Caulking tools: Tips and guide

Sealing your home is a serious task that requires time, physical efforts and a good knowledge of your home materials. If you have no previous exterior caulking experience, you may have to do some research about how to caulk your windows and doors properly. This article will approach your task’s first step: Which caulk and sealant tools and products you will need in your caulking tool kit.

For A Free caulking estimate on the south shore of Montreal call 438-288-0338 or email:

Apex caulking calfeutrage

Caulk removal tools.

Tools needed for this task: Pliers, electric knife, box cutter knife.

If your home is not new construction, the first step will be to remove the old sealant.

For this step, you will need: long nose pliers to tear off rubber-based thermoplastic caulk. We recommend using a knife with a retractable blade (Exacto type) or an electric knife for silicone or polyurethane type sealant joints. For rock-hard acrylic and latex caulking, using a heat gun will help soften up the old caulking, making it much easier on the knife. Make sure to use some heat shield if using a heat gun near any plastic and vinyl.

box cutting knife

Dusting the surface.

Tools needed for this task: Broom or soft Brush.

After removing the old sealant, you will have to remove the loose particles and dust from the surfaces. A small broom or a brush will dislodge loose dirt and dust.

soft brush

Cleaning the surfaces with a solvent.

Solvent, rags, a brush and/or a small broom

To promote maximum adhesion between the new caulking and the surfaces, it is important to clean the surface with a fast-drying solvent. The solvent prepares surfaces contaminated with impurities that could hinder the new sealant’s adhesion and negatively affect the joint’s sealing. It will dilute grease, traces of moisture, oil and dust, stains, rust, paint, etc. Choose your solvent according to the surface concerned and the impurities to be removed.

To clean the surface, soak a rag with some solvent and rub the surface until it’s clean and free of any stains and dirt. Here are some examples of solvents: Xylene, Acetone, Varsol (must be wiped off with another solvent like Methyl Hydrate or Friction alcohol to remove oily residue), Methyl Hydrate, lacquer thinner (on white PVC, Vinyl or plastics only, never painted surfaces) or rubbing alcohol. Rubbing Alcohol and Methyl Hydrate are both useful for removing moisture from surfaces.

If you hire a professional caulking company to waterproof your home or business, note that the absence of the above tools and materials reveals a lack of cleaning before applying the new sealant. Surface preparation negligence may affect the quality of the work and its results.


Backer rod – Fill in big gaps with foam.

Foam rod, painters 5 in 1 tool

Gaps of 3/8 inches or more will have to be filled with a backer rod. The backer rod prevents the sealant from sinking into the gaps.

You will use a painter’s 5 in 1 tool to secure the backer rod in the cracks.

backer rod

For A Free caulking estimate on the south shore of Montreal call 438-288-0338 or email:

Heat gun.

Under no circumstances should caulking be applied on a damp surface because it will not adhere well to the material it’s applied to. If the sealant must be applied while the surface is still wet or damp, you must dry the surface with a heat gun. Protect plastics with a heat shield to prevent burning of the surface. Morning dew or condensation can also be wiped off with Methyl Hydrate or friction alcohol, which will evaporate fast.

Caulking gun.

caulking gun calfeutrage Apex inc

The applicator or caulking gun is the tool that applies the sealant onto the joint. Caulking guns can be purchased in home depot, BMR, Rona or any other home improvement stores. Here are our tips on how to use a caulking gun.

  • Load Caulk

Release the gun by thumbing the lever at the rear of the gun. Pull the pin back and load a tube of sealant into the gun. The front end of the tube goes in first. When the sealant is in place, remove your finger.

  • Cut the caulking nozzle.

Cut the tip of the nozzle to overlap the size of the area you’re sealing. Always cut smaller than you initially require, as you can always make the hole a little bigger but not smaller. To make a joint wider than the nozzle’s circumference, you can either bite down on the nozzle tip to make the end into an oval shape, which will be wider than the original circle.

  •  Puncture the Seal

Puncture any seal to allow the sealant to flow freely.

  •  Start Caulking
  1. Start caulking at a 45-degree angle.
  2. We recommend that you pull the trigger slowly while keeping the gun moving at a steady speed and an even pressure.
  3. Don’t outrun the speed at which the caulking material is exiting the nozzle.
  4. If air gaps are present on either side, slow down.
  5. You’ll need to pause your movement every time you release the gun’s lever.
  6. Consistency in speed and angle at which the gun is held is the secret.

Types of caulking sealants

Before starting the project, you must choose the sealant base that is most suitable for the material of the envelope of your home. Here are the 4 types of caulks and sealants.





Silicon-based sealants are extremely popular because silicon maintains its flexibility in freezing and hot temperatures. Silicon is easy to work with, and it does not change its colour throughout the years.

Apex caulking

Choice of caulking materials and sealants.

There are many types and brands of sealants and caulks to choose from. The main questions you should ask whether you do the work yourself or hire a professional are: Does the product suit Quebec’s extreme weather conditions? Is the product resistant to UV rays during long summer exposure and heatwaves? Does it retain its flexibility in the face of excessive cold, so characteristic of our Quebec winters?

Inquire about the product’s shelf life: Are its physical properties preserved for years, or does it show accelerated deterioration? You want to know if the sealant may change its colour or if it resists yellowing. You should prefer a product that is easy to clean and non-toxic to the environment. A good sealant is water-repellent.

These are some questions to consider to make the right choice when considering which sealant will be used.

Tooling: Caulk finishing tool.

Every pro caulk tool kit has proper tooling sticks. This step is significant because it helps to airtight the sealant and secures it. Tooling ensures a uniform application all along the surfaces in contact. It improves the joint’s appearance and the structure’s appearance by blending in the caulking joint with the material of the surface that it’s applied to. Essentially, tooling creates a perfect looking seal on any edge, window, door, sidings etc.

The best way to tool a sealant is to use smooth wood sticks soaked in soapy water.

Should you use your fingers to tool the joints? 

When using your fingers, you risk creating an uneven and concave surface due to fingerprints and making the surface difficult to clean. Since your fingers cannot create an even and smooth surface, the sealant joint can be more conducive to the accumulation of dirt.

Tooling calfeutrage apex caulking


Caulking on the south shore of Montreal.

Calfeutrage Apex is a caulking company on the South shore of Montreal. We believe that the combination of superior products, the expertise of a specialized sealant technician and the skill of a meticulous artist who pays attention to the smallest details, is what offers you optimal waterproofing and the best protection of your home or business.

You can watch the steps we take when caulking a window in this video

We caulk commercial, residential and industrial structures. When we caulk a home or a business, we use industrial-grade caulks that have a long life expectancy of 20-30 years with a 10-year warranty.

calfeutrage Apex before and after
Calfeutrage Apex caulking – Before and after- Flawless caulking joints.

For A Free caulking estimate on the south shore of Montreal call 438-288-0338 or email: