Silicone caulking is probably the most widely used form of caulking for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. That said, it is not the easiest form of caulking to apply. Still, this cannot take away from the fact that silicone caulking is virtually one of the best forms of caulking materials available in the market. It is strong and durable, adheres to virtually any surface, and cures rapidly. Below is a step-by-step guide for applying silicone caulking.
Step 1 – Prepare the Surface
Start by removing any old silicon caulking from the area where you want to apply the fresh caulk. This is because silicone caulking does not adhere properly to old caulk. Simply cut and scrape the old caulking until it is all gone and then use an abrasive pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove all traces of the old caulking.
Step 2 – Cut the Tip
The single biggest reason why most people make a mess while using silicon caulking is that they make a large cut at the tip of the tube. When you make a large cut at the tip, excess silicone spills out, and you end up wasting a lot of time in cleaning up. Ideally you should only cut a hole of one eight of an inch at the tip. Also cut the hole at a 45 degree angle. Any larger and you will just end up with extra silicone caulking all over the place.
Step 3 – Choose the Right Equipment
The kind of equipment that you choose will also go a long way in deciding your silicon caulking technique. If you have to do caulking on a regular basis, you should opt for one of the frame-type caulking guns. If not, a simple cradle-type gun will suffice. However, do ensure that your caulking gun is of the dripless variety.
Step 4 – Do Not Linger
Ever wondered how the pros manage to caulk such a large area in such a short time without making a mess? Speed is the answer. Keep the caulking tube or gun at a constant angle and keep moving. Do not linger at one place. Keep moving so that the silicone caulking is evenly distributed and none of it accumulates at one area. You will have plenty of time after you are done to wipe of any excess caulking. This also allows you to complete the job quickly and ensures that the silicone caulking does not have enough time to dry before you clean off the excess.
Step 5 – Clean Off Excess Caulk
Once you have finished caulking clean off the excess without delay. Silicone caulking takes approximately eight hours to set completely; so this is the window period that you have for removing any excess caulking. However, do keep in mind that the sooner you remove any excess caulking, the easier it is to remove. Once you are done caulking, it is also a good idea to smooth the caulking. Wear a latex glove, wet the tip of a finger with isopropyl alcohol, and gently run your gloved finger over the silicone caulking.