Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated December 24, 2021)
If you have ever walked down the aisles of the home improvement section of your department store, or even wandered around a home supply store, then chances are you have come across something called cold weather caulking. After seeing this, then you have probably asked yourself the question, "What is cold weather caulking?" The answer to this question is pretty simple, but does require a little background to fully appreciate.
It would be wonderful wouldn't it if we only had to do home repairs in the spring, summer or fall? Unfortunately, there are many times when we have to repair something in the middle of winter. As you can easily imagine, this typically creates a whole new set of difficulties. Some of these difficulties that might arise revolve around the whole idea of trying to apply caulking to new pipes, or around the edges of new windows.
When the seasons have turned, and the weather outside is, as the song says "frightful," then you really need to use cold weather caulking for your sealant needs. This type of caulking has been specially formulated so that even when the temperature reaches 320, it won't freeze before it dries. It may not seem like a problem, but when such a product freezes before drying, it normally becomes more brittle. When caulking becomes brittle, it is more likely to flake or chip away, instead of having the proper flexibility that a caulking should have. It is this flexibility that gives the caulking its real strength. As the seasons change, the sealant needs to be able to expand and contract without loosing the air and watertight "seal" it provides. Not to mention, this flexibility also provides added strength when there is a slow leak from water, and also provides extra durability when the weather outside turns wet and windy. As you can undoubtedly guess, this specialized formulation is going to cost you more at the cash register. Typically the starting price for regular caulking is going to be around the $18.00 range, while for the cold weather type the starting price is going to be in the $44.00 range. It may be a little more expensive to buy it, but in the long run it is worth the expense. Doing so is going to save you untold frustration, not to mention money, later on.
So, the next time you need to replace some burst water pipes, or that window your kids broke from the latest skirmish in their ongoing snow battles, look for a sealant that has been designed for cold weather application.
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