry areas.  It dries quickly and can be cleaned up with water.  For bathrooms and other areas that get wet a lot, your best bet would be silicone or vinyl latex.  These types of caulking are waterproof and have superior adhesive qualities.

For more answers to your questions regarding caulking, contact Freedom Restoration at 410-451-7110 or click here.

 

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caulking
http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/tightenup/caulking.html

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