Essential Guide To Applying Sealants For Cold Weather Caulking
During the winter season, the previously unnoticeable gaps that are present in your windows and doors will start to become noticeable as your interior environment will begin to feel colder than in previous years. Caulking is one of the many solutions you can employ to cover the drafts that may be causing the warmth of your home to seep out. However, caulking in the cold weather can be challenging because of the extra measures you will have to take to ensure your sealant is usable and mixable even in low temperatures. In this guide, we share some tips on cold weather caulking.
Dry Up Your Caulking Surfaces
Caulking during the winter season will require you to take extra measures to ensure that the application is smooth, making the process more challenging than it already is. Before applying any form of sealant, you should always ensure that the substrate you are using is free of contaminants such as dirt, dust, debris, and clean and dry. That included, you should also make sure it is free of frost as this could prevent the adhesion of the sealant to the substrate. If you encounter this problem, use a hairdryer to warm the surface and use acetone to clean the surface to provide a tighter and more secured bond.
Keep Your Sealant Warm
The last place a sealant should be is at the back of your car, covered under the snow in your driveway. The low temperatures during the cold weather can cause the consistency of the sealant to be too viscous to be used effectively and will cause it to be unable to flow out smoothly from the tube, which can be challenging to seal up joints, cracks, and openings. Therefore, you should always keep your sealant indoors and keep them at room temperatures to achieve the best results. If you are in a crunch for time, you can soften the consistency of the sealant by placing it in water for at least five minutes for a smoother dispensing.
Wait till Midday
Many professionals will advise waiting till the late afternoon to start work as the sun still provides warmth, without causing too many temperature changes in the surface. In addition, substrates such as metals are prone to contracting and expanding with the variation of temperature, which could cause some issues in the caulk adhering to their surfaces. Therefore, working with caulk in the midday will be less challenging due to the warmer weather and more consistency in the substrate’s physical properties.
Pick a Sealant Suited for Cold Weather
One of the most important steps in selecting a caulk is ensuring your sealant is designed and optimized for cold weather applications. Ideally, the caulk should allow flexible joint movement during lower temperatures and should not crack or split when it is moved. You can look for this indicator by reading the plus and minus numbers labeled on the tube – with those that are 25% higher being ideal for colder weather. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid latex as they are water-based caulks that are most optimally used between 40°F to 80°F, which is way above the temperature levels of the environment. Therefore, you should always invest in a suitable sealant like the Artic 2CNS, which is created specifically for withstanding cold weather to achieve the best results.