The Best Exterior Caulk Revealed
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 to 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 that 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. Did you know that caulking could help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your home?
Here we have compiled a shortlist of the best exterior caulking options.
The Importance of Choosing Proper Exterior Caulk
The caulking that you choose will depend on several things. This includes the substrate that you are applying it to, where you will be caulking on your home’s exterior, and the climate in which you live.
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 Painters Caulk
Water-based latex caulking is prominent among painting contractors. The main reasons are that it’s easier to manage and clean up. Latex caulking enables the most straightforward applications for exterior painters, allowing painters to easily paint over it, making every crack and seal appear even more uniform.
It is also a very durable material. Expect premium versions to last between 4 – 8 years! Latex caulking is particularly effective for filling in expansion joints outside wood siding as well as small gaps in window and door frames.
It’s important to understand there is no actual rubber in the caulking. Rather, acrylic polymers are the main ingredients. It can be confusing, but latex merely alludes to the caulking being pliable – misleading, we know! Premium versions of this caulking will contain fewer clay fillers and more of the good stuff!
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 also ideal.
Premium 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 most exterior cracks and gaps narrower than 1/4 inch.
Acrylic latex caulk offers similar durability to latex. But this caulking is more resistant and is fortified with more and better quality acrylic polymers that can last between 10 to 25 years. Aside from being easy to paint over, this caulking also comes in various colors, enabling it to match a variety of interior and exterior surfaces.
Like its latex brother, acrylic caulk works best when 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 paintable.
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!
Solvent-based caulk cannot be cleaned up with water. It is typically removed with solvents such as mineral spirits. Another bonus is that silicone caulk can be applied at pretty much any temperature, and there are non-toxic options!
Exterior Urethanized Caulking
Urethane is a great all-purpose material used in paint and premium outside caulk. This caulking is among the most versatile and long-lasting. Because urethane-based caulkings increased adhesion properties, it sticks to virtually any surface and doesn’t require painting – although you can paint it if desired.
Though this caulk typically doesn’t last as long as some premium exterior silicone options, it is exceptional at filling large openings and gaps. Urethane caulking expands after application and works wonderfully to help insulate.
If you want a durable caulk that mitigates toxins and is somewhat easy to work with, urethane-based caulking is the sweet spot of premium exterior cauk offerings. Premium versions last as long as 25 years.
Exterior Butyl Rubber Exterior Caulk
Butyl rubber caulk is a popular pick due to its flexibility. Because of this, they are great at sealing exterior joints that experience vast movement. Butyl rubber is also very effective at sealing water in or out.
Butyl rubber can be applied to masonry, metal, and gutters. It is one of the most resilient waterproofing caulks optimal for chimney flashing and roofing applications.
Butyl rubber is known to shrink more than other sealants; therefore, two applications are recommended. You shouldn’t apply it to voids larger than 0.25 in.
Similar to rubber, this caulking is exceptionally flexible. However, it is prone to become brittle and lose its elasticity resulting in oxidation and hairline cracks. In areas of extreme weather exposure, expect this caulk to last between 8 to 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 urethane. It can be painted over if you use latex/ acrylic paint.
This is one of the best exterior caulk 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.
Polyurethane Exterior Caulking
Polyurethane is the most versatile and durable caulking to date. This form of caulking is formulated for heavy commercial usage and can stick to virtually any surface.
Polyurethane caulking has a high odor, and while some labels may recommend interior usage, as home improvement specialists, we would have to disagree.
Make no mistake, this is premium caulk, and some may argue it’s one of the best, but it has its place.
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!