Caulks and sealants play an important role in home improvement. Their purpose is to form a bond between different building materials. Air drafts, water and even pests can enter your home through very small spaces.
People often use the words “caulk” or “sealant” interchangeably because they function in similar ways. For example, silicone caulk for windows is usually a “sealant” instead of a true “caulk.” The biggest difference between caulk and sealant is pliability, or elasticity. The texture of caulk is more rigid than sealants when it is dry. Sealants work better in spaces that expand or contract.
When choosing caulks and sealants for your projects, you should consider how much pressure there may be on the sealed areas. Clear silicone works well for interior or exterior windows and doors. When an “invisible” or seamless blend to any surface is necessary for your project, choose a clear caulk or sealant. Caulk is typically made from a flexible polymer such as latex or rubber. Waterproof caulk is made from these materials because they block out water and can expand with temperature changes. Caulk usually doesn’t crack and can connect materials on two different planes, like tiles or surfaces on a right angle. The right caulk or sealant can make the difference between a job well done or costly repairs and upgrades.