FAQ: What Dallas Homeowners Want to Know About Caulking Services
Dallas homeowners take great pride in their homes and like to keep them in excellent condition. If you're currently thinking about home repairs and improvements that can increase the comfort and livability of your house, there's a good chance you'll need to get a caulking project done — but what parts of your home need an application? Is it the best choice for what you're trying to accomplish? And how do pros get such a smooth, even bead?
We've got the answers to all those pressing questions in this handy guide to caulking services. It may seem simple, but both caulk (product) and caulking (service) can be more complex than they appear on the surface.
Ready to get your home or commercial property sealed up tight to avoid water damage and keep it running efficiently? You can rely on the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Dallas for high-quality workmanship and exceptional customer service.
What Is Caulk?
While it has a long history and has, in the past, been done with materials such as hemp soaked in pine tar, modern caulk compounds are a bit more advanced. It is a type of sealant that comes in an array of caulk varieties that are flexible sealing compounds made out of acrylic, vinyl, silicone, or polyurethane — packaged and sold in cylindrical cartridges.
What Is Caulking Used For?
It can be used in a multitude of locations around Dallas homes or commercial properties. Its key purpose is to seal up gaps, holes, and cracks, which has a number of positive effects on your property. Here are four key uses for commercial and residential caulking applications.
Almost anywhere in your home that has a gap where two materials meet is probably filled with caulk. That includes places such as around light fixtures or bathroom shower heads, or where a section of tile meets another material such as drywall. It's also used in the angled corner joint where two sections of tile meet, around windows and doors under the frame or jamb, on the exterior of your home to fill gaps in siding and gutters, and literally dozens of other places around Dallas properties.
Preventing water intrusion is a key objective of this invaluable sealant. Excess moisture encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and wood rot, which can cause severe structural damage to your building and pose a hazard that threatens the health of your family. For example, an exterior window leak repair will involve exterior caulking to seal around the edges of the window and prevent moisture incursion inside your walls. It is also used inside to seal a plumbing fixture such as a sink where it meets the wall in order to prevent moisture from getting between the fixture and wall (and festering there).
Increasing Energy Efficiency
Caulk seals off gaps and holes, which prevents energy loss and keeps energy costs in Dallas low. Gaps around window frames, door jambs, or other places such as your siding and exterior trim let in air drafts that change the temperature in your home and force your HVAC system to use more energy in compensation. Since heating and cooling are the biggest expense on your utility bill, that can raise your energy costs significantly. By sealing off those gaps and holes, you keep your home energy efficient and avoid paying more than necessary on your utility bill.
Avoiding Insect Infestations
Insects and other pests such as rats and squirrels spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get inside comfy, cozy Dallas homes. Bear in mind that the exterior cracks, gaps, and holes in your siding and trim give those outsiders the opportunity they're looking for. Once they’ve found a way in, dozens of their nasty little friends will soon follow. By ensuring that all gaps are sealed off, you can deny those uninvited house guests the chance to move in.
How Often Should Caulk Be Replaced in Dallas?
There are a lot of factors that affect how quickly material degrades in Dallas, but as a general rule of thumb, it should probably be replaced with fresh caulking every five years or so. Some of the factors that influence the length of time between replacement are:
Type and quality of the product
Condition of the surface it was applied to
Method of application
Mold or mildew damage
Maintenance it has received
Can You Use Caulk Instead of Grout for Tiles?
In a word, no. Caulk is often a part of tile installation and repairs for cracked tiles, but it can't replace grout. Grout is used in the spaces between tiles on a flat surface such as a floor or wall, while caulk is used where tile meets another material such as drywall, or in a corner where two tiled sections meet at a right angle. The reason it is sometimes used in corner joints in Dallas is that a house will shift and settle over time, and a flexible product gives more “wiggle room” for house settling to occur without damaging the tile installation.
Should Caulk Be Applied Over Top of Grout?
It can be, but it's not strictly necessary. People sometimes worry that grout will not be sufficiently waterproof for a tile installation that is exposed to water, like inside a shower. Grout looks (and is) porous, but it forms a hard masonry bond with the backer board behind tiles — and it’s completely waterproof — so there's no need to worry that it won't protect the wall behind the tile.
How Do You Make Perfect Caulking Lines?
This may not be the answer you're looking for, but it's the truth: a lot of practice. The process looks pretty easy — just push it out of the tube like toothpaste. But in reality, proper caulking is a complicated task that's more difficult than it looks. It takes an experienced, steady hand to get it applied smoothly and evenly so it looks good and doesn't make a huge mess. That's why any project that involves caulking services is best handled by a skilled service professional — such as Mr. Handyman of Dallas.
How Do You Fix Caulking Mistakes?
If you've been the victim of bad caulking — even if you victimized yourself — there are ways to get the mess removed and take another crack at it, or better yet, leave it to the pros this time. If it is not acrylic and it hasn't been very long since it was applied, you may be able to soften it up with damp rags and then grab an edge and gently, peel it off. If that's not going to work, you'll likely need to either scrape it off with a scraper tool or use dissolving chemicals (make sure to follow the directions on the package). If you're not up to the task, don't worry — a Dallas Handyman can remove that mess and reapply neat caulking.
Is Your Home In Need of Caulking Services? Trust Mr. Handyman of Dallas to Get the Job Done
Whether you're in Addison, Mesquite, Las Colinas, or another part of the greater Dallas area, you can count on professional service and excellent customer service from Mr. Handyman of Dallas.
Give us a call today at 972-627-4518 to request service from our friendly customer service representatives, and we'll show you why we're considered the best choice in Dallas for dependable handyman services!