Because of the low temperatures outside, the relative humidity inside of homes frequently experiences a significant drop during the winter months.
If your home is heated by a central heating system or a furnace, the air inside may even be drier. Reduced relative humidity leads to the growth of mould on wood and the contraction of floorboards.
This causes cracks that can be seen. There is a good chance that you will encounter this problem if you have recently installed new woodwork in your home and you live in an area where there is a significant temperature difference between the summer and the winter.
If you paint your house when the weather is warm, the wood in your home will expand. This is a result of the high temperature and humidity levels.
Because of the reductions in humidity and temperature that occur during the winter, the wood will become more constricted.
This causes the individual pieces of your trim to become slightly dislodged from their adjacent pieces, which in turn causes the paint, moulding, and caulking to crack.
Because of the freezing temperatures experienced during the winter, the moulding and caulking in your home may become brittle and crack, requiring you to hire a painter to make necessary repairs and incur additional costs. In addition to that, the cracks are unattractive.
You are in luck because there are a few things you can do to alleviate or reduce the severity of these problems. Hitch Property Constructions offers a wide range of caulking services in the Melbourne area.
Get a humidifier. During the winter, it is next to impossible to keep cracks from appearing in wood-framed homes. If you don't humidify your home, the wooden components of your home that expand during the warmer months of the year will experience the opposite effect when the temperature drops.
This is what causes the caulking and the moulding to crack. Installing a central humidifier in your house is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent the moulding and caulking in your house from cracking. You can incorporate it into your heating system right away.
Using the ductwork that is already in place, this solution treats the air supply of your home in order to help maintain a comfortable level of humidity.
Home Repair FAQs
In most cases, given standard flooring heights, you will install the cabinets before the floor covering. Floor covering, or finish flooring, is the surface that you see and walk on, not the subfloor (under the underlayment) or underlayment (between the subfloor and finished layer).
Baseboards are often installed before flooring, although it depends on the type of flooring being used. It is necessary for carpeting to have the trim in place, allowing the edges to be tucked under and out of sight. However, for hardwood or laminate, it is easier to install the trim after.
Installing flooring before your cabinets is the best choice for most hardwood floors. When professionals install floors then cabinets, it's easier to get everything to standard heights. It's also a safer installation process for your cabinets since you won't risk any damage to them as professionals install the floors.
Repainting the exterior of your residential rental property: By itself, the cost of painting the exterior of a building is generally a currently deductible repair expense because merely painting isn't an improvement under the capitalization rules.
Check walls, ceilings, and floors for damage, leaks, or other deterioration. Be sure to remove hazards and ensure proper operation of doors and locks. Restroom areas should be inspected for problems, and alarms should be tested.
All About Caulk and Caulking
What Is Caulk Used For?
Caulk can be used to glue things together, seal off gaps, and fill in gaps.
There are specialised varieties of caulk available for use in places such as bathrooms, kitchens, concrete, gutters, moulding, roofing, windows, plumbing, and a variety of other interior and exterior applications.
- Caulks made of silicone and polyurethane are frequently used because they do not deteriorate when they are exposed to water, they are flexible, and they are capable of producing an impenetrable seal. It is frequently put to use as a sealant around windows, bathtubs, and commodes, in addition to sinks and sink cabinets.
- Caulk made of acrylic material is typically applied to fill cracks in moulding found around rooms, doors, and windows. Because it dries rigid and is not pliable, it can be painted over without the risk of the new paint cracking the old.
- Caulks made of polysulfide are utilised when joints have to be able to withstand extended periods of immersion in liquids. Swimming pools, fountains, cooling towers, fuel and chemical storage tanks, wastewater treatment plants, and petrochemical plants are all examples of typical applications.
How Was Caulk Used and Made in the Past?
Caulking, also spelt calking, is a method that has been used throughout history and prehistory to seal the seams in wooden ships in order to prevent water leakage. Clinker, also known as lapstrake, was a technique utilised by the Vikings.
This technique consisted of overlapping boards being clinched together before being riveted together using brass or iron rivets.
Carvel construction is the method of choice for making ships watertight, and it is the one that is most pertinent to our conversation about caulking.
When building a Carvel, the process of caulking involved first cleaning the seam between the planks with a scraper and hook, and then using a caulking mallet and caulking irons to pound and compress the caulking into the seam.
In most cases, a material known as "oakum," which was tarred hemp cordage, was used as the caulking.
After being caulked, the seams would then have hot pitch applied over them. Paint would be used to fill in the caulked seams that are located below the waterline.
White lead was frequently used at elevations above the waterline. This practise was referred to as "paying the hull."
Caulking did not last forever, so hulls needed to have their caulking repaired or reapplied at regular intervals. Caulking could also be removed and replaced entirely.
None of these methods for building wooden ships were entirely successful at preventing the entry of water. Ships frequently took on water, particularly when being twisted or "worked" by severe weather conditions.
Pumps, or bailers in the case of the Vikings, were used to remove water from the hull that was not desired.
How Is Caulk Made?
There are four different types of base compounds that are used in the manufacture of caulks: acrylic latex, silicone, polyurethane, and rubber.
The base compound is what determines the specific characteristics of the product, such as the types of materials to which it will adhere, the ease with which joints can be smoothed, its durability, and its ability to be painted, among other things.
Caulk made of latex or acrylic is water-based and composed of synthetic polymers that mimic the properties of natural latex; however, neither caulk actually contains any latex.
They are a catch-all term, and within the larger category of synthetic paints that are water-based, there are a wide variety of subcategories to choose from.
Silicone rubber is an elastomer or rubber-like material, that is composed of silicone, which is itself a polymer that contains silicon along with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Silicone is the primary component of silicone rubber. Silicone rubbers are put to extensive use in industry, and a number of different formulations are available.
In order to produce polyurethanes, a polyol, which is defined as an alcohol-containing with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule, is reacted with either a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of appropriate catalysts and additives.
Polysulfides are a group of chemical compounds that are characterised by the presence of chains of atoms of the element sulphur.
Polysulfides are used as crosslinking agents in a wide variety of commercially available elastomers. It is not a good idea to use polysulfide on plastics because it will speed up the degradation of the plastic they are attached to.
Can You Make Your Own Caulk?
In a pinch, you can use a combination of baking soda and wood glue to get the job done. Combine two tablespoons of baking soda with enough glue to make a paste-like substance. Mix well.
In order to apply your homemade caulk in an orderly manner, you won't have access to a tube dispenser. The results that we've gotten from using things like cut straws, popsicle sticks, and a small spoon have been inconsistent.
When you need to close a gap, such as when you are painting moulding or performing other types of touch-ups, this caulk will function adequately to meet your needs.
This is not a good solution for the long term, and you will have to remove it at some point in the future if it shifts or cracks over time. These days, caulks are extremely accessible, affordable, and common. There is really no compelling reason to create your own. None at all.
What Is the Best Way to Caulk?
Caulk can be applied in a manner that is essentially the same regardless of the task that you are completing or the kind of caulk that you are utilising.
- Be sure that the area you are caulking is free of dust and oils before you begin. It should then be wiped down and checked to ensure that it is completely dry. Caulk will not adhere evenly to a damp area, and as a result, you will have to scrape off the caulk and start the process all over again. Spend some time getting your area prepared the right way!
- After removing the tab and bringing the hook forwards, you can insert the caulk tube into your gun. The tube ought to have a secure fit.
- Keep bringing the hook down until it reaches its lowest point. Don't squeeze yet!
- Get out your utility knife and carefully shave the nub open, being careful not to sever any of the threads. You're going to need those threads in order to attach the nozzle!
- Find the nozzle for your tube, and screw it on. Repeat the previous step with your utility knife to remove the tip. It is to your advantage to make your hole as small as possible so that your application can run more efficiently and save money.
- Position the end of your gun so that it is pointing in the direction of the corner of the space you wish to fill. Squeeze the trigger of the caulking gun in a controlled manner until a thin line of caulk comes out.
- Be careful not to overuse it! A very small quantity can accomplish a great deal. Move cautiously along your joint while maintaining light pressure on the trigger of your weapon until you reach the conclusion of your gap.
- To tidy up your bead, take your caulking tool and run it over the joint where it was applied. If there are any spaces, you should fill them in carefully and then run your caulking tool over the joint once more.
Make sure to set your caulking gun down on a paper towel or rag. Cap your nozzle when you are done so that the caulk doesn't harden and clog your tube.
How to Remove Caulk
The removal of old caulk can be a distressing experience; however, this does not have to be the case! You'll get there if you just take it slow, make sure you have the right tools, and keep your mind on the task at hand.
You can get help from Hitch Property Constructions in a wide range of service areas with their specialised selection of home renovations.
- Before beginning the mechanical removal process, start by removing the caulk with a good caulk remover. Apply, and then hold off as long as you possibly can. Although the instructions say to wait two to three hours, you should wait significantly longer if you are using an older caulk. If at all possible, stay there for the night.
- Investing in one of these instruments is something we strongly advise doing. Make cuts along the outer edge of the caulk, both at the top and the bottom, using the tool.
- Make use of the hook to grab the strip of caulk from underneath, and then pull it out. You might get lucky and find that everything is revealed in a single, satisfying strip. If the caulk is old, it is likely to crack and flake apart when it is removed. First, remove what you are able to, and then carefully use a scraper tool that has been thoroughly cleaned to remove the rest of the caulk.
- Mineral spirits should be used to remove any old caulk from the tile surface before re-caulking. When it comes to wood, the best way to clean it is with water. Apply some dryness using a fresh cloth.
Tips for Caulking on a Quality Home Painting Project
The level of adhesion between the two surfaces is critical to the success of caulking. In the event that there is insufficient adhesion, the caulk will separate from the surface, and in some cases, it will simply fall out.
Sometimes a lack of adhesion is caused by dust from sheetrock that has not been cleaned off the surface, or it can be caused by chalky paint that is made from low-quality paint. Adhesion is dependent upon the surface being clean.
Sometimes, caulk is unable to get into cracks because they are too small or too tightly spaced. In these cases, the caulk will only bridge over the surface of the crack.
Due to the fact that the caulk did not penetrate the crack, this causes the wood to split when subjected to even moderate shifts in temperature and humidity.
In order for the crack to be successfully filled, there needs to be a gap measuring between one-sixteenth and one-quarter of an inch. When caulking the interior trims of a building, the caulk is typically wiped with wet cloths to remove excess caulk and to give a clean appearance.
In the event that an excessive amount is removed during the wiping process, the end result will be a very thin bead that is prone to cracking and splitting.
In the process of caulking the interior trim to the wall and ceiling surfaces, such as crown mouldings, door and window frames, baseboards, etc., the caulk may fail if the trim pieces are not nailed tightly together. When you push on a piece of trim and it moves, it indicates that it needs to be nailed down more securely.
Changes in temperature and humidity, as well as vibrations, can all have an effect on caulk. The areas on the staircases of the house where the stringers meet the walls are the places that are especially prone to caulk splitting.
This is because people walking up and down the staircase cause vibrations that cause this effect. Stringers need to be nailed down securely before caulking can be done successfully. This is one of the keys to success.
It is recommended that exterior caulk be applied with a thicker layer than interior caulk so that it can withstand the more extreme weather changes.
When the caulk is applied with too narrow of a bead, it increases the likelihood that the caulk will crack or split in the future.
Problems You Can Solve with Caulk
Seal Drafts with Caulk
Sealing leaks around doors and windows is the best way to reduce draughts, cut home energy costs, enhance your house's energy efficiency, and decrease your carbon footprint.
All of these benefits can be achieved simultaneously. Caulk made of either acrylic latex or vinyl latex should be used for this task.
Acrylic latex is best suited for use in dry environments and has a lifespan of up to 15 years, whereas vinyl latex can be utilised in wet environments but only lasts for about five years. Acrylic latex has a longer lifespan.
Seal Concrete and Mortar with Caulk
Repairs to the concrete and mortar Caulk is an excellent tool for sealing cracks and gaps in concrete, brick, stucco, stone, and metal. It can be purchased on Amazon.
In a similar vein, it is ideal for repairing small cracks in foundations and basement walls, which are often the entry point for various unwanted critters such as insects, rodents, and other vermin.
Caulk has a textured finish, and once it has dried, it can be painted over. Its intended uses include repairs to concrete and mortar, as well as interior and exterior use.
No matter how meticulously you measure and cut, you will almost always end up with tiny gaps between, above, and below the mouldings and baseboards that you instal.
Acrylic latex caulk is an excellent choice for filling in those small spaces whenever there is a need to close the gap. The product dries in a short amount of time and can be painted anywhere from six to eight hours after it has been applied.
Acrylic latex is also available in a wide range of pigments, allowing you to precisely match the colour of the coating to the material to that it will be applied.
Tile has withstood the test of time in both the kitchen and the bathroom because it never goes out of style. However, over time, tiny spaces can open up between the tiles, and if the environment is damp, this creates an invitation for mould and mildew to gather behind the walls.
In these kinds of circumstances, you can choose to use any one of several different kinds of caulk.
The 100% silicone caulk and the siliconized acrylic caulk both form a strong seal that is impervious to water, making them ideal for use in damp environments.
Mould- and mildew-resistant silicone caulk is made for nonporous surfaces like ceramic, glass, and metal, whereas waterproof siliconized acrylic caulk works well on tubs, tile, glass, and ceramic tile surfaces.
Both types of caulk are available at most home improvement stores.
A painter's caulk, which is a compound made of acrylic and latex, is exactly what you need to use when you need to cover small holes and tiny cracks in preparation for painting.
Painter's caulk is adhesive to a variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and masonry. In addition, because it dries to a texture that can be painted on in about an hour, it is an excellent option for people who are in a hurry to complete their DIY projects.
Are you looking for the best company to maintain your home's paint in good condition? There's no need to look any further! When you hire Hitch Property Constructions, you have nothing to worry about.
Fireproof caulk is a specialised kind of caulk that can be used for more than just patching holes. It does help make your home safer because it stops fire from spreading through open spaces within a structure when it's inside of a building.
You can use fireproof caulk to seal holes, gaps, and cracks around holes in interior framing, especially around plumbing or electrical conduits. This caulk can also be used to seal holes in exterior framing.
Simple, old-fashioned caulk that can be used for a variety of purposes can be used to repair damage such as the loss of a section of moulding, the lifting of a corner of the carpet, or the dislodging of a tile.
Put a dab of adhesive on the back of the stray piece of material, and then press it back into position. Even if you don't have nails, you can instal wood panelling with caulk that works for all purposes.
Use Caulk for Wallpaper
Even the most experienced interior decorators can be stumped by wallpaper at times, but a little bit of good old-fashioned caulking can save the day in a pinch.
If you want to prevent the wallpaper from peeling off as it dries, run caulk along all of the paper seams that have been trimmed, paying special attention to the corners, and then smooth it out with a damp sponge or your finger to remove any surface imperfections.
When dealing with old wallpaper jobs that are beginning to peel away from the wall, simply lift up the loose section, apply adhesive caulk under the paper, and then smooth the paper back against the wall. This will fix the problem.
After the adhesive has had enough time to dry, run a new bead of caulk alongside the seam to prevent it from coming apart again.
Roof Repair with Caulk
You can even repair a roof if you have the right kind of caulk. Roof repair caulk can be used to seal small cracks or gaps along roof edges, between shingles, around skylights, or to flash.
Other common places where it can be applied include skylights and flash.
Caulk designed specifically for roof repairs is totally impervious to the elements, has a waterproof formulation, and can be applied to either wet or dry surfaces.
Use Caulk on Gutters
Gutter joints and downspout junctions are common places for cracks and gaps to appear as gutters age, particularly in older gutters.
To effectively waterproof and seal the joints in those damaged gutters, you can use butyl rubber caulk, which is a strong sealant.
A small amount dabbed into the cracks will stop rainwater from leaking through your gutters and ensure that it continues to flow away from your house.