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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500182
06/24/03

Types of Caulking



Silicone
-lasts 12-30 years
-best adhesion
-use in seams, cracks, gaps up to 1/4"
-good for all surfaces
-may not take paint

Butyl
-lasts 8-10 years
-some shrinkage
-use in seams, cracks, gaps up to 1/4"
-available in many colors

Acrylic Latex Silicone
-lasts 12-20 years
-easiest application
-use in seams, cracks, gaps up to 1/4"
-may not take paint

Acrylic
-lasts 8-10 years
-water clean-up
-use in seams, cracks, gaps up to 1/4"
-no odor

Latex
-lasts 2-10 years
-water clean-up
-use in seams, cracks, gaps up to 1/4"
-most are paintable
-available in many colors

Oil Base Asphalt
-lasts 1-4 years
-soft and tar-like
-use in seams and gaps on roof around chimneys, stacks and pipes to 1/4"
-hardens rapidly
-cracks

Caulking Cord
-lasts 1-2 years
-peel from roll then push in place
-temporary filler around storms, air conditioner
-comes in rolls, unused portion can be stored for years

Oakum
-twisted hemp treated with tar
-cut to needed length then push in place
-stuff large gaps then caulk over the oakum

Glazing Compound
-lasts indefinitely
-application requires some practice with a putty knife
-use as a seal between window glass and frame
-often overlooked as an area needing repair.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with references from Michigan Extension bulletin Caulking and Weatherstripping.

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