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Can You Use Interior Caulk Outside?

In Backyard Tips, Home Exterior by Jamie

Sometimes when you’re working on a home project, you’ll wonder, “Can you use interior caulk outside?” Many people see this as a way that they can save money and a trip to the hardware store when they don’t want to buy more caulk. However, there are distinct differences between interior caulk and exterior caulk that can impact your home project.

It would be best if you did not use interior caulk outside because it is not waterproof and won’t hold up the elements. The exterior caulk is made to withstand rain, wind, and other weather problems you’ll encounter.

What’s the Difference Between Interior Caulk and Exterior Caulk?

The primary difference between interior and exterior caulk is that you usually can’t paint over exterior caulk. Many exterior thoughts are silicone based and can withstand heat, water, and weather changes. Alternatively, you can paint over the interior caulk, and it cannot withstand weather changes that you would need for outdoor projects. Interior caulk will wear down much faster and require touch-ups if you use the outside.

RELATED: See our 10 best exterior caulks for wood here!

What to Do if You Use Interior Caulk Outside?

If you use interior caulk outside, it would be ideal to remove and replace it with exterior caulk so that your projects will last longer. If you can’t remove it immediately, you might need to put your project under a tarp to protect it from the sun, water, and other weather problems. However, make sure the tarp is only a temporary solution because your interior caulk can’t withstand the temperature change during different seasons.

How to Remove Interior Caulk?ALLWAY CT31 3-in-1 Caulk Tool for Removal and Application

Fortunately, if you’re in a situation where you need to remove Interior caulk from your project, you’re not out of luck. Removing interior caulk is an easy project that usually doesn’t take very long, depending on how much caulk you need to remove. If you use interior caulk outside, follow these steps to remove it so that you can resolve your problem.

1. Use a caulk remover tool and a heat gun to soften your interior caulk so it will be easier to remove.

2. Once you soften the caulk, you can use a putty knife to slice through it and cut it off in strips.

3. Scrub the area with the scrub brush and Krud Kutter cleaner to ensure that all the caulk is off the spot.

After you ensure all of the interior caulk is removed from your outdoor project, you can use the exterior caulk in its place. However, it would be best to double-check to ensure all the caulk is removed; otherwise, you might have to come back and fix your project later.

Why Is Exterior Caulk So Important to Use Outside?

It is so important to use exterior caulk instead of the interior because exterior caulk has UV protection, is weather resistant, and can work for a wider range of temperatures. Alternatively, you can soften interior caulk with a heat gun, and it won’t have any UV protection, which can damage your outdoor project. Caulk is the material that binds your outdoor project together, and you must ensure that you use the right type for the project you want to finish.

Can You Use Exterior Caulk Inside?

Using exterior caulk inside is not nearly as big of a problem as using interior caulk outside. However, if you use exterior caulk inside, you might not be able to paint over it. Using exterior caulk inside is completely safe because it’s weather resistant, waterproof, and great in all sorts of climates. So, if you can only afford to buy one type of caulk, you should buy exterior caulk because you can use it no matter where your project is.

However, if painting over the caulk is important, it’s worth investing in the interior so you’ll have more customization options. Otherwise, you might be frustrated with the color of your caulk in the long run and must go through the process of removing the exterior caulk.

Final Thoughts

It would be best if you never used interior caulk outside because it doesn’t have UV protection, weatherproofing, or the ability to withstand significant temperature changes. If you use interior caulk outside, you should remove it as soon as possible and replace it with caulk that can withstand the elements. On the other hand, it’s completely safe to use exterior caulk when working on projects indoors.

Fortunately, if you use interior caulk outside, removing the substance and replacing it with safe exterior options is easy. You don’t even need to call a professional to remove the caulk because it’s easy to do on your own.