Using Caulks to Keep Pests Out
By Chris Williams on October 22, 2014.
Pest-proofing your home to keep pests out is an important step in pest management. Pest-proofing means making sure windows and vents are screened, that doors have thresholds and weather-stripping, and that gaps and cracks where pests could enter are sealed. Caulk can be an important tool to help seal pests out. Each type of caulk has specific characteristics that give it an advantage or disadvantage for certain sites and conditions. You’ll need to read the label carefully to make sure that the caulk fits the job. Ask yourself these questions before choosing a caulk:
Are You Working Indoors or Outdoors?
Not all caulks are interchangeable for indoor or outdoor use. Latex caulks work best indoors. Silicone and rubber caulks hold up to weather outdoors and are less useful indoors.
What Are the Weather Extremes?
Some caulks can withstand high temperatures after application, others cannot. High-temperature caulks are used around areas that get hot like chimney flashing. Consider the weather before you apply caulks outdoors. Water-based caulks need a few days of good, rainless weather to cure. Silicone caulks can be applied in cold weather, while polyurethanes become thick and difficult to apply in the cold.
Is the Area to Be Caulked Subject to Moisture?
Some caulks, like kitchen and bathroom caulks, are designed to be used in areas of high moisture. If you are sealing around a sink, look for a mildew-resistant product that has an added biocide. Rubber caulks resist mildew outdoors.
What Types of Materials Are Being Bonded?
Some caulks adhere better to certain materials and not so well to others. Silicone, for example, adheres well to glass and tile, but not so well to wood.
Which Caulks Are Easiest to Use?
Some caulks are easier to apply. Unless you’re good at applying caulks, avoid the harder-to-handle types. Water-based caulks are easy to apply and clean up. Latex caulks can be painted over immediately, some caulks require a curing period, and others (silicone) cannot be painted at all.
If all this seems like too much to deal with, there’s a better option. Call Colonial Pest and leave it to the professionals. We specialize in pest-proofing or pest exclusion. Our trained team will inspect your home and work with top-quality products to permanently seal openings that pests could use to get inside. Our pest exclusion work is guaranteed…and you don’t have to worry about which caulk to buy!