Caulking refers to any number of waterproofing products that are used to seal gaps, cracks and joints in building and construction applications. This can help to maintain the energy efficiency of a building and ensure it is adequately insulated. In kitchens and wet rooms, where water and moisture are an issue, caulking can prevent leakage and water damage occurring around basins, piping and other plumbing fixtures.
There are a number of different compounds which are used in caulking products, including silicone, polyurethane, rubber and latex. Silicone is widely utilised as it exhibits very little, if any shrinkage and is flexible enough to allow some compression and stretch in sealed joints. It is however, not possible to paint over most types of silicone. The substance is also relatively expensive, especially if large quantities are required for a project. Polyurethane spray foam is also popular, especially if large gaps need to be filled, where its expansion properties are especially good. Rubber is often used around windows where it is fairly durable though it does exhibit some shrinkage over time. Latex based products are also utilised around baths, showers and sinks, where it is easily trimmed and worked with.
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