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To Caulk or not to Caulk?

When painting exterior wood, some people recommend caulk to keep moisture out of the wood. Others say you should leave gaps to allow the house to breathe. Which is right?

Both ideas are correct.

Since moisture is the culprit in many cases of exterior peeling, it’s important to use a good quality acrylic caulk to fill gaps around windows and doors, joints in siding and trim boards, and anywhere moisture could get into the end-grain wood.

However, you also need to make sure that moisture generated inside the house has a way to escape. The best way to allow a house to breathe is with gable, roof, and eave vents.

If you are correcting an existing moisture-related peeling problem, you may also need to install siding wedges or vents to give the moisture an easier path of escape than through the paint film. It’s not advisable to caulk where the siding overlaps, as it could trap moisture behind the paint, causing it to peel.

Product spotlight

Sherwin-Williams carries a variety of specialty and general application caulks and sealants that will provide maximum durability. Whether you are using acrylic, silicone or elastomeric caulks and sealants, they have the right caulk gun to get the job done quickly and easily. See your rep or stop by your local store for expert advice.

Visit swlatino.com for more information on products, application techniques, pro discounts and building your painting business.