Prevent water damage and protect against drafts and pests with caulk and sealants
Caulk can be used anywhere to seal gaps or form a bond between two or more different types of building materials. It can save money on energy bills by preventing drafts, and also prevents pests from entering your home.
This guide will help you determine what type of caulk or sealant to use for various projects in your home.
Tip: Using a caulk gun helps ensure even application of caulk and helps prevent dripping and arm fatigue during big projects.
Caulking Inside & Outside Your Home
Drafts, bugs and runoff water can enter your home in gaps as small as 1/64 inch, about the size of a straight pin. Use silicone caulk to keep pooled water away from joints and cracks in your kitchen and bathroom, and seal around the exterior of your home’s foundation to keep out the elements.
Tip: If mold or mildew is a problem in your bathroom, use a caulk with mildicide to prevent future mildew growth.
Use silicone caulk:
Around sinks, tubs and showers. The silicone acts as a water and moisture repellant.
When installing bath fixtures to seal gaps between shower tiles, between sinks and counters, and around the base of the toilet.
Outdoors in areas exposed to direct sunlight or rain as the silicone helps the caulk last longer.
If you have an older home, sealing around the foundation to prevent air from entering where siding overlaps the foundation. You should also fill and seal all exterior areas where different materials meet, such as around windows and doors.
Normally used around the full perimeter of windows to help seal the window to the header, sill, jack stud and jamb.
Paintable silicone caulk can be used around the outside of window units to properly seal the window and the siding edge, or around the entire door unit.
Latex caulk or expandable foam:
- Use to fill in gaps between crown moulding and baseboards.
- Use to seal a door frame in place and seal the subfloor at the bottom of a door frame.
- For the inside of both doors and windows, use latex painter’s caulk.
Repeated exposure to water can speed up the breakdown of latex caulk over time, rendering it weak, brittle and ineffective.
This is a specialty caulk for outdoor use only.
- Is primarily used on gutters, siding and concrete.
Use caution as cleanup can be difficult if you get it on clothing, gloves, shoes or skin.