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Caulk or sealant is the material used to seal joints or seams against leakage in various structures and piping. The main role of a sealant is to prevent the passage of air and water into openings or joints to accommodate differential movement. They function as an integral component in protecting buildings. You can make your home more energy-efficient by keeping air leakage to a minimum as possible. This is where caulking comes to the picture. Caulking is a barrier to prevent the passage of air, water, moisture, smoke, and dust. The main difference between caulk and sealant is the grade of material. The type of sealant used on a home project is determined by many factors including environmental conditions.
Types of Caulking
Modern caulking is most commonly made of Silicone or Acrylic. You can also find caulking materials which are Polyurethaneor Polysulfide. Each of these caulking materials are used for very different purposes as they have very different properties.
Silicon and Polyurethane
Silicon and Polyurethane caulking are commonly used to seal in a wet environment as they don’t degrade when exposed to water, are flexible, and can create a perfect seal. You’ll find it commonly used around bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and to seal around windows. However, you cannot paint over silicon based sealants.
Acrylic caulking is commonly used to fill gaps in moulding around rooms, doors, and windows. It dries hard and isn’t flexible, and can be painted over without worrying about it cracking.
Polysulfide caulking is designed for joints that need to withstand prolonged immersion in liquids. Typical applications include swimming pools, fountains, cooling towers, fuel and chemical storage tanks, wastewater treatment and petrochemical plants.
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Benefits of Caulking
- Watertight seal.
- Lower energy costs.
- Protection from outside elements.
- Cleaner home.
- Protection from water damage.
- Protection from Mildew.
- Improves value of property.
- Provides a seal against small insects.