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Caulk Basics for Beginners

Caulk is a low-cost, effective way to help weatherize your home. Caulking and other sealing products will block drafts and seal air leaks that can make your air conditioner or furnace run longer and/or harder, resulting in larger bills. Here are some caulk basics for beginners. 

Types of Caulk

There are different types of caulk made for different purposes. Make sure you match the product to its intended use. This information is almost always included in the fine print on the packaging or caulk tube but here’s a quick summary:

  • Some types of caulk such as silicone create a waterproof seal around bathtubs and faucets, sinks and plumbing fixtures.
  • Latex is easy to work with, especially for beginners. It’s water-based so it is easy to apply and clean up. Use latex to seal around window frames, cracks in sashes and around door frames. Also around tub and shower stalls, cracks in plaster and nail holes.
  • Polyurethane foam is good for larger cracks and gaps that are too large for silicone or latex due to its ability to expand. This also can block airflow in and out of your home.
  • Butyl rubber is good for use on glass, plastic, concrete and metal. It’s sturdy and durable, and creates a good seal without drying out.
  • Oil-based is the caulk most people are familiar with. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly.

For more than 40 years, Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions has been serving the people of Orlando and Central Florida. Our expert technicians can advise you on specific issues such as caulk basics, or larger ones such as whether your furnace or air conditioner needs repairs or replacement. Contact us today for a free, no-cost home evaluation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about caulking and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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