What Happens If Caulk Gets Wet Before It Cures?


Whether you’re remodeling your front door and entryway or installing a shower in a new house, those of us who have ever renovated or built houses know the value of caulk.

Caulk is basically a sealant that is used for sealing areas like around windows, doors, bathtubs, sinks, and showers. It is often used to connect concrete pavers as well. If caulk becomes wet before it has a chance to dry, serious problems may arise.

What happens when caulk gets wet before it sets? Mold and mildew will crop up. This has the potential to ruin an otherwise perfect home renovation.

Before delving into the effect of wetting caulks before they have a chance to cure and set, there is a need to understand the different types of caulks.

Types of Caulks

Caulks can be divided into latex, silicone, acrylic, or a combination of these three. Each of these types have different purposes. Caulk is most often problematic when it comes to bathroom renovation, in which the caulk is exposed to moisture on a daily basis.

  • Butyl rubber caulk is highly specialized, but its utility overall is not good. However, it is the most durable and the strongest caulk on the market. Mainly, it is used to seal bricks and concrete.
  • Acrylic latex caulk, which is often referred to as the painter’s caulk, is used for doors and windows, for both outdoor and indoor purposes. It is much easier to apply compared to silicone caulk.
  • Silicone caulk is ideal for high-moisture areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. The best feature of silicone caulk is that it retains some of its flexibility even when it has already dried. It also has the highest resistance to mold among all the caulk types. Lastly, siliconized latex or latex silicone caulk lasts longer than other types of caulk, which only last for 25 years.

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The caulking process begins with choosing the right caulk. After that, the process becomes smoother, with a higher chance of success. Similarly, the brand of caulk should be chosen with care because each brand can react differently to moisture.

Uncured Caulk

There are a number of factors that influence caulk drying. These include shelf life, caulk size, location/weather, and the bonding surface. If the circumstances are less than ideal, caulk simply won’t dry.

However, when caulk gets wet before it dries, moisture will not be able to evaporate quickly. Consequently, this can lengthen the time that caulk takes to dry up. In some cases, this prevents adhesion altogether. Moreover, too much moisture becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Five Factors for Drying Time

Under optimal conditions, caulk is expected to dry within 24 hours. There are five factors that influence drying time.

  • The first one is the moisture in the air. If caulk is applied in a humid environment, it will take the caulk longer to dry.
  • Second, the amount of caulking used is a factor for caulk drying. If you do not apply enough caulk, it can result in the caulk drying too quickly. If you over-apply the caulk, it may take a long time to dry or dry on the outside surface, while not drying internally.
  • Third, the size of the gap is also a factor, because large gaps need more sealant. This can delay drying.
  • Fourth, the type of sealant that is used is also a factor. For glass, metal, and ceramic, the best type of sealant to use is silicone.
  • Finally, painting caulk too soon can result in longer drying time.

Ways to Quickly Dry Caulk

Everyone is interested in how caulk can be dried quickly, and there are ways to do this right at home. After applying caulk, you should:

  • Direct electric fans towards the caulking to make it dry faster. However, do not put the fans too close, or else you risk creating holes in the caulking
  • Ensure that your thermostat is between 40-80°. This range allows the caulk to dry quickly. If the environment is too cold, then the caulk will become frozen. On the other hand, if the temperature is too warm, the caulking will not seal completely.
  •  An unopened tube should be used because this will create a tight seal.
  • A humidifier can be placed beside the caulking with the goal of removing as much moisture as possible.
  • Ensure that a tight fit is created. A solid grip can seal in 24 hours without a problem.


Caulk is a staple in the construction and home improvement circles. It is an integral part of sealing gaps in virtually all places inside the house.

However, there is a problem that may arise: what should be done if caulk gets wet before it is cured? It is important that these problems be anticipated in order to prevent them. Caulk type selection, brand selection, and other tips contained here will help you determine your best course of action if your caulking is at risk of getting wet.

Homeowners should be aware of these consequences prior to caulking to ensure the application process is smooth and hassle-free.