Caulk may lose its initial adhesion and flexibility, which will cause it to crack or pull away from surfaces.
Caulk problems are commonly due to one of two errors: the substrate was not effectively prepared or the wrong paint was selected. Consider how and where the caulk is being used before choosing a product.
What Causes Caulk Failure?
- Using a low-quality or the wrong type of caulk for a particular application. An example of this would be using latex or vinyl caulk in areas where there is prolonged contact with water or considerable movement of the caulked surfaces
- Not properly preparing or priming the surface prior to caulking
- Applying too thin a bead of caulk
How to Prevent Caulk Failure
- Caulks and sealants have different properties. Select the proper product for the job and follow manufacturer's instructions
- Use a top-quality water-based, all-acrylic, or siliconized acrylic caulk if you do not anticipate prolonged contact with water. These caulks are flexible enough to adapt to minor fluctuations in the substrate. They also adhere to a wide range of interior building materials, including wood, ceramic tile, concrete, glass, plaster, bare aluminum, brick, and plastic— even in areas where moisture is present
- Proper surface preparation. Caulk requires a clean surface to perform effectively; remove all surface contamination, old, cracked or brittle caulk, loose or peeling paint
- In most cases, the surface should be primed to give the caulk a good bond and to prevent the substrate from absorbing the liquid out of the caulk, which may cause improper drying and poor performance
Note: Silicone caulk should not be painted.
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