Caulking Compound

Definition - What does Caulking Compound mean?

Caulking compound refers to a soft, plastic, putty-like material that consists of pigment and vehicle. It is used for sealing joints or preventing leakage in buildings and other structures where normal structural movement may occur.

A synthetic or natural product such as a heavy paste containing a polysulfide rubber and lead peroxide curing agent could be used for a caulking compound. Caulking compounds have poisoning abilities; for example, when someone swallows these compounds, they become affected by its poisonous actions.

Corrosionpedia explains Caulking Compound

Caulking compounds are substances used to seal cracks and holes around windows, joints, bends and other openings.

These compounds provide a water-resistant, flexible, non-sag sealant with excellent initial and permanent adhesion. These pigmented elastomers are handy and possesses thixotropic properties that make them easy to apply to joints and holes. If it is made from a resin-rich formula, it affords maximum bond strength.

Caulking compounds can be used for caulking windows, sealing cracks, filing holes, door perimeters, walls and woodwork, air duct openings and masonry cracks.

Before applying caulking compounds, substrates needs to be well cleaned, intact and free from any grease, oils, dust, dirt, wax and other foreign materials. The surface should be dry and stable.

Types of caulking compounds include:

  • Acrylic caulk – Suitable for use in seams, cracks and gaps up to 1/4", with easy water clean-up. Endures for eight to ten years.
  • Latex caulk – Intended for use in seams, cracks and gaps without expansion or contraction up to 1/4". Endures for two to ten years.
  • Caulking cord – Considered a temporary weather-stripping product. Endures for one to two years.

Before selecting caulking compounds, one needs to choose compounds that will adhere to wood, glass, metal, plastic and masonry. One also needs to give attention to the weathering characteristics of the compounds such as cracking, shrinkage, and water and mildew resistance. A proper caulking compound can prevent crevice corrosion.

A backer rod is used behind caulking to increase elasticity, reduce consumption and force the caulking into contact with the sides of the joint. It helps to create a better bond and determine the thickness of the caulking. These rods are also useful to reduce consumption of the caulking by filling part of the joints, holes or cracks.

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