Tips on Caulking Wide Gaps

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Caulking wide gaps requires you to understand that caulk isn't exactly flexible. Get tips on caulking wide gaps with help from the president and owner of Source Development Inc. in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Sweet Home Repair
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Hi, this is Nicholas Iarocci, The Home Source Guy, President and Owner of Source Development Inc., a residential and commercial construction company in Garnerville, New York and this is tips on caulking wide gaps. Now I've tried to simulate wide gaps on a little model here. Exactly how, how would you overcome wide gaps and the problem with caulking wider gaps is that caulks are flexible and they're not made to really gap over wide areas so what happens is as the caulk's drying it shrinks. So you're not gonna get like a really uniform surface unless you fill it in somehow. So I'm gonna give you some tips on how to fill it in. If you have an extremely wide gap there's a spray foam that you can buy. Now this spray foam is usually a urethane based material. It's extremely sticky and very hard to use so if you're working on a surface that's a pretty vulnerable to getting dirty or you want to keep clean. You want to first mask it out with some tape and when you're spraying the material by the way, very, you know use very minimal amount. These spray foams come in different expansions. You know some of them are minimally expansive and some of them are really expansive so you just apply a little bit, fill in the gap and then that's it so we're gonna mask out our big, big gap here with some blue tape. I'm gonna cut out the, the gap. Now I'm gonna use one of our 3 options: the spray foam, some insulation to bridge the gap, and if you don't have either some paper. So why don't we start out with the insulation. So I filled up our gap with insulation and I want to make sure that the insulation's pushed, pushed down below the surface so it doesn't get mixed up with the cement, caulking. So now we're ready to apply our first layer of caulk and again I say first layer because when you're gapping this far of a gap or this big of a gap it's going, it's going to shrink. So if you want a uniform finish you're going to need multiple coats of caulking so this first one is really just to cover the area and the second or third application of caulk you're gonna get a better, smoother finish but you're gonna have to allow curing time in between and the curing time depending on how wide the gap is could vary. I'm gonna take our caulk and fill in our gap and if you notice I'm going above the surface area but I'm making sure that I'm filling in the void. So in order to maintain the flat surface area I'm gonna take our squeegee I'm gonna run it over the tape and squeegee the excess off. Now again, depending on the thickness of the gap and I've made ours excessive to demonstrate our point. You're gonna get shrinkage in it and you might have to repeat, repeat this process once or twice until you get the flat surface area. When you're done you'll remove the excess tape. Another alternative to gapping the hole would be using expandable foam. You'd use the same method of applying a masking tape, cutting it out, and then spraying the foam in. The one difference is after the foam cures you want to cut that off with either a razor, a flat razor or a chisel and then gap it with caulking over that. So this method would apply to gaps above an 1/8 of an inch in most cases. Follow the recommended installation instructions on your caulk and this was tips on caulking wide gaps. This is Nicholas Iarocci, The Home Source Guy, President and Owner of Source Development Inc., a residential and commercial construction company in Garnerville, New York helping you build a better life. We'll see you next time. Reach out to me at Facebook, I'm The Home Source Guy.

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