Improperly sealed windows, doors, and other gaps in your residential, commercial, or industrial Montreal’s South Shore property can lead to all sorts of issues.
Water can infiltrate your building, causing harmful mould and mildew problems or damaged appliances and machinery. Air leaks can cause your energy bills to spike. Insects and other pests gain access, resulting in chewed wires, nests, and hard-to-manage insect infestations.
You need a professional caulking solution to combat these common property challenges. Though with all the types of caulk available on the market today, how do you know which one to use?
Below, we explain what caulk is and take you through the most common (and some lesser used) caulking solutions. So read on!
What Is Caulking?
Before you head out and choose caulk for your project, you must understand what this product is and does. If you’re caulking condo buildings or homes, the different solutions can be confusing.
Often, people conflate interior caulking and exterior caulking.
These two products serve a similar purpose. They seal a space to stop water and air leaks. However, they’re used in slightly different ways.
Interior Caulk is used when the materials around it are stable and unlikely to shift—the space between the toilet and the tiled bathroom floor, for instance. Exterior is more elastic, so it’s used in places with considerable movement—like window frames.
Types of Exterior Caulking and Its Applications
In this Exterior caulk buying guide, we aim to arm you with the knowledge you need to understand which types of caulk are the best for your specific needs. For example, latex caulk might be the best condo building solution for water infiltration, but it would be unhelpful in typical industrial settings.
Silicone is among the longest-lasting, and most durable of all caulks. It is resistant to UV radiation and extreme temperatures. And because it’s flexible, it’s perfect for areas that experience expansion and contractions.
For example, silicone is the caulk of choice for most professionals when it comes to weatherproofing buildings.
Most silicone caulking products cannot be painted over, which is why professional caulking companies offer more color variations. The curing time is shorter than other caulking products.
This type of caulk works best on nonporous surfaces like glass, metal, ceramic, stone, plastic, wallboard, fiberglass, and stucco. Many silicone products come in a wide range of colours, and they all lift easily with the application of mineral spirits.
Another commonly used type of caulk is latex or acrylic latex caulk. This product is inexpensive—especially compared to silicone caulk—and can be considered a sort of general-purpose option among caulk product offerings.
Some positives of this type of caulk are that it’s relatively benign when it comes to odour, fast-drying, and it can be easily painted over. It also works on both nonporous and porous materials. On the flip side, it doesn’t work as well as other caulk options in wet areas and is less flexible than silicone caulk.
This caulk is also called “painter’s caulk” because it’s often used to seal small holes, gaps, and joins in woodwork before painting. This water-based emulsion caulk is best used for air or cosmetic sealant purposes.
Latex caulking is not reliable over the long term. It usually begins to degrade after a year or two. Darker shades of latex caulk will melt in the sun and develop holes, bubbles and then permanently peel from the surface. As mentioned earlier, it is commonly used by builders and window installers, but to avoid water infiltration and heat loss, it should be replaced as soon as possible with a high quality silicone caulk.
Outside the industry standard silicon and latex caulk, there’s a wide array of caulking made for specialized uses.
These include (but are not limited to):
- Fire-retardant caulk
- Oil or resin-based caulk
- Adhesive caulk
- Mortar caulk
- Sanded and unsanded caulk
- Butyl rubber caulk
- Blacktop and asphalt caulk
- Refractory caulk
- Concrete caulk
- Masonry caulk
- Moulding and trim caulk
- Gutter and flashing caulk
- Acoustic caulk
Applications for these varied caulks range from soundproofing a building (acoustic caulk) and sealing cracks in concrete, stucco, and brick walls (mortar caulk) to filling fireplace surrounds (refractory caulk) and electrical wires (fire-retardant caulk).
In some cases, using these caulks—and ensuring you use the right caulk for the job—is a matter of safety. If you need a specialist caulk and you’re not sure which one is correct, work with a local professional caulking company.
Removing Old Caulking
In some cases, a building owner might be seeking caulking removal solutions.
They may be renovating a classic home with deteriorating caulk around windows and doors. Or replacing some fixtures and fitting in a bathroom or kitchen but leaving others in place. In many cases, Montreal’s South Shore warm summers and freezing winters take their toll on existing caulking, necessitating replacement.
Adding new caulk over old caulk is never a good idea. The new caulk won’t adhere to the old caulk properly, causing it to fall off sooner than it should. You need to get your hands on some solvent and specialist tools and apply some elbow grease.
If you’re not keen to take on the task yourself, contact your local caulking professionals.
Choosing the Right Caulking Solution Explained
Does water seep into your home on rainy days or in the spring? Are your windows old and particularly drafty, but you’re not ready to replace them just yet?
If you’re struggling to understand what caulking solution suits your building issue, fret not! When it comes to caulking on the South Shore of Montreal, there’s an option to fill even the most complicated gaps and cracks.
If the job is simple or you have some experience, you can head to the store, buy the caulk you need, and DIY it. However, it’s best to call the caulking professionals for more complicated jobs or people with little building experience.
Calfeutrage Apex is a family-owned business specializing in caulking of residential and commercial properties in Montreal’s shouth shore. Our company offers caulking services to seal your property professionally with the best products on the market at competitive prices.
Contact us for a free quote today. With our years of experience and competitive pricing, you won’t be disappointed.