Find out how to seal cracks and warped joints in your home all by yourself with our handy step-by-step guide.
If you’ve lived in your home for more than ten years and carried out no major renovation work such as installing a new kitchen, you might have started noticing the odd crack or hole appearing along wall grooves and skirting boards. They might not seem like a big deal at first sight, but even the smallest crack can provide an entry point for unwanted pests such as insects and mice, and continued warping or the frequent appearance of new, fresh cracks in the wall or ceiling might indicate a more serious structural fault to the property, such as water damage – which in turn can seriously reduce the value of your home. So how do you fix the problem?
Sealing Joints and Edges: Step-by-Step
Well, it’s always a good idea to get a property surveyor to inspect your home first, just to eliminate the possibility that some major plastering work needs to be done or re-done to prevent things getting any worse. If that doesn’t prove the case, then there’s no reason you can’t fill the cracks and holes in the walls yourself; here’s a handy step-by-step guide to help you get started!
1. Firstly, take the time to choose the correct caulk to seal the cracked joint or edge in question. Make sure it is suitable for the material on which it needs to be applied, and is suitably waterproof as well. Can the caulk be painted if need be too? Generally you should avoid acrylic caulk, as this shrinks over time and doesn’t do as an effective sealing job as other forms of caulk.
2. Next, clean the surface in question, scrubbing it with a simple soap and water solution to get rid of any dirt or debris that will affect the smooth application of the caulk, as it usually adheres better to a clean surface. If you’re tackling a particularly rough or dirty area you could always try an alcohol based cleaning solution instead, as this generally achieves better results – and if the surface needs some serious treatment you should shop around for some pre-treatment caulk smoother, as this can help prepare the area for an effective sealing job in the most professional way possible.
3. Now it’s time to apply the caulk. Take care to cut and pierce the tube and insert the cartridge into the caulk gun as carefully as possible, before applying a consistent pressure when directing the gun toward the crack or hole in question. If you don’t own one or can’t borrow one from a friend, there are plenty of online companies from which you can always hire a caulk gun instead.
4. Finally, smooth over the area once the caulk has been applied using a dry rag or cloth, and then leave the surface to dry for up to twenty-four hours. As long as you didn’t apply to much caulk it should settle into a hard, sturdy surface protector that has filled the entirety of the crack or hole causing the problem – and if all has proven successful, you can move on to the next one as soon as you’re finished!