The different types of caulk available, whether exterior or interior, isn't a common topic that we deal with on a day to day basis, unless you're a contractor perhaps. Plenty of people go through life without ever considering which is the best exterior caulk.
Whether you're a crafter wondering what place a good caulk can have in your supply cabinet, or you're about to do a little DIY on your home, knowing which caulk to choose for the job is actually a lot more important than you might think.
Choosing the most appropriate caulk for a repair or new home project can be crucial to the well being and long-term maintenance of a building. Choose the wrong outdoor caulk, and you could be repairing or replacing your original job within a year.
If you're reading this article without any previous knowledge of exterior caulks, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the best exterior caulk. We'll go over what caulk is, how it's used, and what's the best exterior caulk you can get at a reasonable price. We'll also give you some tips to remember when buying exterior caulk.
It’s all here for you in one place! But, if you don't have enough time to dive deep, then have a quick look to our top 3 picks.
What is Exterior Caulk?
For everyone out there with no idea about what exterior or outdoor caulk is, let's start with a very basic explanation. Exterior caulk is at its most basic level, a waterproof, flexible substance that's meant to fill gaps, cracks, and holes anywhere around the outside building materials and create a water and airtight seal.
Exterior caulking products have become so versatile, that the above definition can't cover all the uses that people have found for it.
Yes, both interior and outdoor caulks are primarily used around construction and repair jobs; however, creative crafters have used it for everything from epoxy molds to silicone doilies and lace. It is a truly versatile substance.
So, where, and why, do we use Outdoor caulk?
Exterior caulk is different from that used inside the home. Typically exterior caulk is rated for larger weather extremes and tends to be stronger.
You can use exterior caulk not only in gaps and holes that you might find in the cement in your floors and walls, but also around pipes, window sills, doors, wooden floors, exterior tiles, and decorative ceiling installations as well.
The main objective of applying exterior caulk is to seal off your home from the outside world as completely as possible. Because, no matter how well and how securely you build your home, there are going to be holes and gaps everywhere around the building material of the house.
These gaps are found most often around window sills and door panels, but also around the pipes and plumbing fixtures, allowing air, water, and often bugs to get into a building.
This is where exterior caulk comes in handy, to completely seal off your home from all kinds of weather-related and environmental factors.
How Do I Buy, and Use, Exterior Caulk?
Most exterior caulk is made from latex or silicone, or some combination of both. They come in a rather large tube, or cartridge, with an applicator. Although the application of exterior caulk is usually done by a professional after construction work is complete on a building, basic caulking is a relatively easy job, even for a layman.
After the final coat of paint, you can’t even see where the exterior caulk has been applied to your walls, windows, or door panels, because most exterior caulk will blend in perfectly with whatever surface you’ve used it on. Just remember that if you are going to be painting your project, you must use paintable exterior caulk.
Silicone based exterior caulk, for the most part, can not be painted over. There are some paintable silicone caulks that are available now, but there have been some mixed reviews. For the most part, however, these seem to be solid products.
Buying the perfect exterior caulk can be a little tough if you don’t know exactly what to look for.
The larger, more involved jobs may be best suited for the professionals - engineers, landscape artists, interior decorators, plumbers, and electrical engineers, stylists and construction workers - as they are the ones most familiar with working with exterior caulk.
However, if you are handy with simple repairs around the house, or if the job is too small to call in a professional, you can do the whole thing on your own. But, you are going to need an easy-to-use and effective exterior caulk, and the right one!
So, let's take a look at some of the best on the market.
Best Exterior Caulk: Reviews for 2021
Although there are different kinds of exterior caulk available on the market for different kinds of surfaces and uses, here are the ten best exterior caulk that you can choose from.
This 10.5-ounce latex exterior caulk comes in a cartridge, easy to use by everyone, even if you have never used caulk or any kind of sealant before.
However, it will also give you a permanent and professional-grade seal anywhere you use this caulk.
Once applied, this flexible but sturdy exterior caulk will harden and become absolutely permanent, sealing off your home from any kind of exterior nuisances, so that you won’t have to apply caulk again. At least, not for several more years.
There’s nothing more annoying than recurring repair jobs around the house when you have to keep applying a sealant or exterior caulk to the same spot again and again.
However, if you use the Sashco Big Stretch on your holes and gaps around the house, you can be absolutely sure that you won’t have to pay attention to that same problem for several years in the future.
This is not only a permanent sealant but weatherproof. It will keep humidity, water and cold air out of your homes when your windows and doors are closed.
You can manipulate the Sashco Big Stretch Latex Caulk any way you want to, by twisting, bending, compressing, stretching and elongating it.
It can be increased to more than 500% of its original size when needed, and will instantly harden on any surface, giving you immediate results.
This is a slate gray adhesive sealant that is both flexible and permanent. Available in a 10.1-ounce cartridge, the DAP 18110 is easy to use, even if you have never done anything similar before.
A single application adds a great value to your construction or design, effectively sealing off your home, office or shop to the outside weather. It can withstand anything, from harsh weather to extreme heat.
The DAP 18110 Acrylic Latex Caulk takes only half an hour to harden, after which you can add any kind of paint over it.
You can use this sealant anywhere and on any kind of surface, from cement to wood, metal to plywood.
The sealant is completely resistant to moisture and mildew of any kind; this means no matter how exposed it is to weather and external conditions, this sealant will not come off or be damaged.
If ever dirty or dusty, you can easily clean up the sealant with water, which will also not damage the sealant in any way.
This is a premium quality latex sealant caulk that will give you years and years of steady performance once you use it, and you’ll not have to worry about the problems at hand for many years.
This is a pack of 12 Latex Sealant that will last you a lifetime of use. This pack is more suitable for professional construction workers, engineers and landscape artists than amateur homeowners or for repairs around the house.
Because this is a 12-pack package of sealant, this is more than enough for a lifetime of handy repairs around the house for an amateur.
Other than that, the DAP 18152 BOOOKE6IES is a permanent solution in keeping the hash weather out of your homes.
This sealant comes with a 35-year durability guarantee, which means that you won’t have to worry about making any repairs to the place you applied this sealant to for 3+ decades. You can paint on it, apply polish or use water to clean it up.
The DAP 18152 BOOOKE6IES is completely invisible to the naked eyes, so that you can use it without having to care about aesthetics.
Besides, the DAP 18152 BOOOKE6IES has an excellent adhesion that will stick to any surface: wood, cement, glass, metal and steel. You can use this sealant both inside and outside your building, as well.
This sealant from Red Devil has been specially made for doors and windows, a 5-ounce cartridge that is extremely easy to use.
Red devil has separate sealants for different parts of the house, and the 0408 EZ Squeeze is perfect for putting in the final touches on your door and window frames.
This caulk is easy to use, with a special EZ Squeeze cartridge that allows you to use up every single blob without any waste.
You can seal your home from every bit of rain, air, draft or moisture by effectively sealing off your windows and doors with this caulk.
Perfect for use both inside and outside the home, the Red Devil 0804 EZ Squeeze can be painted on after it has dried up almost immediately.
This is a weather-, water- and mildew-resistant sealant that you can just use once and forget about for decades to come.
This caulk sealant is absolutely perfect for sealing off any cracks or gaps in your doors and windows, covered up by paint or polish. You can go on winding up the tube until you have absolutely nothing else left in the tube.
This funny looking 2.8-ounce squeeze tube contains an incredibly versatile sealant that you can use almost anywhere, both inside and outside the house.
This sealant is made from 100% silicone that will stick to tiles, glass, cement, wood and metal, and many more different kinds of surfaces, almost every ingredient that is used in construction.
This sealant caulk is 100% water- and weatherproof, and will completely seal off your home, store, business and office from any outside intrusion of water, cold/hot air or moisture.
You can apply this caulk to your windows and doors, as well as any kind of gaps and cracks around the home, and be completely safe from outside intrusion.
Besides doors, windows and walls, you can use the Gorilla 100 Percent Silicone Sealant Caulk in your kitchens and bathrooms around pipes and faucets, and in your gutters and drains.
This sealant comes in handy while working with your automobile engines and in swimming pools and aquariums.
In short, this is a very versatile sealant that you can use almost everywhere and for different purposes. It won’t become yellow, shrink or even crack, even when exposed to water or harsh climate for a long time, and this sealant will completely resist mildew and mold of any type.
This sealant caulk from Sashco - the Sashco 13010 - can stick to wet surfaces as well as dry ones. This means that you can use this caulk in pipes and plumbing jobs, and it can be trusted to keep water out of places you don’t want water to reach.
Besides, this sealant can also be used both indoors and outdoors, to keep your home, office or storage building completely sealed off from wind, hot/cold air, water and moisture.
This is a 10.5-ounce pack that will last you years and years of repairs around the house. Made from a co-polymer rubber-based sealant, Sashco 13010 is flexible and soft. You can extend it, twist it and even bend it, and there will be no tear in the sealant.
Since you can use this sealant on wet surfaces and underwater, this is the perfect caulk to be used for repairs in your swimming pool, aquariums and inflatable pools. Even immersed under water, this sealant will maintain its adhesion to surfaces.
This is a clear adhesive sealant that you can also paint on, or cover with plastic for aesthetic purposes.
This highly durable caulk sealant from GE Silicone comes in a 10.1-ounce cartridge and is extremely easy to apply.
The main points of entry for unwanted cold/hot air, moisture and water in our homes and offices are through the gaps in our windows and doors.
This sealant has been manufactured especially for sealing off doors and windows so that our buildings are completely weather- and water-proof.
With this caulk sealant in the gaps between door panels and window panes, you can be sure no single drop of water or any draft of air can enter your rooms.
You can use the GE Silicone caulk anywhere in your home, office, shop or storage unit - from the attic to the basement. It can be used on all types of windows and doors, as well as on brick and mortar.
This sealant hardens in less than 30 minutes; however, remember that since it's 100% silicone based, it can't be painted on or washed with water.
Once hardened, you won’t have to worry about any kind of repairs on these doors and windows for the next 10+ years.
You can make small repairs to your home with the GE Silicone 2+ Window and Door caulk, and completely put the matter out of your mind!
This is a rather small 5.5-ounce cartridge that comes quite in handy for small and simple repairs around the house.
You can use this acrylic latex caulk on almost any kind of surface in the house; from wood to cement, metal to plumbing pipes. You can paint on this sealant after it hardens, both inside and outside the home.
With this acrylic sealant, you can seal off your home, office, store or storage unit from any kind of outside wind, air, water and moisture.
It is weather-, water- and mildew-resistant, and will last for years. In fact, one application gives you 35-years of durability guarantee, like any other DAP product.
This caulk is white in color and hardens very quickly. It is a good adhesive that will stick to most material, made in the United States. You can also clean it up with water in case of dirt build-up.
This sealant caulk from GE Silicone can be trusted to permanently seal off harsh weather and hostile environment from your home, by sealing off any gaps and cracks in your doors, windows, floors, walls and ceilings.
Any gaps that you apply this sealant will be completely sealed off, with no cracks or shrinks in between. Even under extreme weather, nothing will happen to the sealant after it has hardened.
As with the previous GE Silicone caulk, this sealant hardens within 30 minutes of application and can not be painted on. Once hardened properly, it, too, can withstand more than 12 hours of continuous exposure to water or weather.
This means that you can use this sealant for inside the building as well as outside, where exposure will be the most.
The GE Silicone I All Purpose Caulk can be used on any kind of surface around the house, including door frames and window sills, sidings and trimmings, vents, pipes and wires.
It is made from 100% silicone and is completely water-proof and 100% weatherproof. This sealant is flexible and stretchable; it will stretch and move when needed with the surface it is used on.
This is a clear, high-performance acrylic latex sealant that will give you a lifetime of durability. This is the perfect sealant for sealing off moisture and mildew from your home, as guaranteed by the HomeShield Antimicrobial Protection.
The Red Devil 0777 can be used on most surfaces around the house, including cement, wood, glass, plaster, masonry, aluminum, brick, metal, concrete and tiles. You can use this sealant on your doors and windows, as well as walls, floors, ceilings and pipes.
You can depend on the Red Devil 0777 sealant for a lifetime of durability wherever you use it, not just years or decades.
Indoors or outdoors, it can withstand the harshest of weather forever, and keep your home safe from cold air and water. This sealant is a great way to make sure no moisture comes into your home and create humidity inside.
This sealant from Red Devil takes a very little time to harden, and can be painted on. You can also wash it with water when it gets dirty, or when you are washing your doors and windows, and nothing will happen to your sealant.
It doesn’t shrink or crack when exposed to extreme heat or washed with water, either. This 10.1-ounce cartridge will last you years of repair work around the house.
Things To Consider Before Buying an exterior caulk
Sealants, or caulks, are small things that you need to keep around the house for small repairs you don’t want to call a professional for.
You might think you don’t have to think a lot about the features and qualities of Exterior caulk, but it’s not exactly correct. A cartridge of external caulk might be a small thing, but it is quite an important one for repairs when you need it.
The right Exterior Caulk can save you a lot of trouble around the house when it is time for repairs. If you get the right one, a single cartridge can be a priceless help in times of need.
Here are some of the key features you should look for in an Exterior Caulk or Sealant.
1. Durability Guarantee
Some sealants can give you a few years of durability guarantee, while others give you a guarantee for the next few decades. With sealants, you just want to apply over a gap or a crack and forget about the whole thing for the next few decades.
You want the sealant with the most durability since you want to completely forget about the repair you have just completed around your house for as long as it is possible.
If you have to keep on applying caulk to the same place again and again every few weeks, there is no use investing in a good caulk.
Therefore, while choosing an Exterior caulk, it is quite important that you get one that guarantees the longest durability.
While caulks from GE Silicone gives you 10+ years of durability guarantee and caulks from DAP gives you 35+ years of durability guarantee, the RED DEVIL 0777 gives you the highest: a lifetime of durability.
While some Exterior caulks are only manufactured for doors and windows, others can be used on literally any surface around the house.
The former ones are fine if most of your problems lie with door frames and window sills; however, for an overall checkup and repair of your home, office or storage unit, you need a more versatile product that can be used everywhere: on the walls, floors, ceilings, pipes, as well as on the doors and windows.
The most versatile Exterior caulks available in the market can be used everywhere and on every kind of surface you can find inside a building, from tiles and cement to metal, crown molding, wood, glass, masonry, plaster, brick and mortar, aluminum and concrete. The more versatile your Exterior caulk, the more you can do with it.
3. Time Taken to Harden
The less time it takes the Exterior Caulk to harden, the more convenient it is for you. Most caulks available in the market takes around 30 minutes to an hour to harden and become completely permanent.
The quicker the caulk sets, the easier it is for you to paint on it or add polish to it, and the quicker to forget about the whole thing.
If your Exterior caulk hardens quickly, you can forget about the whole thing the moment that you apply it to gaps and cracks, and not bother with the problem again for the next few decades.
Most Exterior caulks are 100% resistant to water, harsh weather, moisture and mildew, since these are the factors that you need to eliminate and seal off from your home.
However, how much effective these sealants really are in keeping off water, cold wind and moisture from the insides will have to be determined after use, but they all advertise to be the same.
The main point of using an Exterior caulk in your home is to make sure no water, moisture or air enters from the various cracks and gaps in the structure, especially from the doors and windows.
Since most such sealants claim to be weather-, moisture- and water-proof, this is an important feature to look for while buying a brand.
5. Color and Texture
Exterior sealants usually come in two colors: white and transparent (clear). The clear ones blend in better with the background than the white ones.
However, all exterior caulks can be painted on or polished, so it is easy to camouflage them behind other colors.
If you have plans to apply color on your repairs, both the white and the clear Exterior caulks are fine but if you don’t plan on applying color, it is better to stick to the clear and transparent brands.
6. Other Features
There are some other features that are quite important in Exterior caulks that you should also look for, i.e.:
- Whether they can be used both inside and outside the house/building;
- Whether they can be washed with water;
- Whether they can withstand direct exposure to sunlight and water for a long time (for harsh weather circumstances);
- Whether they can stick to surfaces under water (for swimming pools and aquariums);
- Whether they can be applied to wet surfaces (pipes);
- Whether there is a chance for the caulk to crack or shrink over time;
- Whether they are flexible and can be bend, twisted, or extended; etc.
As mentioned before, these exterior caulks are rather simple items to own and keep around the house, but when the need arise, they can make a world of difference to your home, your belongings, and your furniture.
So whether you are investing in a small 5.5-ounce cartridge or a 12-pack, it is always preferable to select one which will cater to your every repair need around the house.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Best Exterior Caulk 2021
1. What are Exterior Caulks made of?
Most of the exterior caulks available on the market today are made from latex, acrylic, silicone, or a mixture/combination of these three ingredients.
2. Where can I use Exterior Caulk in my home?
If you're looking to weatherproof your home, you can apply a fine layer of exterior caulk to any gaps or cracks where there is a small draft or even water coming in.
Air or water leaks like this are usually seen in window sills and ledges, or even doors, as well as ceilings and floors. Wooden planks used to cover walls can have any number of gaps in and between them, which can all be sealed off with caulk.
In addition to this, caulk can be used to seal off gaps around ceiling fans, under doors, or between aluminum windows.
3. Is caulk poisonous or dangerous?
Most people find exterior caulk to be only a mild irritant and not much more than that. However, there are plenty of situations where caulk can be dangerous, especially if you have allergies or some other underlying condition.
MedlinePlus explains that reactions can vary widely from almost none to those that require immediate medical attention. Be very aware of yourself and others during the use of any chemical compound or substance.
For instance, the strong odor and fumes that you may encounter when applying caulk can be irritable to a few, so covering your nose and mouth with a properly fitting mask or respirator while applying caulk can be very important.
If you touch caulk before it hardens and then touch your eyes or mouth, you could end up with a serious irritation. However, if you wash your eyes immediately or clean your mouth carefully, accidently eating caulk or getting a small amount in your eyes may not be a serious issue for adults.
Even in the case of small children or small pets, getting a little bit in their mouth or accidentally touching their eyes with caulk-covered hands can cause anywhere from mild to severe irritation. However, accidentally swallowing a large chunk of hardened caulk can cause choking.
All in all, applying exterior caulk is a relatively safe home improvement job, but if you think you or someone else is having any kind of reaction definitely seek medical help.
4. Which type of Exterior Caulk lasts longest and can withstand Harsh conditions?
If you're looking for a type of exterior caulk that can hold strong under the harshest conditions, acrylic-based sealants would be preferable.
Acrylic-based caulks are also labelled as “acrylic-latex,” but you can find only “acrylic” ones as well. They tend to be more expensive than the other types, but they're great at protecting your home from extreme water damage or heat.
5. Which is the most flexible Exterior Caulk?
When it comes to flexibility, the exterior caulks made from polyurethane are the best. They are the easiest to apply, and can bend, twist and even be elongated much more than other types.
Polyurethane exterior caulks are not only the most flexible, they also tend to stick better to most surfaces.
These caulks are better than others when you're using them on concrete, for example, or on gaps that are wider than ¼ inch. They last longer, but keep in mind that they're also more expensive.
6. Does Exterior Caulk work on Wood?
Yes, these caulks work perfectly well on wooden planks, hardboard, and natural wood. However, they work better if you can apply a coat of primer to your wood before applying the caulk. A coat of primer will help the caulk adhere and stick to the wood more effectively.
The primer can be applied on the wood and in the gaps, but the gaps should not be completely filled with primer. That's what the exterior caulk is for.
Final Words on Outdoor Caulk
There’s no way we can underestimate the importance of good Exterior Caulk when it comes to making repairs around the house or weather-proofing it.
With a single application, you can completely seal off your home, office, store or storage unit from water damage, cold air or even pests and bugs, and can stop the hot air inside from escaping.
When we live in a harsh environment and want to escape inside our comfortable homes, it is such exterior sealants that can guarantee that we are leaving the environment outside the moment we step inside our threshold.
The best exterior caulk, whichever one matches your need, budget and requirements, can help immensely in making your home more comfortable.