Sealant is a multifunctional protective substrate that can be used in a wide variety of applications and environments. Due to its distinct ability to create a watertight seal blocking the passage of fluid, filling gaps and cracks between different building materials and blocking out sound, sealants are a must-have product for any professional in the trade.
From Everflex 200 Contractors LMA Silicone to Everflex 125 One Hour Caulk, no matter what sealant you’re using we’ve put together some professional tips to help you achieve the best finish, every time.
In this blog post, we discuss seven simple caulking hacks for the perfect seal.
Use Masking Tape for a Straight Line
To obtain the cleanest possible result and perfectly straight line, it’s best to use masking tape. Apply the tape so it covers both sides of the line to be sealed, apply the sealant across, ad then remove the tape before the sealant is dry.
Tip: Because it can’t be sanded, this is a great technique for tradespeople who are learning how to use decorator’s caulk.
Select the Right Sealant for the Job
Whether you’re fitting a kitchen or working on external walls, the first thing to do when choosing your sealant is to ensure its compatibility with the substrate you will be working on. Selecting the wrong product could lead to the sealant reacting with the substrate resulting in a weak hold, shrinking and sagging.
Hybrid polymer sealants (MS) – like EB25 – adhere to wood, glass and metal, therefore they are ideal for indoor and outdoor uses. Silicone sealant like Everbuild Forever White holds strong water repellent properties, making it perfect for applications in kitchens and bathrooms. While acrylic products such as Everbuild Caulk Once are ideal for interior sealing around skirting boards and frames.
Attach Straws for Tight Spaces
Depending on the job, you may find that some spaces are simply too tight to fit a standard caulk gun. One example of this is sealing around a small sink; while you may have developed your own technique over the years, an alternative low-cost, effective solution is to use a straw.
This method is simple and effective. First, cutting at a 45-degree angle, chop the straw to the desired size. Then attach to the end of the spout with tape and continue sealing as normal.
Grab Glass Cleaner to Apply Silicone Sealant
When it comes to sealing, silicone can be the trickiest to get right. While years of practice does make perfect, there’s another tool that can help: window cleaner.
After removing any old sealant, cleaning and drying the surface, lay the silicone as normal. Next, grab your glass cleaner and spray over the fresh sealant. This won’t mix with the silicone, allowing you to smooth it out without sticking to any unwanted surfaces. Then all you need to do is leave it to dry.
Use Screws to Unclog a Blocked Tube
Let’s face it, most of us have used a tube of sealant on the job, only to forget about cleaning up the excess sealant. Of course, we return to discover that the spout has become clogged with dried product, which is far from ideal. But rather than wasting product or cutting a large hole in the spout, which can make it surprisingly difficult to get a thin, straight line, you can unclog it with a screw.
Using a screw with a harsh thread, such as a masonry screw, drive this into the dried sealant inside the spout. This should allow you to clear the spout, so you don’t have to throw out good product.
Seal the Spout with Sealant
While some sealants come with caps, not all tubes do. However, there is a way to close off the spout and ensure the liquid inside remains usable: by securing it with sealant.
To do this, wet your fingers, take a small piece of sealant and roll it into a ball. You can then mould this over the top of the spout to form a seal. However, depending on the type of sealant it could take hours to dry completely, therefore place it out of the way and leave to harden.
Apply Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Residue
Before you can apply new sealant, you must first prep and clean the area. One way of doing this is to use rubbing alcohol. This is a particularly effective solution for soap, making it a great option for bathrooms and kitchens.
After removing any old sealant or paint, apply the rubbing alcohol to remove any product residue. Because it’s fast-drying, you can simply wipe and then start sealing.
So, there you are, seven pro tips to improve your sealing game. Want to discover our other expert tips? Feel free to browse our full blog for a wide range of guides covering topics such as how to grout tiles or how to upgrade your garden.