Caulking-Which To Use?

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Old 10-03-00, 10:48 AM
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Hi! I just bought my first house & it was built in 1906 AFTER the great SF earthquake.
I am re-doing the front stairs (which was covered with astro-turf for several years). The stairs are wood, & they are connected to a stucco wall. There are cracks where the wood meets the stucco & I need to know what kind of caulking I should use that will adhere to both wood & stucco, & one that I can paint over. Any suggestions? Thanks! KAF
 
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Old 10-05-00, 05:56 AM
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KAF:

There are all kinds of caulkings that will stick to both wood and stucco. However, just as many people tend to stick with the same kind of paint because they like it and think it's excellent, many people stick with the same kind of caulking. Two excellent caulks that will fit the bill here are Sikaflex 1a and Kop-R-Lastic.

Neither one of these is likely to be found in a home center, both of them are quite expensive, and both of them are very popular amongst builders and professional contractors.

Sikaflex 1a is a urethane caulk that adhere to most things well, is paintable and dries to a tough, fairly hard surface. It comes in various colours, but most places will only stock grey unless you want to order a case of 12 cartridges.

Many window companies use nothing but Kop-R-Lastic for all their window installations. It's a synthetic rubber caulk that dries fairly soft and rubbery. THE biggest advantage of using this caulk is that it's cohesive strength is higher than it's adhesive strength, so it holds together better than it holds on to the surface it was applied to. That's a blessing if you ever need to remove it, because all you have to do is loose one end of it, and pull it out of the seam like a piece of rope and leaving the surfaces it was applied to clean.

I wouldn't use either of these indoors, but for outdoor use they're both excellent products.
 
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Old 10-05-00, 06:11 AM
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KAF:

A word of advice to a new home owner:

What products you use and how you use them is much more important than the price you pay for them, because the price doesn't include the additional time and labour you invest in your house.

Instead of buying your materials from a home center like Home Depot, buy from experts in each trade. For caulking, open the yellow pages and you will find caulking and adhesives suppliers that will sell to the general public. Same for cleaning supplies, paint, plaster, plumbing and everything else.

The advantage of buying from people who specialize in each field are that you almost always get a better product because these companies will try to get exclusive distribution rights to the best products out there when another distributor drops the line or folds, you almost always get better advice on what to use and how, and you get all the free technical support you need thrown in for free.

If you want to become knowledgeable about your house in a hurry, these bulletin boards are OK, but they're no comparison with surrounding yourself with knowledgeable salesmen in each field. And of course, none of that makes any difference unless you ask questions when your understanding/opinion doesn't jive with what the salesman is telling you.
 
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