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Caulking involves the application of sealant to various parts of a building to protect against moisture, air leaks, pests, and other unwanted elements. It’s crucial for both commercial and residential buildings as it helps to maintain the building's integrity and improve energy efficiency. 

We dive further into the benefits of caulking, the process, and how to hire the best contractor for your caulking job.


  • What is the purpose of caulking?
  • Types of caulking services
  • Benefits of professional caulking
  • Caulking process
  • How much does caulking cost in Australia?
  • How to choose the right contractor
  • Questions to ask your contractor
  • Frequently asked questions


What is the purpose of caulking?

Caulking involves sealing gaps and cracks in various surfaces, such as windows, doors, walls, and floors, to prevent air, water, and other substances from passing through. The material used for caulking is usually a flexible sealant, such as silicone or latex, that is applied with a caulking gun or other tool to fill the gaps and create a watertight or airtight seal. Caulking can help to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, prevent moisture damage, and improve the overall appearance of surfaces.

Types of Caulking Services

Caulking can be classified into three categories: interior, exterior, and specialty caulking.

  • Interior caulking: Includes sealing gaps between walls and window frames, door frames, baseboards, and bathtubs. 
  • Exterior caulking: Involves sealing gaps around windows, doors, concrete, and brickwork. 
  • Specialty caulking: May include firestop caulking, expansion joint caulking, and soundproof caulking. Firestop caulking is used to prevent the spread of fire through walls and floors, while expansion joint caulking is used to absorb movement and vibration between different building materials. Soundproof caulking is used to reduce noise transmission between rooms or floors.

Benefits of Professional Caulking

Professional caulking services provide numerous benefits for both commercial and residential buildings. 

Increased energy efficiency is one of the most significant pros of caulking, as sealing gaps can prevent air leaks and reduce energy costs. Improved aesthetics is another benefit, as caulking can provide a uniform and clean look to a building. 

Additionally, caulking protects against moisture, mould, and pests, which can cause significant damage to building materials over time. It can also extend the lifespan of a building and help to maintain its value.


Caulking Process

The process of caulking involves several steps: 

  • Inspection and assessment: Your caulking specialist will identify areas that require application and determine the type of caulking needed. 
  • Surface preparation: They’ll then clean the area to be caulked and removing any old or damaged caulking. 
  • Application: The material is then applied using specialised caulking tools, and any excess sealant is removed.
  • Clean-up and finishing: Finally, the area is cleaned and finished to provide a professional and polished look.

How much does caulking cost in Australia?

The cost of caulking in Australia can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the type of building, the scope of the work, and the type of caulking material used. On average, the cost of caulking services in Australia can range from $30 to $70 per hour for labour, and the cost of caulking material can range from $2 to $5 per linear metre. For larger projects, such as caulking an entire building, the cost can be significantly higher.

It's important to note that the cost of caulking can vary significantly depending on the business, so it's recommended to obtain quotes from multiple providers before making a decision. Additionally, the price of caulking may be impacted by any additional services required, such as surface preparation or clean-up, and any warranty or guarantee provided by the caulking contractor.

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How to Choose the Right Contractor

Here are some tips for hiring the best caulking expert for your job:

1. Gather Quotes

Enter the information outlining your job on, and we'll provide you with a list of local businesses that can help.

2. Narrow Down Your Search uses a three-tier badge system to help you make an informed choice.

We recommend choosing a business with the highest level (badge 3 – ‘recommended’) from our three-step verification process.

3. Do Further Research

Once you’ve refined your choices, check out the contractor’s online presence to learn about their reputation and services. Visit their website and social media pages to view their past customer reviews.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Here are some questions that can be helpful to ask when hiring a contractor for your installation:

  • Can you provide references from previous work?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How do you communicate with customers during the process?
  • Are you flexible with your schedule, and can you work on weekends if necessary?


Caulking FAQs

What is the difference between silicone and caulk?

Silicone and caulk are both sealants used to fill gaps and cracks around building materials. However, there are some differences between the two.

Caulk is a general term that refers to a range of sealants, including acrylic, latex, and silicone-based products. It is commonly used for indoor projects such as filling gaps around windows, doors, and baseboards.

Silicone, on the other hand, is a type of caulk that is made from silicone polymers. It is more durable and has a longer lifespan than other types of caulk. Silicone caulk is also more resistant to moisture and can withstand exposure to harsh weather conditions, making it a popular choice for outdoor projects such as sealing around windows, doors, and roofs.

Therefore, caulk is a general term used to describe a range of sealants, while silicone is a specific type of caulk.

How long does caulking last? 

The lifespan of caulking can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of caulking material used, the quality of the application, and the location of the caulked area. On average, most types of caulking have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. However, some high-quality silicone caulks can last up to 20 years or more.

Factors such as exposure to sunlight, extreme weather conditions, and moisture can also impact the lifespan of caulking. Areas that are exposed to a lot of movement, such as around windows and doors, may also require more frequent reapplication of caulk.

Regular inspections and maintenance can help to identify areas where caulking may need to be replaced. Signs that caulk may need to be replaced include cracks, gaps, or peeling. It's important to address any issues with caulking as soon as possible to prevent moisture from entering the building and causing damage.

What is the difference between interior and exterior caulking? 

The main difference between interior and exterior caulking is the type of material used and the specific purposes.

Interior caulking is generally used for sealing gaps and joints around the interior of a building, such as around doors, windows, and baseboards. Interior caulking is typically made from acrylic or latex-based materials, which are more flexible and easier to clean up than exterior caulking materials. Interior caulking is also designed to be paintable, so it can be used to achieve a seamless finish.

Exterior caulking, on the other hand, is used to seal gaps and joints around the exterior of a building, such as around windows, doors, and siding. Exterior caulking is typically made from more durable materials, such as silicone or polyurethane, which are better able to withstand exposure to the elements, such as UV rays, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. Exterior caulking materials are also typically more difficult to clean up than interior caulking supplies.


Can I caulk myself, or should I hire a professional?

Whether you can caulk yourself or should hire a professional depends on your experience and skill level, as well as the scope and complexity of the caulking project.

Simple caulking projects, such as filling small gaps or cracks around windows and doors, can generally be done by most people with some basic DIY skills. Caulking guns and tubes of caulking can be purchased at most hardware stores, and there are many online resources available that provide step-by-step instructions for caulking.

However, if the caulking project is more complex or involves hard-to-reach areas, it may be best to hire a professional caulking service. Professional caulking contractors have the experience and tools necessary to complete the job efficiently and effectively, and they can also provide guidance on the best materials and techniques for your specific project.

Additionally, hiring a professional caulking service can help to ensure that the work is done correctly and to a high standard, which can help to prevent moisture from entering the building and causing damage.

Do you need a caulking licence in Australia?

In Australia, the requirements for caulking may vary by state or territory. In some cases, a licence or certification may be required to legally provide caulking services.

For example, in New South Wales, a contractor's licence is required to carry out any residential building work where the total cost of the work (including materials and labour) is over a certain amount, and includes caulking work.

In Victoria, a domestic builder's licence is required for any building work that involves the construction, renovation, alteration, extension or improvement of a home. Caulking work may fall under this category, depending on the scope and nature of the project.

Other states and territories, such as Queensland and Western Australia, may also require licensing or certification for caulking work, depending on the value or type of work being done.

It's important to check with the relevant state or territory regulatory bodies to determine the specific requirements for caulking services in your area. This can help ensure that you are complying with all legal and safety requirements.

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All the costs quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are to be used as an AUD cost guide and may vary locally, and are subject to market changes.

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