Some homeowners install extra layers of sealants or caulk because they feel that the extra layer of sealant will protect against energy losses and water damage in the home. Will the second layer of sealant help?
It is best to limit the amount of caulk or sealant installed around windows, doors, and walls. Well-informed sealant selection can help stave off energy losses due to air leakage. Sealants have varying properties. For example, 100% silicone sealants are more elastic than other types of sealants.
The focus of this article will be helping you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting sealants for different locations in your home. You are encouraged to put a premium on sealant quality rather than trying to enhance the sealing capabilities by adding additional layers.
Excess Caulk Should Be Avoided
Adding a second layer of sealant is generally not recommended, although it may be necessary under certain circumstances. Adding a second layer of sealant over an existing one is generally not a shortcut that you should be taking.
The reason that you do not want to add too much sealant or caulk is that caulk has a tendency to harden out and dry over time. It will often shrink while in place unless you are using a pure silicone sealant. During the initial installation process, focus your efforts on choosing the best sealant for the task at hand. Further below in the article is a guide to selecting caulking/sealant materials.
Save Money with Energy Efficient Home Construction
There are few better ways to waste energy and money than living in a “leaky” home. Homeowners are encouraged to think of their homes as shells. These shells are tasked with regulating the interior temperature of the living space, even during below freezing weather and the dog days of summer.
As much as 60% of a home’s total energy loss can be a result of air leakage, according to Ivy Tech Community College. One of the best ways to prevent energy loss due to air leakage is to enhance the caulking in the home. The caulk acts as a sealant against energy loss.
Where Do Air Leaks Occur in a Home?
Air leaks occur anywhere in the home where gaps exist, according to the US Department of Energy. Doors and windows are among the most common offenders of air leakage. There are also less obvious locations where air leakage occurs.
Less obvious sites of air leakage include attics and locations with exposed insulation. You are also encouraged to pay special attention to locations where brick and wood siding or foundations and walls meet. These are the types of locations where applying extra layers of sealant wouldn’t hurt.
Prevent Water Damage
Proper caulking also acts as a guard against water damage to the interior components of the wall. An opening does not have to be very large to cause headaches. The American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) notes that 1 square inch hole can take in as much as 14 pints of water in 2 weeks.
What is the Best Type of Sealant for Buildings?
When it comes to sealants or caulk, you should be emphasizing quality over quantity. You may be tempted to add a second layer of sealant because you feel that this will further protect your energy savings and protect your home from water damage. Your focus should be on selecting the best sealant for the task at hand.
There is no clear-cut answer for the best type of sealant. However, there are pros and cons to each caulking material. Factors to consider include cost, durability, effectiveness, and the climate that your building is located in. Adding extra layers of sealant is generally a no-brainer, but the specific type of sealant that you are using does matter.
Oil and resin-based caulk, such as Dap Kwik-Seal All-Purpose Caulk, are among the most affordable sealants. They are also not very durable. These types of sealants are best-utilized for quick spot repairs, as is the case with the Dap Kwik-Seal caulk that comes in a squeezable tube. This type of caulk does not require the use of a caulking gun.
Latex-based caulks are generally still among the most affordable types of sealants and they are also relatively durable. The most popular latex-based caulks include the GE Sealants Max Shield All-Weather Caulk. Caulks like this one also serve a wide variety of uses. Latex-based caulks have a life expectancy of 20 years when installed indoors and can be painted over.
Butyl Rubber Compounds
Butyl rubber sealants, such as Red Devil Pro Sealant, are a little bit pricier than oil/resin or latex-based sealants. They are ideal for sealing wood to concrete surfaces. There are better options as far as sealants go if you are not looking to seal wood and concrete.
100% Silicone Sealants
100% silicone sealants have one of the greatest adhering abilities among all sealant types, according to the University of Missouri. Popular 100% silicone sealant options include Apel Multi-Purpose 100% Silicone Sealant. These sealants experience less shrinkage than other sealant types.
For this reason, you are less likely to add a second layer of sealant if you are using a 100% silicone sealant. These premium sealants are effective over a wide range of temperatures, according to the University of Southern Maine. One downside, besides the cost, is that pure silicone sealants do not adhere very well to wood.
Pure silicone sealants are best used outdoors because they typically cannot be painted over. They are more elastic than other types of sealants. Use silicone sealants in situations where high flexibility is required. Another downside to these sealants is the difficulty associated with laying down a bead. It will likely be difficult to add a second layer of this sealant, and it won’t really help that much either.
Which Sealant Should Be Used For Large Air Gaps?
You may be motivated to add extra layers of sealant in larger air gaps. This can become ugly in a hurry. The key to taking care of larger air gaps in a building structure is material selection. Expanded urethane foam caulks add insulation values to air gaps.
Loctite Tite Foam Insulating Foam Sealant can be used to fill cracks up to 1 inch in size. One of the primary uses of this type of sealant is to seal the space between framing and jambs in windows and doors. These are spaces where other types of sealants might not work very well, especially if they dry out and shrink over time.
Perhaps the reason that you are looking to add a second layer of sealant is because of air leakage during times of extreme temperatures, such as wintertime. Weather stripping is an easy and affordable way to make your home or building more airtight during the times of the year when it needs to be more airtight.
It is a more beneficial solution than adding extra layers of sealants, which may not be advantageous during all times of the year. Weatherstripping reduces air infiltration and helps protect the home against dust, dirt, insects
One of the most popular types of weatherstripping is rope caulk, such as this M-D Building Products Replaceable Caulking Cord. Rope caulk can be used to seal the air gaps or spaces that you want to keep closed during times of extreme temperatures. You can then easily remove the caulk when you don’t need it anymore.
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