Caulk guns are a common and useful tool in most construction and do-it-yourself jobs. Caulk has many uses and comes in many varieties. It is most often used when a permanent seal is needed. Caulk can be used indoors and outdoors, most commonly for protection against water damage and for weatherproofing. Caulk guns are relatively easy to use and handle.
For outdoor projects, you will want to use a caulk that is 100% silicon. Silicon caulk will withstand extreme temperature changes and is very durable. Silicone caulk cannot be painted but comes tinted in many different colors. It is easy to apply and hard to remove. Some outdoor uses for caulk are around windows and doorframes, waterspouts, and dryer vents. Basically any small crease or crack that needs filling can be sealed with caulk. Save your outdoor projects for the warmer months of the year. Caulk does not adhere well in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most common indoor use for caulk is around sinks and tubs. Caulk can be applied on countertops and along with window frames. It is commonly used in any area where water may seep behind walls or under floorboards. Though silicon caulk can be used for these jobs, an acrylic-based product is better for use indoors. Acrylic caulk is durable and fast drying. This type of caulk can be painted over and cleans up with soap and water. Find a caulk that is mold and mildew resistant for bathroom applications.
Caulk can also be used for finishing walls and doors. Crevices can be filled with caulk and smoothed over before the wall or door is painted. This should only be used for small cracks. Any cracks over a quarter-inch wide should be filled with something other than caulk.
Loading a caulk gun is relatively easy. Most guns made may look a bit different from each other, but operate in the same basic way. The first thing to do is press and hold the release on the back of the gun with your thumb. Next pull the plunger back as far as it will go and insert the caulk tube. Push the plunger forward so it fits snuggly up against the bottom of the caulk tube. Remove your thumb from the release. The tip of the spout will have to be cut before any caulk can be applied. Cut the tip at a slight angle. Cut the hole as large or as small as you desire. The size of the hole will dictate how wide your bead of caulk will be. Some tubes of caulk have an additional seal at the base of the spout that must be opened before you can begin.
When preparing your surfaces for caulking, remember to first remove any old caulk. Make sure the area is free from any dirt and loose paint. Do not apply caulk to the area unless it is completely dry.
Holding the caulk gun at an angle, insert the spout into the crevice you need filled. If it will not go in entirely, get it as close as you can. If you are caulking along the back of a countertop or along the bottom of a wall, also hold at an angle with the spout resting lightly on the surface. Squeeze the trigger on the gun to release the caulk and move slowly. Pull slightly away from the bead as you go.
Inspect your job after you have laid down your caulk. If you are trying to get caulk into a rather deep crevice, you may need to press it in with your finger. You may also need to use your finger to remove excess caulk if you find that you have applied too much or require a flat finish.
Some practice may be needed before you can do a great job with caulk but it should be easy for just about anyone to pick up quickly. Try a few practice runs before attempting your very first project. Remember to protect your eyes and your clothing as you work. If you are working in an enclosed area use a breathing mask.Some practice