Homeowners often hear of the terms caulking & sealants yet many do not know there are differences.
Caulking is usually rigid when they dry and should be used in areas with minimal contraction and expansion. Sealants on the other hand are made of flexible material that makes them prefect for areas where there is a lot of expansion and contraction.
Caulks are usually made of acrylics and can be paintable. However, because they have limited elasticity they don’t hold up against temperature swings. They will crack and dry out over time.
Sealants (mostly silicone) are not paintable. They are more flexible and will maintain a watertight seal even in areas with wide temperature swings. Silicone sealants give off very powerful fumes and these can cause irritations.
Most caulking and sealants are applied using a caulking gun and there is the reason why the confusion of caulks and sealants. Many people think a sealant is a type of caulk but it isn’t.
Caulks and sealants can protect the building from leakage and they can also make old windows look like new. Another benefit of caulks and sealants is the energy that can be saved by making sure all the building seals are maintained. Many basement waterproofing, radon and foundation repair contractors are diversifying and using these products to help their customers seal above the ground areas of a home that could leak like pipe penetrations, door thresholds, windows, chimneys and fireplaces.