How to Prevent Caulk From Cracking

How to Prevent Caulk From Cracking: 15 Ways to Protect It

Caulk is a great way to seal your home’s exterior and protect it from water damage, but it can crack over time.

The cracks in caulking are unsightly and allow for moisture to seep into the wall, which can lead to mold growth.

To prevent this problem from happening you should make sure that you use the proper caulking for the right situation.

This article explains how to prevent caulk from cracking so that it continues to protect your home from any damage.

Factors Leading to Caulk Cracking

What causes caulk cracks? There are many reasons that caulk cracks over time, and it’s important to identify the cause of cracked caulk so you can prevent this from happening in the future. Some of the most common causes include:

Climatic Conditions

if you live in an area where there is rapid temperature change or lots of wind you will want to choose a type of caulk that resists changes in humidity and other climatic conditions.

Insect Damage

insects love to eat caulking, especially when they find a way inside through small cracks or holes. Choosing a pest-resistant grade of caulking will help keep bugs from entering your home through any small gaps you have around windows, doors, siding, and other openings.

Damage from Opening and Closing

If you have a door that is constantly being opened and closed, the movement can actually crack your caulk. When choosing to caulk, look for one that minimizes the amount of stress it will be under by sealing off leaks as tightly as possible.

Caulk That Leaks Water

if your home has any cracks or gaps in its exterior that allow water into the brick or siding then there is a chance that mold will grow.

This mold growth can lead to more moisture entering the wall which may cause more cracking around the caulking.

Choosing high-quality caulk for this situation is important because it resists mold growth, provides a moisture barrier, and is non-shrinking.

A guide on How to Prevent Caulk from Cracking

How to stop caulk cracking

Caulking Your Home Exterior There are a few easy steps you can take to make sure your caulking lasts as long as possible.

1. Choosing the Right Caulk

Look for caulk that is made to last a long time. Most caulk will say how long it can be expected to last on the packaging and you can feel the texture of the caulk to check how thick it is. A thick caulk with a rough texture will last longer.

2. Using the Right Caulking Gun

Caulking guns are designed with a comfortable handhold and you’ll want to check different models until you find one where your trigger finger comes in contact with the grip instead of the trigger itself.

This will ensure that there is no accidentally slipping or double shots caused by your caulk gun which can be wasteful as well as damaging to your caulk’s ability to seal properly.

3. Preparation of the Surface

Make sure the area to be caulked has been cleaned and completely dried.  Make sure you tape off any areas that shouldn’t get caulking such as windows or your doors.  You’ll also want to mask any areas that are not being caulked but are nearby the area you’re working on.

4. Application

You should always apply the caulk in a continuous bead and smooth it out with a finger dipped in water.  This will remove air bubbles, too!  Too thick of a bead can lead to cracks later on so practice makes perfect!

5. Movement of the Surface

Check if it is a wet surface or if there is movement or not. If it is moving, then don’t apply the caulk. It will crack soon. So before applying the caulk, go for a test. Try to pull or push that surface. If it is moving, then don’t apply there. If it is not moving, then apply the caulk.

6. Use the Right Backing

While most caulks don’t require a specific backing, it’s important to remember that you should never caulk over an already painted surface.  You’ll also want to make sure you’re using a backer rod before caulking. This is a stiff piece of foam that will help your caulk adhere to the surface properly.

7. Curing Time After Caulking

After you’ve finished caulking, leave your caulk alone for at least 12 hours to dry completely.  If you touch it too soon, the caulk will smudge and be very hard to remove later on.  This is especially important if you’re using a particularly thick bead!

8. Keep It Dry

The most important step in making sure your caulk lasts a long time is to keep it dry. Water causes the most damage to caulking so be sure to seal off the caulk from rain, snow, and ice.

9. Keeping Proper Gap Sizes

If you are not keeping proper gap sizes, then it can cause wrinkles or breakage of the caulking bead. For this, take a measuring tape and mark the gap between two objects. After marking, you can check how much gap has been marked.

How do you caulk small gaps

10. Never Apply New caulk Over Old

Caulking should not be done over old caulk. New caulking should only caulk the gaps where the old has been pulled away. Caulking over the old one will not give you any benefits.

Only apply new caulking after removing the existing caulk completely. If old caulk remains on your surface, then it can create a bond between both the surfaces which may lead to the breaking of the fresh caulk bead. You have to remove it by scraping or sanding.

11. Don’t Use Grout and Caulk Together

If you are trying to do grout and caulk together, then it will not benefit you. Caulk is only effective if it is applied with proper gaps between two objects. If any grout falls in the gaps, then the functionality of caulking will reduce. So don’t use both together!

12. Maintain Quality Painting

To prevent the caulking from cracking, you should maintain quality painting. Otherwise, your caulk will crack easily whether you are doing an interior painting or exterior painting. 

If you are using latex caulk or acrylic latex caulk, then it is better to use acrylic paint. Acrylic has the tendency not to crack with the movement of surfaces while latex may crack. Whatever you choose, make sure it is paintable caulk.

13. Chemical Reaction Can Make Caulk Fail

Chemicals present in the household products such as detergents can react with the caulk and may cause deterioration.

If you are using Detergent then it is better not to use them for a period of 3-4 days before caulking or after caulking.

To prevent yourself from getting into trouble by maintaining this gap between two jobs.

14. Using a Humidifier

The use of a humidifier can prevent your caulk from cracking.

Humidity in the air is one of the most important influences on caulking. If required, you should use a humidifier at home to increase the moisture in the surrounding atmosphere.

15. Maintenance

Once your caulk has dried, give it a quick once over with some sandpaper to smooth any rough edges or ridges that may form due to shrinkage during the drying process.

You can then reapply another thin layer of caulk to help lock out air and moisture as well as prevent dust from getting into those seams as well as improve its appearance making everything look seamless!  

FAQ

Why does silicone caulk crack?

Silicone caulk can crack because of the way that it expands and contracts with changes in temperature. When silicone sealant is cold, it shrinks. When silicone warms up, it expands. This can cause stress fractures in the silicone paste and eventually, cracks will form. 

Does acrylic Caulk crack?

Acrylic Caulk doesn’t crack in the same way as latex caulking. Acrylic is less likely to crack because it doesn’t expand and contract with temperature changes. It’s also more resistant to moisture and abrasion. 

How do you seal caulk cracks in wood siding?

To seal caulk cracks in wood siding, use sandpaper to smooth out the edges and ridges. Sanded caulk is also more resistant to cracking than unsanded caulk.

This will help prevent moisture and dust from getting into those seams, as well as improve the appearance of your caulking. Then, reapply a thin layer of quality caulk using a caulking gun or putty knife.

Last Words

Caulking is one of the easiest ways you can save time and money in your home. While it isn’t the most glamorous job, you’ll be thankful when you’re not constantly having to fix cracks and holes in your walls. 

Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about how to prevent caulk from cracking properly. I hope you have enjoyed reading the above content. If so then please like and share this blog post with your friends and family members who are in need of information regarding caulking.

Also if you have any kind of doubts or clarification regarding this subject, then feel free to drop a message below in the comment section. I will try my best to answer your questions as soon as possible.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.