The Complete Guide to Caulk
Joint design and prep may matter even more than choosing the right product.
Synopsis: Caulk and sealant joints are rarely taken seriously or done correctly in residential construction. This article covers proper joint design and prep as well as product selection.
After researching and writing this article, I had an epiphany: In 35 years of doing and writing about residential construction, I have never seen a caulk joint executed properly. Most residential caulk joints I’ve seen have failed or are likely to. Builders, including myself, barely know which caulk or sealant to use where, and hardly anyone in residential construction knows how to execute a proper joint by considering crack width and depth and the use of backer rod or bond-breaker tape. There is a lot to know.
The first thing to know is that building components move. Builders don’t like to acknowledge this. This may be because it feels like a reflection on their work, or because it introduces complexities in material…