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Which Caulk Works Best in Cold Temperatures?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: We’re going to Mike in Michigan who’s got some concerns about working in the cooler temps.  Welcome, Mike.

    MIKE: I heard a rumor that there’s cement that can be applied in much colder temperatures. But upon my research, I haven’t found any company that sells it or has any knowledge of it.

    TOM: You talking about caulk?

    MIKE: Yeah. To seal joints and cracks.

    TOM: Well, generally, the solvent-based caulk can be used in a lot lower temperatures than the latex-based caulk. Are you using silicone caulks?

    MIKE: No, we’re also polyurethane.

    TOM: You might want to look at the silicone caulk. Now, this is nothing special; it’s not a new type of product. But I know that some painters use these down to 0 degrees.

    Now, the trick is keeping it warm enough to apply it so it flows well. But if you can keep the caulking tube warm and then go outside and use it, the application should be OK down to almost 0 degrees, as I recall.

    MIKE: OK. And the freeze/thaw cycle, I know, is water turns to ice, it expands. That will not expand the sealant being wet?

    TOM: No. Because it’s solvent-based. You don’t have the same expansion issues.

    MIKE: OK. And how well does that level out? Do you have to more or less putty it in and smooth it out yourself?

    TOM: It is more difficult to level out because of the cold temperature. As you know, if you’ve ever used this kind of thing on warm day, it flows really nicely. But because it’s chilly, it definitely doesn’t flow as well. But if you’re skilled with the caulk gun, you should be fine with it. And cleanup is a little bit more difficult, as well. But again, it comes down to your skill and I’m sure if you’re doing it all these years that you’d be able to overcome that issue.

    MIKE: Yes, yes. We’re just looking – when we heard about it, we figured, “Well, if we can get another month or two out of the season of doing sealing, we can make more money each year by doing so.”

    LESLIE: You know, there’s also a product out there called a “caulk warmer.” And it looks like a – sort of like an insulated lunchbox but it’s more like an envelope-style. And you can hold two to five tubes, depending on which size you get. And that can help you keep the caulk at a flowable temperature while you’re getting ready to work.

    MIKE: Oh, OK. I appreciate all your help and assistance. You both have a great day.

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