For many people, installing trim and baseboards for interior painting in Danville, CA is as simple as lining them up and driving in a few nails or screws. However, is this description correct?
Not really. If you’re installing trim or baseboards in the house, it’s important to know that they should be flush with the walls. You may not know that perfectly flush trim and baseboards are somewhat challenging to achieve. Even flush trim and baseboards may detach themselves from walls, doors, and windows over time, resulting in tiny gaps. These gaps, no matter how small, are where caulking is needed.
What is caulk?
Caulk is a moldable and waterproof material used to fill in and seal joints and gaps between structures, such as trim or baseboards and walls. It is usually available in 10-ounce tubes and is applied using a caulk gun.
Why should you need to caulk trim and baseboards?
If you haven’t worked with caulk before, it is important to know that it’s one of the essential and versatile building materials used in every building industry. Here are some benefits of caulking:
- It keeps water and cold weather out.
- It helps prevent mold, mildew, and other fungi from growing (and causing rot to the structure).
- It protects the appearance and longevity of your trim and baseboards.
- It keeps your heating and maintenance costs down.
- It makes your home look finished and well-maintained.
- It even helps paints last longer.
Here are some of the common types of caulk available on the market:
- Acrylic latex – Also known as painter’s caulk, this is probably the most common type of caulk. It’s affordable and widely available in most stores. Acrylic latex caulk is used to cover small holes, cracks, and gaps. It sticks very well to drywall, wood, and masonry. It is water-soluble when wet and is usually paintable. However, it cannot create a water-tight seal, so it’s used for interior use only.
- Vinyl latex – Vinyl latex caulk is similar to acrylic latex in composition, use, solubility, and cleanup. However, vinyl latex caulk is much more durable than acrylic latex. It is also waterproof, making it suitable for outdoor applications like around windows and door frames.
- Pure silicone – Pure silicone caulk is exceptionally durable and water-tight, making it ideal for areas where moisture is present, including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, etc. Silicone sticks well to smooth and non-porous surfaces like plastic, sealed tiles, ceramics, and porcelain. It is also longer-lasting than the other types. However, pure silicone caulk does not adhere well to porous surfaces, such as drywall, wood, and masonry, limiting its versatility.
- Adhesive caulk – Also known as liquid nails, adhesive caulk is a strong glue formulated to hold two surfaces together and create a waterproof seal between them. Most adhesive caulks are mold-resistant. However, the adhesive tends to be challenging to clean up, which can be an issue if cracks and holes develop.
- Butyl rubber – Butyl rubber caulk is commonly used for roofing projects, although it can also be used for sealing gutters, chimney flashings, and foundations where moisture and movement occur.
- Asphalt – Asphalt is similar to butyl rubber caulk in appearance, odor, and stickiness. But the difference is that butyl works fine under sunlight; asphalt does not. Asphalt also degrades much faster than butyl. It is commonly used to seal shingles, flashings, and other areas that are not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Fireproof caulk – As the name implies, fireproof caulk is meant to slow down fires and prevent them from spreading through the building. It is recognizable by its red color. Professionals commonly use Fireproof caulk when they install and repair insulation and seal holes in framing where electrical and plumbing lines penetrate.
How do you use caulking?
If it’s your first time to caulk, know it can take some practice and patience to get it right. Cut the tip of the tube at an angle and apply the caulk slowly – cutting the tube tip that way will help you to caulk correctly.
You want to make sure you are using enough caulk to fill the gaps sufficiently but not too much so that it oozes everywhere and makes all the work look sloppy. But if you get too much, it’s not a big deal – you can use a damp cloth to smooth out the caulk after applying it.
After applying caulk, allow it to dry completely before applying any paint or coating over it. This tip applies primarily to acrylic latex caulk, which is the most common for home repairs.
Do you need to re-caulk?
It is no guarantee that caulk will never break down. Like any other building material, caulk will deteriorate over time. However, the change happens gradually. Caulk is flexible enough to move with the surfaces it sticks to without cracking or breaking its seal. This flexibility is why in many cases, you need to apply your trim and baseboards with fresh caulk every at least five years. However, the benefits outweigh the time and effort invested.
Regularly inspecting your home can help determine whether the trim or baseboard has begun to come loose from the wall. This is where gaps and other defects occur, which require prompt maintenance. Re-caulking will help prevent costly repairs, eventually saving you time, money, and headache.
If you’re looking for an affordable interior painter near me, contact Custom Painting, Inc. for a free property inspection and estimate! We will inspect your home’s interiors and assess the condition of its caulk and paint. Then we will do the necessary caulking, repainting, and other work you may need from us.