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Thread: Water resisting with Caulking

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    The folks I have seen do it professionally never touch the caulk after it is laid down.
    This is done because it is easy, fast and clean - not because it is superior. A tolerably functioning and sufficiently aesthetic bead can be put down this way, especially on not-previously caulked/new materials. It is, however, likely to lose connection prematurely with the associated and compounding problems.
    Forcing and properly smoothing the caulk ensures no voids and promotes maximum adhesion (a wide mechanical bond) on both sides of the joint. Combined with a caulk that provides sufficient elasticity for the specific task, the joint will last a very long time without failure (I have kept an eye on joints I have done at least 30 years previous).

    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Near as I can see, anything you do with a wet finger is probably going to mess it up if it is over any distance.
    You work an area, then move on, NBD. Transitioning is zero problems if you stay after it until a termination point, or if the previous stop point has been allowed to dry. While you do need to be a little careful when working outside in the Texas summer, it still poses no great challenge.
    I have laid many, many miles of caulk both inside and out, mostly in my younger days (I was a very well regarded 'professional').

    Might as well add - do not EVER use the cheapest caulk, like Alex, as they have NO elasticity at all. Alex Plus is just barely tolerable, but if you know things are going to move, use one of the more elastomeric ones.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    I have laid many, many miles of caulk both inside and out, mostly in my younger days (I was a very well regarded 'professional').

    Might as well add - do not EVER use the cheapest caulk, like Alex, as they have NO elasticity at all. Alex Plus is just barely tolerable, but if you know things are going to move, use one of the more elastomeric ones.
    It shows and I mean that in a non-snarky way. Your advice is spot on.

    Also, the type of caulk matters for how you lay it. Some are best pushed, while others are better pulled. Some are designed to be tooled, some are not. Read the back of the tube, it will tell you. And double yes to avoiding the cheapest caulk. Alex is super easy to get a nice looking bead but that bead only looks good for one season. Once things move a bit with a change in temperatures, it will separate and you might as well have not caulked at all.

    I'm no pro but I've laid more than my fair share of caulk and there is no one certain way to do it. Silicone, vinyl latex, acrylic latex, siliconized acrylic, asphalt, butyl, urethane - they all have their own tricks for getting a good looking bead. A wet finger works great on silicone but makes a mess on urethane, for instance.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    This is done because it is easy, fast and clean - not because it is superior. A tolerably functioning and sufficiently aesthetic bead can be put down this way, especially on not-previously caulked/new materials. It is, however, likely to lose connection prematurely with the associated and compounding problems.
    Forcing and properly smoothing the caulk ensures no voids and promotes maximum adhesion (a wide mechanical bond) on both sides of the joint. Combined with a caulk that provides sufficient elasticity for the specific task, the joint will last a very long time without failure (I have kept an eye on joints I have done at least 30 years previous).
    ....
    I question that assessment. Some of the work has been in place for 25 years or so, and shows no sign of coming off. The material seems to be "forced into contact" just fine, and I am happy with the continued perfect function and appearance.

    It was certainly NOT a cheap and dirty job, not if it has lasted as long as it did, and continues to do.

    In a couple cases I have had to remove some of the caulk due to renovations unrelated to it, and, frankly, it was hard to remove. So much for the warning that it was done just to be easy fast, clean (and cheap).
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    I question that assessment.
    Well of course you do Jerry, as that is what you do best...

    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Some of the work has been in place for 25 years or so, and shows no sign of coming off. The material seems to be "forced into contact" just fine, and I am happy with the continued perfect function and appearance.
    It was certainly NOT a cheap and dirty job, not if it has lasted as long as it did, and continues to do.
    In a couple cases I have had to remove some of the caulk due to renovations unrelated to it, and, frankly, it was hard to remove. So much for the warning that it was done just to be easy fast, clean (and cheap).
    In many circumstances, I can lay a beautiful bead without ever touching it, but it is an inferior bead. It may last until the next repaint, but it is less likely (Note: the word 'likely' is not an absolute) to do so. If it does not, problems that were easily avoidable (and more work for you) will follow. So... I simply suggest ensuring a top quality job, when warranted, by taking a small amount of extra time and effort. ...Or not, I am OK with it, really.

    Not that it much matters, but YOU used the claim 'cheap and dirty', I did not. You also quote "forced into contact", but from where, I know not.
    What I said is that a tolerable job can be done by this method. Your one (or a few) cases is not overwhelmingly representative. I am pretty sure I have seen a lot more examples of this sort of thing than you, but that isn't particularly relevant to the point I was making. ANYway, one CAN get an acceptable bond without tooling in any way, it is just that it is less likely, is NOT AS GOOD of a bond as it could be otherwise, and in many cases, doesn't properly adhere to at least one side, and consequently, can end up as a lesser job. Highly dependent on the operator, of course, to some degree inferior, regardless.

    Wet area work is a little different, silicone is different still, as are urethane's and so on, but this is a machinist board and endless talk about caulking seems silly unless specific information is requested.
    Last edited by Joel; 11-14-2017 at 12:11 AM.

  5. #25
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    I think 3PL forgot to put an "OT" on the topic..... unless it is caulking cooling systems etc for shop built model engines.

    Questioning is not the same as calling you a liar. I'm trying to keep personality out of this.

    I see what was done in the way I described, and it has lasted similarly to what you suggested doing the "right way" would last. I just wonder what would be "better" . I'm here to learn, not to tell you your business, but asking questions and "questioning" is part of that "learning" by essentially asking for the reasons why something that seems to be equal is actually NOT equal.

    The runs of caulk were all new construction, and you did mention that might turn out better. How so? Just cleaner surfaces to begin with? Would it be different if the old surfaces were thoroughly cleaned? I cleaned the crap out of the tub and wall surfaces when re-caulking, and it has paid off in lasting a long time, presumably very clean would work like new. But those just sealed the area, they are not "pro-quality" appearance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    ....
    Not that it much matters, but YOU used the claim 'cheap and dirty', I did not. You also quote "forced into contact", but from where, I know not.
    ....

    Yes I did. That was the impression I got from "easy, quick", plus the later comments of "not superior" and (later) "inferior". If that was NOT what you wanted to say, well........ I got the clear impression it meant "quick and dirty".... "cutting corners", etc.... i.e. knowingly doing a lesser quality job because it is cheaper/easier.

    As for "forcing".... that sure seems to be what you said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    This is done because it is easy, fast and clean - not because it is superior. ......
    Forcing and properly smoothing the caulk .....
    Again, if that is not what you intended, it nonetheless came across that way to me. What else is there to "force" but good contact (and good fill-in)? I must be missing something here.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 11-14-2017 at 12:50 AM.
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  6. #26
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    Been doing a bit of caulking work around the yard lately myself. I always like buying too much of anything as I don't like running out in the middle of a job. Also knowing that the various products have a finite shelf life I also don't like to sit on it for too long unless I can foresee a use for it in the next couple of months.

    So the inevitable happened just last week when I went to return the unused material back to my local hardware store.
    I walked into the store and proclaimed, ladies I have way too much caulk, where would you like me to put it it?

    Damn good thing they know me there!
    Next town over at the big box store I'm sure Id be talking to security.
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  7. #27
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    Relax a bit there Jer.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    The runs of caulk were all new construction, and you did mention that might turn out better. How so? Just cleaner surfaces to begin with?
    Yes, clean surface, good and solid substrate, no remnants of caulk to get in the way. It is more often than not, a significant PITA to do a good job getting rid of everything loose and cleaning well, so few do a great job of it.

    "knowingly doing a lesser quality job because it is cheaper/easier"
    Well sure.
    But what constitutes "cutting corners" is a matter of opinion, of course.
    I don't derive any particular pleasure from prep work of this nature, but when I do it, it is going to last. Using better (more expensive) caulk, more of it, and taking time to tool it to where there is much more contact/bond, is good for long-term durability, but not so good for the bottom line of the typical pro. But you already knew that.
    Not having to touch the caulk makes for a more pleasant user experience, but it does not produce a better (or even equal) result.


    Adrian - probably would have been a good idea to caulk the screw heads. And don't call me a cripple!

  8. #28
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    Ok.

    In my own case, I have never done any good with "tooling" the material. So I am/was predisposed to believing the "untooled" is as good if not better.

    Maybe the soapy water does better, but the wet finger trick has, for me, only meant a session to clean silicone (acrylic, whatever) off my finger. Or off whatever tool I used. The water did exactly zip.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Ok.

    In my own case, I have never done any good with "tooling" the material. So I am/was predisposed to believing the "untooled" is as good if not better.

    Maybe the soapy water does better, but the wet finger trick has, for me, only meant a session to clean silicone (acrylic, whatever) off my finger. Or off whatever tool I used. The water did exactly zip.
    Dont use water, use spit. Or dish soap.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
    Dont use water, use spit. Or dish soap.
    Question: If you DO use dish soap etc, then, if the "tooling" of the material causes it to spread out at all, does not the dish soap etc prevent the material from adhering and thus make a loose edge that is a point of failure? Seems as if ai ren into that.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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