Caulk is commonly used as a sealer to prevent
air and water leaks around windows, molding,
cabinets, bathtubs, and sinks. The primary
features of caulk are its ability to stick
to the surfaces you are using it on (adhesion)
and to stay flexible so that it maintains
a seal (elasticity). Caulk commonly comes
in cartridges designed for caulk guns, but
may also come in squeeze tubes much like
toothpaste, and pressured cans like whipping
There are half a dozen or more
types of caulk,
but the most common are:
- Acrylic or latex caulk is basic caulk good
for sealing intended to last up to a decade.
Latex caulk is the least expensive generally
available caulk, easy to apply, and cleans
up with water.
- Blends of latex and silicone improve on basic
caulk with added durability.
depend on the blend and the
- Silicone caulk is the longest lasting, perhaps
several decades, and it is
good at maintaining a seal
because it sheds
water. Unfortunately, silicone
so good at shedding that they
impossible to paint. Silicone
set, so it may be the better
part of a day
before it looses its stickiness.
You may also find butyl rubber or oil based
chalks when shopping for caulk. While there
may be particular advantages to each, particularly
price, these caulks have very limited lives
of only a few years and can be messy to use
and clean up.