What is caulking?
A caulking joint bonds together two materials, for example, a window frame to a concrete wall or between two concrete panels, in order to block the movement of water or air through the building envelope.
Professional caulking has to be performed to the highest standards and in accordance with the construction industry. The caulking sealant has to be applied on a clean surface; free of dirt, old material, moisture and dust.
Here are the steps of professional caulking
that Calfeutrage Apex takes
Ripping and removal of old caulking. This allows an impeccable application of caulking that will last for 10-20 years.
Precise cleanup. We use a knife or an electrique knife to remove old caulking that is hard to rip out.
We clean the surface with alcohol to ensure that surface is clean.
Application of commercial grade caulking Adfast silicon.
We go over the caulking joints with a wet custom-made wood stick to ensure that the caulking joint is smooth and flawless.
We use tooling as a smoothing technic to enhance the sealent and appearance of the caulking joint to look flawless.
What causes caulking to fail:
Over the years, elements such as extreme cold weather, the sun, air pollution, the movement of a structure (structures extract and contract) and water, wear out the sealants of the building.
Why must caulking be done:
By sealing your structure’s envelope, you’ll raise your property to a new level of efficiency and comfort.
Caulking your property exterior is extremely important since it helps to protect exterior surfaces against water, cold drafts and insect damage, which is very common with the openings and cracks between joints along windows, doors, and aluminum sidings.
Replacing exterior sealants before they fail is one of the most important contributors to maintaining a healthy building envelope. Making sure that a structure’s exterior is properly sealed is critical.
What is the building envelope?
The building envelope is the exterior façade of the building. It is the building’s physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer (Wikipedia). A building's envelope creates proper insulation for the interior of the building. The envelope is exposed to water and sun so it’s absolutely necessary that it’s sealed properly in order to serve its purpose.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE CAULKING? Calfeutrage Apex advise:
- Look at the south side of your building, it is the side that has the most exposure to the sun and thus the caulking on this side will suffer more deterioration. If you notice gaps and cracks, the caulking has to be redone.
- Do you feel cold / hot drafts coming from your doors or windows?
- Do you notice the appearance of spider webs outside your windows during fall? That may be a sign of heat loss that attracts spiders to build their webs near a heat source.
- Water and moisture coming in through your windows.
- Poke the caulking joint with a pen or your finger. A good caulking joint should be flexible and bounce back. If the caulking joint is hard and dry, it needs to be replaced.
- Determine when the last time the building was caulked. If past the 12 to 20-year mark, water leaks, wood rot, or other damage may have already begun to occur.
- Determine the type of sealant currently in use on site. Inferior products may mean a shorter life cycle.
The product that we use for caulking:
Nowadays modern commercial grade silicon caulking types arlightyears ahead of any other sealant available. Calfeutrage Apeis proud to choose Adseal 4580 to seal Residential, commercial anindustrial structures.
Here are Adseal 4580’s qualities:
- Adseal series 4580 from ADFASTCORP has the advantage of curing faster than other brands of silicon. This limits the time contaminates have to come in contact with the finished seal.
- Adseal is a hybrid type of silicon containing the latest generation of polymers.
- Adseal has a thicker consistency than other silicon types making it far less messy to work with. This reduces likelihood of dripping from the sealant materiel.
- It doesn’t have a strong typical silicon smell.
- This product is extremely hydrophobic meaning it will repeal water off its surface. Water droplets will bead on the surface like freshly waxed car paint.
- It’s resistant to stains and mold growth. Some competitors are prone to spot and stain easily, quickly losing their new appearance.
- It is the easiest type of caulking to wash. Any surface dust is easily washed away with a cloth and friction alcohol.
- It offers the nicest finish of any type of caulking when it is tooled by a professional.
- Mosses and lichen cannot grow on its surface.
- It will not change color or fade under UV rays, whites never turn yellow or gray, and blacks remain as dark as the day it was applied. Nothing makes caulking look older than the color fading or turning yellow.
- Adseal maintains full flexibility from as low as -40 degrees C to +232 degrees C for days on end. It retains most of its flexibility even at -51 degrees C and as high as +260 degrees C for shorter periods of time.
- Adseal has the best temperature range of any caulking and the best flexibility consistency at the limits. It will never melt during the hottest days nor will it stiffen and rupture even during the worst polar vortex and will never peel, spilt or crack.
- It has the best bond to glass making it the only caulking to be applied as a replacement thermo joint.
- It can bond to any other type of residual caulking left within the pore of bricks, stones or mortar left behind during removal process. It is fairly easy to remove with a simple blade.
- Adseal has a minimum of 90 different colors to choose from the Adfast color chart, making the caulking match your existing windows, doors or painted surfaces easily.
- It has a life expectancy of up to 30 years in Quebec weather, outperforming every other type of exterior caulking in extreme 4 season climates.
- Silicon has a poor thermal conductivity meaning it will not transfer heat from one side to the other.
- Silicon products can also be applied at much wider temperature ranges. While many types of sealant refuse to stick or will deform and leak in most colder temperatures, silicon may be applied as low as -20°C!
- Adseal performs better than other types during heat waves exposed to the sun, while others may form bubbles and craters in the heat of summer under the beaming sun rays, silicon will remain straight and true.
- Adseal will bond to leftover silicon and other types of caulking if residual material is left behind in hard to remove pores and cracks.
- Flawless results are reserved to professionals.
- Higher price than residential sealants
- Commercial grades like series 4580 and 4600 fromAdfastare sold to company owners in bulk format.
- Sausage format requires a professional gun.
- Adhesion to wood and certain plastics form a weakerbondthan some other types of caulking, which can beeasilyfixed with use of a primer to strengthen bond.
Silicon based caulking vs other types of sealants
I am often asked why silicon-based caulking is my preferred choice of sealant and why is it better than other sealants. You can read about our choice of caulking product: Adseal series 4580 by Adfast, and here is some comparison points between Silicon based caulking to other types of caulking:
- Polyurethane has better adhesion to certain surfaces like wood and some types of 3 part polyurethanes (color pack, polymer-urethane base and a harder) and can even stick to somewhat semi-humid masonry.
- Some of the disadvantages of the polyurethane family include: shorter life span as they are notorious for degrading at accelerated rates when exposed to sunlight as UV resistance is poor.
- They also don’t withstand cold and heat cycles as well as Silicon, the temperature range at which they conserve their flexibility is also much inferior.
- Their tendency to change color over a period of time is obvious.
- The time required to cure is longer allowing more time for foreign contaminates to come in contact with the caulking.
- The consistency of polyurethane caulking is fairly liquid meaning it is more likely to drip all over.
- They also change consistency quite a lot when applied at different temperatures making the temperature at which they can be applied much more limited.
- They will also burn if exposed to a strong flame.
- They are unable to properly stick to glass.
- The inability to stick to any residual silicon left from previous caulking.
- The tendency to crack and split when exposed to sunlight.
- Its nature of attracting dust and dirt all over its surface.
- A tendency for moss and lichen to grow on it in humid and shaded areas.
- A more toxic product especially types that contain Xylene.
- Another major drawback is the 3-part types are more likely to contain air bubbles and exterior contaminates as they require to be mixed manually and then sucked up into the applicator gun. It is also possible that the mix may be uneven with inconsistency in color and hardener.
- The life span of most polyurethane caulking will be 10-20 years if well applied compared to 20-30 years for most silicon types designed for the exterior. Unlike silicon, polyurethane doesn’t wash easily.
- Their main attraction is their very low cost when compared to commercial types of sealants.
- They are also available as a single unit meaning the buyer isn’t stuck with leftover material from a bulk purchase.
- They are also easily available to anyone at any hardware store in many colors.
- They have the ability to stretch and return to its shape multiple times.
- On the down side Thermoplastic Elastomers are caulking materials that repeatedly soften or even melt when heated and harden when exposed to freezing weather.
- Thermoplastics are soluble in specific solvents and will disintegrate when in contact with many solvents. This means they have poor chemical and heat resistance, high compression set and low thermal stability.
- Thermoplastics degrade when they’re exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light levels for extended times. They will lose their flexible properties over time under UV light, crack all over the exposed surface and change color quite fast, white will become yellow and black will turn to a blueish gray fade.
- Dark shades will absorb more heat under the sun and are very prone to melt and deform on hot summer days. These darker colors become nearly impossible to remove under sunlight in the heat of summer.
- Darker shades are extremely hard to apply new if exposed to the sun in the summer leaving bubbles to expand within the caulk bead deforming the seals surfaces with bumps from submerged bubbles and craters along the surface where the bubbles escaped. This effect can be even worse when applied to a metal surface that absorbs even more of the sun’s heat.
- Thermoplastic rubber tends to sink and shrink as time passes and will even start turning to dust on its surface and edges.
- Thermoplastics don’t bond well when applied over any type of caulking, even on top of another layer of thermoplastic of the same brand. Thermoplastics have lower adhesion when compared to most types of caulking.
- They aren’t certified to be applied on glass meaning they shouldn’t be used to replace thermo joints on windows.
- They cannot be tooled with wet wood tooling sticks meaning that all the lumps and imperfections will remain for the life of the joint.
- The fact that they degrade fast under UV light and aren’t good after multiple heat-cold cycles and that they have fairly short life expectancy in our Quebec climate makes it a poor choice.
- Some of the pros of an Acrylic type caulking are that they provide a very strong bond with many materials including most types of wood.
- They are paintable making the color choice availability irrelevant if your shade isn’t available.
- They are very resistant to ultraviolet light and even if they soften under extreme heat they will not melt as a rubberized thermoplastic.
- As for the cons of Acrylic caulking, the most obvious one is its low flexibility. This poor flexibility becomes worse as the temperature lowers. It will become extremely stiff under our brutal Quebec winter and eventually fail.
- It is among the caulking types most likely to crack.
- Its extremely strong bond factor makes it by far the most difficult of any caulking to remove. On certain rough surfaces such as irregular stonework or none smooth surface bricks it becomes impossible to remove the old acrylic caulking, meaning the new caulking joint will need to be larger to cover signs of the previous acrylic residue.
- The extra work and time required to remove acrylic caulking will make its replacement much more expensive than any other type of caulking.
- Acrylic types of sealants are also prone to stain and are next to impossible to clean.
- Doesn’t provide a professional finish look.
- Good bond
- Cures fast
- Does not do well with temperature swings.
- Its flexibility factor drops with the temperature.
- Complicated removal process compared to most caulking increasing labor time and cost.
- Shouldn’t be applied to glass.
- Since often painted it gives a very amateur finish.
- Limited color choice.
- Shorter lifespan than silicon products.
- Cannot be washed like silicon.
Best time of the year to caulk
Typically, the ideal season for applying caulking is spring through fall; however, caulking can be applied at a temperature between -10°C and 40°C as long as the surface caulked is dry. Heavy snow fall and rain under most circumstances will not allow the application of caulking to be done.
Our 10-year warranty
At Calfeutrage Apex, we stand by our work and offer our clients a 10-year warranty . The high-quality commercial grade silicon-based caulking we use has the best UV light resistance and a long life expectancy. According to Adfastcorp, Adseal series 4580 has a life expectancy of 30 years which is the best in the industry. The warranty is fully transferable when sold to the next owner for the full 10-year period.
Calfeutrage Apex has RBQ License: 5751-4887-01
Why Calfeutrage Apex cannot provide a quote over the phone
When creating a quote we must take into account the following criteria in order to provide you with a true and fair quote:
- The width of the joints
- The length of joints
- The type of previous caulking that has to be removed
- The height of the structure
- The access to certain parts of the structure
These criteria will have an effect on the size of project, the amount of product that is needed, the size of team needed and how long will it take to accomplish the job. In order to provide you with a fair and honest quote, Calfeutrage Apex sends a professional caulking technician who takes exact measurements and notes. The entire information is transferred into a clear and organized itemized quote that is emailed to the client within 24 hours. Calfeutrage Apex respects its clients. We believe that you must have clear and accurate information about the project and its price, without surprises, the final price of your quote is the final price!
Our forms of payment
Calfeutrage Apex accepts checks and cash.