Caulking – An Important Part of Home Maintenance

Real Estate Agent

Caulk is a substance that has many important uses. It is widely used in construction to seal openings where air and water might enter wall cavities, helping to prevent water damage, increase energy efficiency, and prevent insects from crawling through cracks into your Lennar home. Caulk is also used around faucets, pipes, drains, bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures. It provides a moisture barrier, keeping water away from areas that could be damaged if exposed to water. Caulk can be used to close small cracks and gaps that may result from the movement of materials due to changes in temperature. Finally, caulk is often used to provide a neat finish in corners and at the joints of unlike materials.

A flexible caulking compound has been applied to several areas around your home, both inside and outside. Over time, it will deteriorate and need to be repaired or replaced. This is one of the most common - and simplest - homeowner maintenance items. Caulk is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply.

You should check for caulk deterioration on a regular basis around plumbing fixtures, window frames, door frames, floors, and countertop backsplashes. Don't forget to inspect for caulking deterioration on your home's exterior, particularly between the foundation and the siding, at the corners and angles between siding materials, and around any objects protruding from exterior surfaces - such as vents, pipes, chimneys, and faucets. Finally, make a point to inspect for caulk deterioration anywhere water is present, such as bathrooms and kitchens; paying special attention to areas such as where tile meets showers and sinks. These areas need to be re-caulked as soon as you notice any deterioration or separation to prevent water damage from occurring.

It is easy to protect these areas by using caulk, and you should plan to do so as part of your summer home maintenance plan since caulking responds better if applied under warm conditions. You can view the video on the top right corner of this page for more information.

First, remove the old caulking completely using a putty knife or a scraper, and make sure the area is dry. Then, re-apply new caulk following the line where the two surfaces meet. Hold the caulking gun at a consistent forty-five degree angle to send the caulk deep into the surface you intend to seal. Caulk in one straight continuous stream, avoiding stops and starts along the way. Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of the crack or seam. If caulk oozes out of the crack, use a putty knife to push it back in. Make sure to send the caulk to the bottom of the opening to avoid bubbles, and don't skimp, you want it to form a smooth bead that will seal the crack completely. After you've applied the caulk, moisten the tip of your finger and run it along the seam to compress it and wipe off any excess caulk. Let it dry. Doing this as soon as you notice a problem area may save you a lot of time and money down the road.

There are many types of caulks and sealers available. Each type is formulated for a particular application. When shopping for caulk, always refer to the product packaging and if in doubt, ask a Lennar Customer Care Representative or check with the store clerk for help in determining the best type of caulk for your task at hand.


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James K Barath, CMPS
Canopy Mortgage, LLC - Crown Point, IN
FICO Pro, Certified Military Housing Specialist

Since you mentioned that caulking is ideally done during warm weather, you missed the season in Northwest Indiana by several months. Good information. You might reconsider posting late next spring.

Oct 20, 2009 02:15 PM #1
Bob Hernandez

You might want to inform your contractors in the Austin/Buda area about the proper caulk repair technique.  First round, they merely applied a skim coat.  Now they're wanting to do the same thing on areas that need to be fixed again.



Oct 21, 2009 05:53 AM #2
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