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5 of the Most Common Concrete Caulking Questions

By Sarah Etler - 1/9/23, 2:40 PM
Small gap in concrete slab caulked with polymer concrete caulk

If you’ve noticed that your concrete is cracked or has large gaps between slabs, you may be wondering about your options to repair it.

Concrete caulking is a great way to seal up any gaps and cracks, leaving your concrete protected against the elements that cause them to worsen and expand.

At A-1 Concrete Leveling, we've been experts in preserving and protecting concrete for more than 30 years. During this time, we’ve learned just how important it is to caulk concrete properly, and we’ve received countless questions from customers wanting to learn more about it.

Because of this, we have compiled a list of five of the most common questions about concrete caulking to help you be informed as possible when deciding if it's right for your concrete.

1. What is concrete caulk used for?

Caulk can be used on concrete cracks, gaps, and joints to protect against water damage, pests, trip hazards, and more. It can also be used to achieve a desired aesthetic. 

By adding caulk to the gaps and cracks rather than leaving them exposed, water can’t enter through them and cause them to worsen, or erode away the base holding the slab up, which eventually causes the concrete to settle.

The caulk can also block pests from entering and making a home under your concrete slab, and can fill large gaps where trips are likely to occur.

In commercial settings, concrete caulk can be used on gaps between concrete slabs to prevent them from chipping due to the heavy machinery, like forklifts, that drive on top of them.

2. Who does concrete caulking?

Concrete caulking can be done by companies specifically dedicated to concrete caulking, concrete replacement companies, concrete repair and maintenance companies, masons, handymen, or as a DIY project.

Dedicated concrete caulking companies usually focus on commercial jobs or new construction, like commercial buildings, shopping centers, and warehouses. Masons, on the other hand, mostly focus on residential concrete caulking.

3. Does caulking stick to concrete?

Concrete caulking does stick to concrete, but it doesn’t last forever. The conditions where you live and how many freeze-thaw cycles you regularly receive will impact how long the caulk will stick to the concrete.

Concrete caulk has a sort of “shelf life”. As it ages, it can stop adhering to the concrete and get to a point where it can be pulled up easily. This is normal, and at this point, the caulk will need to be replaced to keep up with its protective benefits.

If the caulk was applied correctly, which consists of grinding the crack or gap and making sure the caulk is placed inside of it rather than on the surface, the caulk replacement process is simple, as the strip of caulk can be easily pulled out in one go and replaced with new caulk.

4. Is concrete caulk waterproof?

The concrete caulking material is a polymer that can stick to concrete and create a barrier against water. It creates a tight waterproof seal against the concrete, and water cannot work its way through the caulk. 

Over time, however, the caulk can start to pull away from the concrete as it ages or due to temperature fluctuations and freeze-thaw cycles. The gaps left from the shrinking caulk can allow water to enter, preventing the caulk from being waterproof.

As long as the concrete caulk is not pulling away from the concrete itself, it will be waterproof.

5. What’s the difference between concrete caulking and sealing?

Concrete caulking and sealing are terms that are frequently confused with one another, but they’re actually very different services.

Concrete caulking consists of applying a polymer caulk to the gaps and cracks in a concrete slab in order to keep out water, pests, and weeds. 

Concrete sealing, on the other hand, is when a liquid sealing product is applied to the entire surface of the concrete in order to create a complete barrier against water and other liquids, which can absorb into its pores and cause damage.

Both are important concrete maintenance practices that can protect against water damage, among other things, but they serve different purposes.

Now what?

Now that you know a little more about concrete caulking, you’re ready to decide if it’s an option worth exploring for your concrete gaps, cracks, and joints.

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we know that it’s a crucial concrete maintenance practice that can protect and preserve your concrete for years to come.

To help you learn even more about concrete maintenance and repair, including concrete caulking, we have an entire library of content called Concrete Academy

Check out some of these related Concrete Academy topics:

If you are interested in learning what concrete caulking can do for your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to A-1 Concrete Leveling. Click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate!

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