What is a caulk? A caulk is basically a type of sealant that is especially formulated and designed for use in your RVs, trailers, motorhomes, and campers. Made of latex or silicon, caulks are usually in the form of tubes or cartridges.
To apply the caulk easier, many users tend to use caulking guns as it squeezes the formula out for you. Like there are various types of caulks, there also many versions of caulking guns. The best caulking gun will depend on your preferences and the type of caulk you bought.
Caulks are necessary in the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. For one, it helps in sealing or resealing cracks between surfaces. As many RV owners know, water damage causes major and long-term damages in the vehicle that are too costly to repair. With a caulk, you can easily create a watertight seal between cracks to prevent any mold, mildew or any other organism from growing.
Not only that, caulks also help lower your RV’s energy cost. Since the caulk seals the gaps between surfaces, no air can escape or enter your RV. This effectively reduces the strain on your RV’s cooling/heating system and lower down overall costs.
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How to Re-seal your Vehicle
To ensure that your RV’s in tip-top shape means that you must subject it routine maintenance check-ups. Inspecting your vehicle’s caulking should be done at least every 3-6 months.
When the caulking has already shown signs of cracking or when you feel any air drafts inside your vehicle, then it might be time to re-seal.
- Prepare all your tools Of course, you can’t do your job if you don’t have the proper materials to do it.
The first material you’ll need is the caulk. Choosing what to get depends on the type of surface you are dealing with. When buying locally, you don’t have to worry as dealers will advise and help you pick out what caulk type will address your problem the best.
Next tool you’ll need is a caulking gun. Using a gun makes the whole process easier as it increases your precision and controls the amount of caulk you’re using.
You’ll also want to have mineral spirits or alcohol-based solvents in hand to thin out the old caulking in your vehicle. Once it does, you can use a rag or a razor to scrape it out.
- Clean the Surface After removing the old caulking, you’ll need to thoroughly clean and dry the area. This is important as caulking will generally hold up in a cleaner surface. Not to mention, a clean area prevents the caulking from having any bumps that will make it harder to maintain and seal.
- Apply the New Caulking Once the surface is all clean and dry, you can now apply your caulking. First, you’ll need to cut a hole on the tip of the tube of your caulk. Take care not to pierce too big of a hole as you’ll just be wasting the material as well as messing up the job. Once that’s finished, set up the tube into the caulking gun and fill the tube’s seam with the material.
Then, carefully place a thin line of caulk into your surface. Using rag, pour a little bit of your mineral spirit or solvent and take some in your finger. Press and drag your finger along the line of caulking you just made. Make sure to do this slowly and in small sections to get a seamless job.
Doing this presses the caulking further into the surface and ensures that it’s fully sealed. Moreover, it gives it a tapered look that helps shed the water off the surface.
Types of caulk
One of the most common caulk types, silicone caulks are best to use on wet surfaces and non-porous substances. This is because this caulk type is resistant to mold and mildew and boasts a long lifespan.
While silicone caulk is flexible, they are quite difficult to clean-up since they get hard and brittle. You’ll need strong solvents to remove it when re-caulking.
Also known as the painter’s caulk, these caulk variants are the most common and the cheapest one available. They are usually used to cover up small gaps and cracks and sticks easily to wood, drywall, mortar and other building materials. Many of these also dry up quickly in about an hour or so.
Unlike the silicone ones, acrylic caulks are easy to clean just by using soap and water.
Vinyl Latex Caulks
Vinyl latex caulks are quite like acrylic caulks; however, unlike the latter, the former has a longer lifespan and can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications. With this, it’s generally more expensive compared to acrylic variants.
Nevertheless, vinyl latex caulks have limited flexibility such that it cracks under extreme pressure.
Compared to other caulk types, adhesive caulks tend to be stickier and thus, it can adhere to most surfaces. These types are further classified into subcategories, each having their own characteristic. For example, some types come in a tape form while there are other types that are more effective in sealing off mol and mildew, etc.
Fireproof caulks are one of the more unique caulk types in the market and come in the color red. As their name implies, these types block fire from entering your RV.
Hope you learned something from this post. Stay tuned with us for more RVing guides and tips.