How To Properly Caulk Large Exterior Gaps

Caulking has become one of the most important home improvement projects because it will keep your property free of moisture, drafts and pests. However, correctly applying caulk to the exterior requires skill, and below are five tips that will help you caulk large exterior gaps.

Cleanup Your Gap before Starting

Before applying caulk to large gaps you must clean them. If you decide to use water for this purpose, make sure that the gap is totally dry prior to application. The reason cleanliness is vital is that debris or dust which is left inside a gap when applying caulk might interfere with its material bonding, which can lead to a seal that is incomplete.

Clean the Nozzle Regularly

Cleaning your caulk nozzle is just as important as cleaning the gap. This is because if you leave behind dried detritus, it might interfere with the smoother caulk line which will erode the effectiveness of your work. Once you’re done caulking you’ll want to clean its nozzle using a dampened cloth. Avoid using a cloth that is too wet otherwise it might disrupt the nozzle’s caulk applicator.

Build Up Quality Layers

Big exterior gaps might intimidate when it comes to filling, especially for amateurs, so the best approach is to take things steady and slow. When you fill sizeable gaps remember to operate in singular layers that are high in quality and do them one after another. Avoid filling gaps from the bottom to the top at one time within vertical orientation. Instead, lay down an excellent caulk line, then do another directly above it, then another until your gap becomes 1 layer shallower. You’ll want to continue the process until you’ve filled the entire gap.

Cut Your Nozzle Correctly

Using the right-sized nozzle for your caulking project is crucial. A common mistake made by novices is to cut off the caulk tube’s tip within the straight line; professionals know to use angled cuts since they are far more effective. This is because the application will be smoother when the nozzle is cut diagonally since this is the direction your tube will lean in when the caulk is applied.

Smooth, Then Dry Within Stages

When layering the caulk within gaps, make sure you give it enough time for drying between layers. The reason is that caulk tends to shrink when drying, so when you give it enough time to do so fully prior to adding another layer, the fill-in will be far more effective and thorough, as you can compensate for areas that were affected by shrinking. Use either your finger or a damp cloth to smooth your caulk at completion for every application.

Finally, make sure you’re using the correct materials and everything you need is at hand. The majority of caulk is sold in either 310ml or 290ml tubes, and if using the caulk gun you’ll want to find out what size it works with. The type of caulk is also important and should depend on the project. If you need waterproof caulk, be sure to purchase a product that contains silicone.