Caulking is a necessary part of any home improvement project. It’s the substance that fills in and seals gaps between different materials, such as tile joints on window frames, roofs among others. Caulk also helps to keep your home insulated from both hot and cold air drafts, which can save you money on heating and cooling bills. According to Mr. Handyman, as a rule of thumb, caulk should last about five years. Choosing the right caulking contractors whose work will last can be difficult without some guidance. Here are factors to consider when making this important decision.

1. Licensing and Insurance

Before you hire a contractor, be sure to check whether or not they’re licensed and insured. Even if the job is small and you don’t think it will need much material, consider that things can change during any job. It could become larger than expected, so do your research to determine if the contractor has enough materials on hand before hiring them. You also want to make sure their insurance is current, so there isn’t any risk to you if something goes wrong.

2. Type of Caulking

There are several different types of caulking, ranging from silicone to acrylic latex, each with its unique properties that set them apart from the rest. Get to know what type of caulking is best for your project before hiring a professional caulking contractor so you can choose the right one for the job. If possible, try to find someone who will demonstrate how it works and how it should look when finished.

3. Price

Just like choosing any service or product, price can be an important factor when choosing caulking contractors. The more expensive doesn’t always mean better quality work, but don’t hire someone simply because they charge the least, either.

4. References and Reviews

References and reviews are a good way to find out how the contractor works with customers and what kinds of jobs they’ve done. It can also help find someone who has experience in your type of project, such as siding installation or window repair. Review websites like BBB provide customer reviews that you can look at before hiring a contractor.

5. Communication and Availability

Good communication between the contractor and customer is vital to ensuring the work gets done correctly and on time. Reputable caulking contractors should communicate with you in terms you understand and answer any questions you might have without getting annoyed. Make sure they’re available on a day and time that works for your schedule, too, so they can complete the job while it’s needed.

6. Professionalism and Knowledge

If a contractor is friendly, considerate, and knows what they’re talking about, it will be more likely that they have the skills to complete your job correctly. If possible, try to find someone who has been in business for several years, so they have had more time to work with customers. The more knowledge a caulking contractor has about the product and industry, the better prepared they will be with materials and tools at their disposal when working on your project. However, never hire someone solely based on how “cool” or “neat” their work looks: this doesn’t always mean they’re right for the job.

7. Leave a Paper Trail

Keep every conversation and an email sent with the contractor, so there’s no confusion later about what was agreed upon. This will help protect both you and the caulking contractor if something happens later on during or after the project.

8. Terms of Payment

Contractors accept several different types of payment methods but be sure to understand what they are before hiring them. Discuss all possible options with the contractor before signing any contract or agreement. Some professional caulking contractors will accept payments upfront, while others want strictly pay-upon completion. Either way is fine; it just helps determine how you’ll handle splitting costs with your contractor if needs be.

9. Safety Standards

Caulking is a serious job that requires proper safety standards to ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved. Before starting a job, contractors need to have personal protective equipment like goggles, masks, and gloves.

Choosing caulking contractors can seem like an overwhelming task, but these tips will help you narrow down your options to find the right one for your commercial improvement needs.