My Caulking Won’t Dry!

Dawn SmithLog Homeowner Education

Clean Caulk Lines by Log Masters Professionals

If you need help with caulking that resists drying or curing, we’ll gladly tell you why. Your new caulking could be struggling to dry for a few reasons, but outdoor conditions are often the most common cause. Outside conditions such as temperature or humidity can significantly impact the curing of your caulking. Another common problem could be your surface prep or your method of application. Caulking drying properly may be hindered by several other factors, such as a poor caulking brand, caulking age, incorrect surface type, failure to follow directions, or excessive caulking application.

Six Types of Commonly Used Caulking for Homes

Although I can, I’m not trying to be exhaustive or let you know which caulk to use. As you research caulking, you will come across six common types used in homes: acrylic/latex, butyl, ethylene vinyl acetate, oil-based, silicone, and urethane. Not all are ideal for a log home. The use of acrylic/latex, which is water-based, will make your cleanup easier. The most commonly used caulking brands for log homes are:

Big Stretch-Super Elastic - with 500% Maximum Stretch and Powerful Adhesion by Sashco (image sourced from Sashco Website 9/26/2023)
Big Stretch-Super Elastic – with 500% Maximum Stretch and Powerful Adhesion by Sashco (image sourced from Sashco Website 9/26/2023)

These brands are made to be flexible and with high adhesion to avoid cracking or separation from the log surfaces. Two-point adhesion will allow the caulk elasticity to flex as the log home settles throughout the seasons. To learn how to apply caulking like a pro, you can visit our caulking service page for a detailed description of the step-by-step process. We also have several log homeowner education videos on our YouTube Channel.

Our Log Master Philemon is brushing smooth Sashco Conceal caulk to the log joinery for a professional finish. This was not a typical restoration since the client’s previous contractor was not experienced. Unfortunately, much of the client’s restoration budget had already been spent on inexperienced/subpar work, so all they could now afford was replacing the worst of the log rot.

Things to Consider When Caulking

As alluded to earlier, most caulking is not for universal or interchangeable uses. Some resist oil and don’t play nicely with other caulking brands, stains, surfaces, or failing caulking. For instance, avoid getting latex caulking too wet since it slows the drying process. There is a fine line between a clean, damp brush lightly drug over caulking to smooth it and soaking a dirty brush and dragging it against the caulking.

In this home, the previous “log home contractor” decided to conceal the log rot with caulking. This was one of many issues. Please do not do this.

The Detail Reveals Professional Verses Amateur Caulking

You will often see the difference between a pro and an amateur in how seamless it appears when it comes to caulking. Amateur caulking is frequently too heavy and needs to be cleaner in appearance. Often, you find big globs of it bulging out between the logs. Professionals are masters of seamless application. Please watch our “Step-by-Step Caulking” video for caulking interior log joinery. You can use the same application method for outside checks, but not necessarily the same caulking.

To learn more about caulking and the right one for your log home needs, check out this excellent article in Log & Timber Home Living Magazine.

Avoid the common caulk problems by reading this article from Sashco: What Causes Caulk to Fail and How to Fix It.