Just like everything else, caulk can deteriorate over time due to wear and tear and other daily elements in our environment. Therefore at some point, it will be inevitable to replace the old caulk. But wait a bit, is it possible to put a second layer of caulk on top of the old one, especially during repairs.
Mainly used for repairs and building works, caulk is a clear and flexible sealant commonly used to seal air out and even water leakage via cracks, joints, and even gaps less than ¼ inch joint.
Unlike the weather strip, caulk is used to seal cracks between 2 stationary components.
All in all, the question remains can you put a second layer of caulk on top of another one? The answer is yes. You can set another second layer of caulk on either an old caulk or new caulk.
In the guide below, I will take you through several steps of how to caulk over.
I will also discuss why and why not to caulk over and precautions to take when caulking over.
Read more on What Happens If Caulk Gets Wet Before It Cures
Can You Put A Second Layer Of Caulk On Top Of Another One? A Complete Guide.
What Is Caulk Used For
Caulk application is a piece of essential knowledge to any worthy while builder.
It is a component that you cannot miss in the majority of buildings. Apart from sealing gaps between door frames or even windows, caulk also helps to lock air out and pest-proof your building.
Caulk also prevents water damages when used around bathtubs, showers, drains, sinks, among other plumbing fixtures.
It prevents water or moisture from escaping through the gaps between the wall and the fixtures. It also contains the growth of mildew or mould in your premises.
Types Of Caulk
The market is flooded with different caulks belonging to different manufacturers.
Because of the many products, most people are not finding it easy to choose what they need.
Since the mode of application is almost similar for different caulks, it is always good to ensure you have used the correct type of caulk for a job well done.
Below Are The Most Common Types Of Caulk Used.
I. Acrylic Latex Caulk
Also known as the painter’s caulk, acrylic latex caulk is the most common type in our homes.
Primarily it is used to seal windows and doors, fill in nail holes as well as cracks in tiles.
Once applied, you can easily use your moist hand or any other tool to trim or smooth the surface.
With just soap and water, you can easily clean it. In addition, it is available in a range of colours although you can always paint over with your preferred choice of colour.
On the other hand, acryclic latex caulk is less elastic and not flexible once it has cured.
This type of caulk does not also adhere well to metallic surfaces. Since this type of acrylic does not create a water-tight seal, it will not serve you well when used in bathrooms and kitchens.
II. Silicone Caulk
Silicone caulk is mainly used in areas that are exposed to water often.
It is water-tight as well as durable. Since it adheres well to non-porous surfaces, it is the ideal caulk for toilets, bathrooms, and even sinks.
Silicone caulk is flexible and once cured; it can allow stretching of the joint without cracking.
This kind of caulk is also a long-lasting type of caulk lasting for more than 10 years once applied.
The caulk is waterproof and resistant to mould and cleans very easily once it dries.
On the other hand, silicone caulk has limited use in our homes since most places that might need caulking are more likely to be porous, and silicone caulk does not adhere well to porous surfaces.
In addition, this kind of caulk is not easy to clean, especially from a piece of fabric and other porous surfaces, as it will require a solvent.
III. Butyl Rubber Caulk
This kind of caulk is rarely used indoors, thus not a DIY type of caulk.
It is the strongest and most durable type of caulk. Due to its durability, butyl rubber caulk is best for roofs, concrete such as foundations, and brick surfaces.
In addition, it can be used to seal metal surfaces. Butyl rubber caulk is available in different colours, and it can be painted as well.
Factors To Consider When Buying Caulk
Different caulks are manufactured with different strengths, properties and their application is also different.
Below are some of the factors you should consider when buying a caulk.
- The kind of surface you intend to caulk; either wood, metallic, concrete etc
- The condition of the surface where the caulk will be applied. The surface can be wet like the bathrooms or dry areas like windows.
- Do you intend to paint over the caulk or not.
- How durable or long-lasting will the caulk be. For how long will it serve you?
Can you put a second layer of caulk on top of another one?
Caulking over is one frequently asked question, especially if someone is keen on repairing their house.
So, can you caulk over, or is it possible for one to put a layer of caulk on top of another one? The answer is YES.
However, it would help if you were sure that’s what you want. Caulking over is not a guarantee the bond will be strong enough.
For instance, caulking over silicone caulk can be tricky unless you apply it over a wider area.
The caulk should cover the un-caulked area around the original layer beneath.
In addition, you should keep in mind the possibility of everything failing and having to re-do everything afresh.
Tips When Caulking Over
Make sure the surface you intend to apply the caulk is spotless.
The surface should be free of dust and any oil residues. Use a dry cloth to clear all the dust from the old layer of caulk and the surfaces surrounding it.
For an acrylic caulk, soap and water are sufficient to clean any grime, loose chips and even dust.
A solution of a cup of bleach and warm water will be ideal for cleaning silicone caulk.
Do not use soap or other detergents to clean silicone caulk as the new one will not adhere.
a) Dry The Surface Completely
Caulk will not attach well to any wet surface.
Ensure all cleaned surfaces are as dry as possible before applying any other layer of caulk.
Allow the cleaned surface to dry completely, even if it means leaving it open to dry overnight.
A successful outcome of your project will majorly depend on this stage.
Soak any wet surface with tissue or paper; if necessary, a fan will make the surface dry even faster.
b) Apply The New Layer Of Caulk
After you have cleaned the surface and it’s now clean and dry, it’s time to apply the new layer of caulk.
Take note and ensure both the previous and the new caulk are of the same group or contain the same ingredients.
When caulking, make sure the new caulk covers beyond where the old caulk reached.
Extent the surface to which you are applying the new caulk. The reason for extending the new caulk to a clean caulk-free place, it’s for bonding purposes.
The new caulk will bond quickly to the parts which are not caulked. It will also give it a chance to last longer without detaching itself.
When You Should Not Re-Caulk Over
1) Cracked Or Broken Caulk
People often caulk over old caulk, but caulking over broken or creaked caulk is not encouraged.
Caulking over a loose caulk means your new top caulk will be prone to damages sooner since the base is not stable.
This means before caulking over, ensure the old caulk is holding firm to the surface.
On the contrary, if the crack is minor and the original caulk is stable, you can always proceed to caulk over, but the new caulk will only act as filler.
2) Caulking Over Mouldy Caulk
Caulking over a caulk that is invested with mould is not recommended.
Even though the new caulk will temporarily stick, the mould will continue to grow. With time the bond between the old and new caulk will be split, and you will have to re-do the work again.
Final Thoughts On Whether You Put A Second Layer Of Caulk On Top Of Another One
From the guide above, it is possible to put a second layer of caulk on top of another one.
It has been done and is being done to date to do minor repairs in the house.
Once you follow the guide, it will be easy to caulk over and repair or fix window glass all by yourself at home.