As soon as we take on the responsibilities of a owning home, we quickly learn the value of properly caulking our doors and windows. But have you ever stopped to think about how caulk was invented? What were its first uses? What materials were originally used for sealing?
Well, your Montreal South Shore caulking experts have looked into the matter and share their findings with you here.
What is caulk and what is the meaning of the words caulk, caulking, caulker, and sealant?
The definition of caulking is simple: Action of filling, sealing, closing gaps. Caulking is the act of sealing cracks or joints with a bead (to prevent air, water, and cold from entering).
The National Center Of Textuelles And Lexical Ressources is more precise: It defines the verb caulking as follows: to proceed to the hermetic closure of openings causing heat loss. Finally, the Wiktionary website is the most concrete in its definition of the verb: To close the gaps in a door, window, with paper, glued parchment or selvages, etc., to prevent the wind from entering a room.
What is the meaning of the word caulk?
The word “caulk” is often used to describe a sealing material or product. The verb: to caulk, is used to describe the action of sealing two joints.
DID YOU KNOW? CAULKING IN FRENCH IS: CALFEUTRAGE.
If you are living in Quebec you may have heard the word: Calfeutrage. Calfeutrage in English is caulking.
The early days of caulking were on the water.
If you notice, all the recent definitions of caulk talk about protecting against air infiltration and heat loss. Yet the original uses of caulking were to seal the seams of boats, to waterproof them, not to prevent air and heat exchange.
The first evidence of caulking can be found in medieval times. European explorers used natural asphalt found in Trinidad to repair and seal their ships. Aboriginal peoples were already using a similar bitumen, sometimes even amber, as a sealant to seal different surfaces.
This ancient form of caulking was used to seal the seams of boats against water and steam. The craftsmen who made the boats filled the seams of the boat with various fibers. The flax or hemp fiber was then soaked in pine tar before being inserted by a mallet into all the seams of the boat.
Various materials were used for sealing.
Medieval Europeans did try to seal their buildings with a variety of materials, some clever, like tree resin and mud, others rather smelly, like blood and beaten eggs!
The advances discovered overseas were promising, but tar was an impossible material to find in large quantities in Europe. So 16th century Europeans developed a product with similar characteristics: sealing wax. They used this wax to seal preserves and important letters. As plumbing developed, sealing wax was used in similar applications as today, to seal plumbing joints, and to make small repairs to homes.
The wax had the disadvantage of changing consistency with temperature variations. If it was cold, it was solid. As soon as the temperature rose, it softened to the point of melting.
In the late 19th century, a sealant similar to today’s sealants was gradually developed and improved over the years. As its use in homes became more widespread, the malleability of the product was greatly improved.
The rapid development of modern caulking
Polymer-based sealants were developed in the 1920s for the construction industry. Polymers such as acrylic and butyl polymer were discovered for their waterproofing properties and formed the basis of the sealant industry as we know it.
Between 1950 and 1970, the self-build industry took off, along with the marketing of individual portions of sealant. The product was modified to improve its malleability and required drying time. This change came through the use of acrylic and latex-based sealing products.
It was in 1980 that silicone was introduced and overtook all other types of sealing products to become the most recommended product for sealing doors and windows in our homes.
Want to seal your home with the best products? Contact the experts at Calfeuutrage Apex on the south shore of Montreal.
The South Shore Calfeutrage Apex caulking experts favor the application of silicone to seal your windows. Read on to learn more about how to apply silicone caulk. But before you consider doing the work by yourself on your Montreal South Shore home, check out our expertise and give us a call so we can evaluate the work that needs to be done on your property.
Calfeutrage Apex specializes in sealing residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
- Flawless caulking joints.
- Reliable service.
- Sealing buildings against water and air infiltration.
- Residential, commercial, industrial, and condo.
- Competitive prices.