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Caulk & Sealants


Paint cracking around caulk joints

The paint most prone to cracking over newly applied caulk is a cheap interior flat Latex. If you use this paint, there is no room for error, and the caulk must be allowed to fully dry (overnight) before painting. Premium paints do not have this same problem, and seem to have less cracking issues over newly applied dry caulk.

Why don't caulks "stick" sometimes?

Caulks don't stick to dust, chalk, dirt and other contaminants. Also remove any loose or damaged substrates. Washing an area and letting it dry before caulking can really improve adhesion.

At what temperatures should caulks be applied?

The best application temperature range for caulks is 60°F to 85°F.

Should I prime before applying sealant?

Priming is generally not necessary before sealing if surface is sound.

What does "elastomeric" mean?

The term elastomeric refers to the ability of a material to stretch and then return to its original shape, i.e., it has "memory." Elastomeric caulks are normally the better choice and an excellent choice with any kind of paint.

How wide/thick should I apply caulk?

A line of caulk (called a "bead") should be no thinner than ¼." Thinner beads shrink while drying, creating too thin a seal to tool or seal properly.

When should you use a Backer Rod?

When filling a crack, seam or joint that has a gap wider and deeper than ¼", a foam backer rod is first placed in the gap to partially fill it. Backer rods improve adhesion and flexibility of the seal by creating an hourglass-shaped seal with the caulk.

Which caulk is best for caulking around sinks and tubs?

Tub & Tile Caulk is recommended in areas where there is high humidity and intermittent water contact such as kitchens and bathrooms. Tub & Tile Caulk contains added mildewcide to give consumers extra mold & mildew fighting protection.

What is mildewcide?

Mildewcide is an additive in caulks and paints that deters the growth of fungus, mold and mildew on the dried caulk film.

How can I ensure that mildew will not grow on my caulk?

Mildew can grow anywhere there is darkness, dampness and a food source. Clean the area you are going to caulk with a bleach and water solution. 


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The information on this site is provided as a free service. It is based on common conditions and may not apply to your specific situation. Please contact a Gardner-Gibson representative with specific questions or comments.