It’s all in the way you use it

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Shortly after I got married my wife showed me a small crack and suggested I learn how to use my caulk to fill it. She went on to say that if I didn’t feel comfortable about it we might have to bring in a caulk expert. I have to admit that I had not had a lot of experience with caulk. I thought just squirting it into the crack and leaving it to dry was all there was to it. Anyways, I didn’t pay too much attention to her complaints and now a few years later I have noticed that the crack is quite large.

My wife is constantly complaining about my resistance to having a professional caulk the crack properly so she has called him herself. He is coming over tonight so I decided to study up so I can actually talk about this issue, rather than standing like a dummy with my caulk in hand.
From my understanding there are a few different types of caulk, those that harden immediately and those that will take hours to reach full hardness. Knowing my wife she would prefer the one that hardens immediately because she has stated to me before she doesn’t want her crack exposed for any longer than necessary.
The guy came over at 7 PM and the first thing I noticed (as did my wife) was the size of his caulk! I didn’t realize there was anything other than the standard narrow tube; there is also a larger version that professionals use, aptly called the sausage.

He stated to me that the sausage caulk is in fact more popular than the tube because it contains more filling and although more difficult to work with,  it fills cracks more completely therefore providing greater customer satisfaction.
He admitted to me that his sausage is so big that he gets paid to fill a crack and still has extra to fill another one down the street. He said the only drawback to the large caulk was it is only available in limited colors (typically black)…while white was hard to find.

Always make sure that you use the right sized caulk for the job and remember that this can change over time. The first time you see a crack you might be tempted to fill it with a small caulk tube. If the crack is not filled correctly, moisture issues over time can lead to a much bigger crack requiring a large caulk sausage to fill it.

One of the most important things to consider when looking for caulk is the color. Far too often people will use just any color caulk only to regret it later. Some might like the contrast of black caulk in a white crack whereas others prefer not to mix colors. There is more to great caulking than the caulk itself. It really depends on how well you use it. Those that work with their caulk every day know how to apply steady pressure, when to stop and how to move their caulk to best fill the gap. Excessive caulking can lead to a very messy situation, whereas not enough caulk can leave a space that will require more caulk in the future. Typically amateurs will end up with caulk everywhere the first few times they use it, while a pro will fill only the gap without making a big mess.
So the guy with the big caulk has gone and my wife is smiling…and so am I. She is happy because the crack isn’t even noticeable any longer and I am because I know more about caulk than ever. My wife actually went so far as to say I could fill the crack next time….as long as I traded my thin tube in for a sausage.

1 comments on “It’s all in the way you use it”

  1. Who knew that the ins and outs of crack filling could be so complex? I remember being in a hardware store one day, admiring the variety of caulks on display. I noticed the black caulks, because they were indeed much larger than the white. I brought home two. They were buy one, get one free. That day, every crack I had got filled. 😉

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