What Type of Caulking Is Best for Outside?

Caulking is a material used for filling gaps and cracks that arise in various surface areas around your house. Caulking is a great tool for heat retention and protection against water leakage and cracking in different foundations. A large variety of caulking types are available on the market, many with specific uses and conditions. Some types are better than others when you are caulking outside.

Most types of caulking require the use of a caulking gun.


The caulking market provides consumers with a wide range of caulking for their specific needs. The different types of caulking include silicone, latex, acrylic latex silicone blend, kitchen and bath, butyl rubber and oil-based asphalt caulking. For outside use, you should use a silicone, latex, acrylic-latex-silicone blend or oil-based asphalt caulking.

Silicone Caulking

Silicone caulking is the most widely used caulking because of its durability and resistance to harsh temperatures. It is very rubbery and will not crack in dry climates or rapid temperature changes. Silicone caulking works best on non-porous surfaces such as plastic and metal. Although very effective, silicone caulking is difficult to apply, messy to clean up and gives off an acrid odor, which is why it is not recommended for indoors but great for outside.

Latex Caulking

Latex caulking is becoming increasingly popular for its durable and amiable properties. When applied correctly, latex caulking can last up to 20 years and can be painted to match any color. Latex caulking is best for small cracks, as in wood, and is also a good indoor/outdoor choice because it is not as odorous as silicone. Latex does not withstand temperatures as well as silicone, so it is not a good choice for cold climates or in temperatures that rapidly fluctuate.

Acrylic-Latex-Silicone Blend Caulk

This hybrid of caulking takes the best of all worlds. It is durable, user-friendly and can be easily painted over to match different colors. A blended caulking is great for small jobs on wood, brick and stone, and for weatherproofing windows. This caulking can also be used indoors.

Oil-Based Asphalt Caulking

Oil-based asphalt caulking is the choice for heavy-duty outdoor jobs. Rather than just filling in cracks and leaks, oil-based asphalt caulking can provide support as well for small structures like chimneys and vents. This type of caulking is very much like tar and will dry quickly. It will also last for up to four years.