Can you do the caulking job in cold weather?

Caulking is a very good ally in keeping the house warm against low temperatures. Although most of us postpone the moment when caulking can be set until summer time, we can also apply caulking during winter time and not have to stand the freezing temperatures.
In general belief, caulking can only be applied during warm weather.

The instructions on the latex caulking specifically state that should be implemented in temperatures up to 80°F. However, there are other types of caulking that can be applied in low temperatures (up to 20°F). These usually have a silicone or rubber base that does not freeze like the latex ones.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that applying a silicon caulk is all it takes to apply it in cold weather.
First of all, you have to make sure that the surface is very dry and clean. Even the thinnest layer of ice can prevent the caulk from adhering. A solution would be to melt the ice and warm the surface using a hair dryer or the use of methyl ethyl ketone or acetone for cleaning the surface. These substances ensure the cleanses of the surface and help the caulk adherer strongly.
It is important to keep the tubes of caulking warm until just before their usage. This is important because cold caulk will not flow easily in low temperatures so it will not reach the joint.
The caulking should be stored inside overnight before it is being used. During installation, the tubes can be kept warm through a jar of warm tap water or placing them in a portable cooler with warm water inside.
Another way of keeping the caulk warm in order to ensure the smooth flow would be to place the tube next to heating device such the dash of a car or truck with the defroster turned on.
The caulking should not start in the morning, but in mid morning or afternoon when temperatures increase. Materials will contract in low temperatures and expand in warmer ones. Wood can be stable, but metal and plastics expand due to changes in temperatures. Starting the caulking in warm temperature will allow for these processes to take place in their due time.
Another important thing is to use a caulk that has a joint with a high mobility. You can see this as a number placed on the tube of caulking with a minus or plus sign in front of it. Usually, caulks are split into two groups: ones with minus/plus 12.5% or others with minus/plus 25%. The ones that provide the movement ability without occurring the risk of cracks, fall in the category with minus/plus 25%.

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