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4th of July Preparation:

Posted by Content Cucumber on

Summer is just around the corner, and with it, comes the 4th of July. To celebrate the summer holiday, there's nothing like a splash in the pool. If you own a boat, it's a great day to spend out on the water with some of your closest friends.

Preparing for the 4th—and for the hot summer months—should be one of your top priorities as the weather turns warmer. There's no shortage of summer projects to ensure that you are ready to entertain guests and celebrate the 4th of July in style. Read on, and we'll take a look at a handful of projects you can tackle to make sure your 4th of July celebration is one to remember.

Prep the Pool

If you have an in-ground pool, you have to deal with the expansion joints between the pool and the pool deck. These expansion joints need to be re-caulked every so often—whenever the caulk cracks, pulls away from either side, or has otherwise deteriorated.

First, you'll want to take care of adequate surface preparation. The sides of the joint must be clean, dry, and rough enough for new caulk to adhere to. Use a utility knife to remove old caulking and a wire brush to remove dirt. If you have access to a pressure washer, you can most efficiently clean away grime, gunk, and debris. It's best to start this project early—you want to give the joint time to dry out thoroughly—if you're in a rush, you can use a leaf blower to hurry it along.

You'll also want to use a foam backer rod to give the caulk support—this way, you don't have to use too much caulk and the caulking won't sag or flow down into the joint. Backer rods can be purchased at any larger hardware store, and you'll want to use one that's wide enough to fit snugly in the joint. Push it down to a consistent depth all along the joint to be re-caulked; about 3/8 of an inch from the top of the coping or pool deck is best.

Tape the joint off with wide masking tape for a neater job (and bear in mind the deck must be dry for the tape to stick). Then, use a caulk gun or trowel to fill the joint to a depth of between 1/4" to 3/8". OurConcrete Elite Expansion Joint Sealant available in 10 oz. cartridges, or for larger jobs ourConcrete Elite Expansion Joint Sealant, available in two and five gallon pails are ideal for the job.

Be sure to remove any tape before the caulk sets, and keep a rag handy for any spills or drips. Keep the dogs and kids away from the pool for 24 hours or until the caulk sets, and you're all set.

Caulking and Sealing Your Boat

There's nothing like a day out on the water, especially if it ends with fireworks. Before the big day, you'll want to handle any caulking and sealing your boat might need. This will ensure that your boat is well-protected and looks stunning. Not to mention, you also want to maintain your boat for ultimate longevity.

As with any caulking project, you'll want to remove the old caulk before applying new caulk to a seam. Use a reefing tool to get rid of the old caulk, freeing up space for the new material to adhere better. You'll also want to remove any sealant from the seam with the proper solvent or remover.

You'll also want to use a quality silicone sealant for the job. Our silicone sealants for automotive, marine, and vehicle applications--like our100% RTV silicone rubber adhesive sealant or ourHi-Temp Red & Blue RTV Silicone Sealant & Gasket-Maker--provide a durable, tight seal that stands up to rough conditions and adheres to metal, glass, painted surfaces, non-oily woods, and rubber. Apply the caulk smoothly and at an even pace, and be sure you do it in plenty of time to allow it cure before taking it out on the water.

Last but Not Least: Keep the Inside Cool

If it’s an especially hot day, you might want to retreat to cooler interiors. You should periodically check around your windows—inside and out—to be sure they don't need to be re-caulked. Old or bad caulk can let the warm air in, the cool air out, and end up driving up your summer energy bill.

If you do need to apply fresh caulk around a window, first clear out the old or damaged caulk. Use a putty knife to clean out around the window or frame to be sure your work surface is clean. Load your caulk gun and cut the tip of the cartridge nozzle, leaving a hole just wide enough to fill the gap. Puncture the inner seal, and you're ready to go.

Apply steady pressure to the caulk gun trigger, run a bead of caulk into the gap you’re trying to fill, and then use a wet finger or a damp rag to push the caulk into the gap and smooth it out into a nice, curved seal. Products like ourProfessional Grade RTV Silicone Sealant orPremium Industrial 100% RTV Silicone Sealant might be just what you're looking for.

For more supplies for all your summer project needs, explore Silicone Depot today.