How does a caulking gun work?

Written by rosemary rugnetta
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How does a caulking gun work?
(by kimberly faye)

Mechanics of a Caulking Gun

A caulking gun is used for the application of different types of sealant. The sealant comes in a standard size cartridge that has a long, pointed tip. Resembling a pistol or barrel gun, the caulking gun is constructed of metal with 2 openings and a trigger. The opening at the side is used to place the tube of sealant in to the gun. The opening at the end holds the tip of the sealant in place. At the rear of the caulking gun is a release lever and a plunger. The plunger has a disc on the end which pushes the sealant through the tube. The release lever is used to stop the plunger from pushing the flow of sealant.

Steps for Using a Caulking Gun

There are a few simple steps to follow in order to use a caulking gun correctly. Begin by pressing the release lever at the back of the gun and pulling the plunger all of the way out. Place the sealant in to the side opening with the tip protruding from the front of the gun. Let go of the release lever and push the plunger in until the disc is up against the tube of sealant. Cut the tip of the sealant with a scissor or knife. The size of the opening should be the same as the size of the gap that is being filled. Put a long screw, nail or piece of wire through the tip to puncture the seal. As the trigger is squeezed, the plunger will begin the push the sealant out through the tip. Pressing the release lever will stop the plunger. When the trigger can no longer be pumped, the cartridge of sealant is empty. Press the release lever and pull out the plunger. The cartridge can then be removed and replaced with a fresh one.


A caulking gun and sealant are used to seal gaps on the interior and exterior of a home. Windows, doors, bathtubs and sinks are just some of the many areas that require sealant. When applying the sealant, use a wet finger to push the sealant into the gap, smoothing it out at the same time. By doing this, drafts, insects and moisture are kept from entering through these gaps. This provides protection against any damage. Using a caulking gun correctly will allow an even and clean application of sealant that will last for several years.

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