The Ultimate Exterior Caulk Breakdown

Let’s put those exterior caulk skills to the test! Have you noticed gaps and cracks on your home’s exterior? If so, it’s probably time get some caulk and seal those up.

But before you head down to your local home improvement store and pick up a tube of the first sealant you happen to find, you should first figure out which is the best exterior caulk for your situation.

Caulk is a versatile substance which is able to fill in gaps inside and outside your home. Outside, it is great at stopping air and moisture which could enter your home through. Did you know that caulking could help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your home?

But the caulking that you choose will depend on several things. This includes the material you will be applying it to, where you will be caulking on your home’s exterior, and the climate which you live in.

When buying caulk, it is often a case of “you get what you pay for,” for better or worse. But when it comes to protecting your home from mold and other harmful substances, it is worth the extra few dollars.

Plus, making sure your home is properly sealed will save you money on your energy bill!

Caulking products come in a variety of types and are ideal for different settings. Read on, and we’ll walk you through these caulks so you know which one to use for your home. 

Exterior Latex Caulk

A water-based caulk, latex caulks are becoming increasingly popular with painting contractors. This is because they are easy to apply plus it’s easy for the exterior painting contractor to paint over them to match the rest of home’s exterior.

It is also a very durable material and can last up to 30 years! This caulk is particularly effective for filling in wood siding as well as small gaps you find in your window and door frames.

Be cautious if you live in a cold environment. This type of caulk does not stick well in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is water-based, dry weather conditions are ideal.

Exterior Acrylic Latex Caulk

Acrylic caulk is another versatile, water-based, exterior caulk. It is easy to apply and also clean up. It can be used on the majority of exterior cracks and gaps that are narrower than .25 in.

Acrylic latex caulk is similar in durability to latex and can last between 15 and 25 years. Aside from being easy to paint over, the material also comes in a variety of colors which allows it to fit in with a variety of surfaces.

Similar to its latex brother, acrylic caulk works best when then the outside temperature is above 40 degrees.

Exterior Silicone Caulk

Silicone caulk is very flexible and is great at adhering to tile, glass, metal, and other smooth materials. Typically, you will find silicone caulk applied to roofs. The product can also be applied to Masonite and vinyl siding, making it a versatile caulk for outdoor use.

Because it is not water-based, it is extremely effective at preventing mildew and mold. The outdoor caulk, however, cannot be painted over so we would not advise using it in places where you intend to paint, such as window casements. However, if you do enough research you can find a few silicone caulks that are paint-able.

This caulk is not the easiest material to apply but it is the best exterior caulk in terms of durability. Silicone caulk is known to last up to 50 years!

This kind of caulk cannot be cleaned up with water either. It is typically removed with solvents. Another bonus though is that silicone caulk can be applied in pretty much any temperature and it is non-toxic!

Exterior Polyurethane Caulk

Polyurethane is a great all-purpose product for outside caulking. Feel free to apply it anywhere on the outside of your home as you can paint over it. You can also apply it to any material.

Though this caulk doesn’t last as long as silicone, it is great at filling large openings and gaps. It is important to note that polyurethane expands after application and is often used for insulation.

Exterior Butyl Rubber Exterior Caulk

Butyl rubber caulks are a popular pick due to its flexibility. Because of this, they are great at sealing exterior joints which experience a lot of movement. Butyl rubber is very effective at sealing water in and out.

Butyl rubber can also be applied to masonry as well as metal and gutters. It is one of the most powerful waterproofing caulks. It can also be used on chimneys.

Butyl rubber is known to shrink more than other sealants so it is recommended to use two applications. You also shouldn’t apply it to voids which are larger than 0.25 in.

The caulk is not as durable as other caulks unfortunately and usually lasts between 4 and 12 years.

Exterior Modified Silicone Polymers

This type of caulk combines the best elements of water-based caulks like acrylic as well as silicone, and polyurethane. It can be painted over if you use latex/ acrylic paint.

This is one of the best exterior caulks for wood siding, aluminum, vinyl, and fiber cement. It is also great at sealing gaps around doors, vents, and windows.

This caulk is also known for its flexibility. Unlike some other caulks, you can apply modified silicone polymers in wet and cold climates.

Exterior Caulking Done Right

When choosing the best exterior caulk for your home, no matter which kind it is, make sure that it is a quality product. You want your home properly sealed so that you can live comfortably and without worry.

Looking to spruce up your home’s exterior with a fresh paint job? Contact us for a free quote today!