Hydraulic Cement Vs Caulk: Features & Usages

Keeping your home safe from any kind of leakage and invasion is very important. If there is any kind of leakage in your home, it will create a big problem for you. If the pipes and chimneys are sealed in improper ways then it could cause roof leakage and could cost you several thousand dollars.

People are often confused between the two leak-fixing methods.

  1. Hydraulic Cement
  2. Caulk

If you are in the same boat then don’t worry this article is the right place to charge yourself with each and every detail about these two leakage fixing methods.

So without further ado let’s get started…

But wait…

If you don’t have much time to go through the whole article then this brief comparison table will definitely help you to understand the differences in a very short time.

Comparison Table Of Hydraulic Cement Vs Caulk

Hydraulic CementCaulk
1. Hydraulic cement dries and sets very fast. Usually, it will take 3 to 5 minutes to set properly.Its cured time is a little bit higher than that of hydraulic cement.
2. It is widely used in underwater construction, fixing the gap of masonry and concrete, chimney and pipe sealing, swimming pool leakage fixing, etc.It is mainly used to seal air & water leakage through the doors and windows gap, fix the gap between the tiles, prevent the entry of insects, rodents, and other pests into the room, and many more.
3. This is a budget-friendly option to seal the drainage system leakage, filling the gap between the masonry and concrete and other interior and exterior sealing problems. It will cost you cheap, moderate, and high according to the type of caulking component.
4. You will not find different color options on this, but you can paint it after dry-up. You will get a huge variety of colors to choose from.
5. It has very little or no flexibility capability. Some Caulk components come with amazing flexibility properties.
6. Hydraulic cement shrinks, corrodes and is rustproof.It also has the same property.
7. Available in 7 different types.Available in 5 different types.
8. It requires a suitable temperature and ambient conditions to work properly.Some of its types are unaffected by temperature changes.
9. It is useless in frozen conditions. This is not the case in Caulking.
10. This can not be used for decorating purposes. This allows you to use your creativity and decorate things indoors and outdoors.

Hydraulic Cement Vs Caulk: Detailed Analysis Of Their Features

What Is Hydraulic Cement And How Does It Works?

Hydraulic cement is a chemical substance that works with a combination of water molecules. It sets very quickly within 3 to 5 minutes when it comes in contact with water.

Due to its fasten dry-up and hardening properties, it is widely used in construction industries, where most production work is continue with direct contact with water.

Chemicals That Make It Dry And Hard Quickly

Every cement grabs its identical properties with its different chemical ingredients. There are four main ingredients that make Hydraulic cement a more practical and effective leakage and sealing material for construction industries.

  1. Alite
  2. Belite
  3. Celite
  4. Brownmillerite

The first two elements are combinedly known as silicate. These two elements are responsible to give strength after the cement becomes harder. Celite and Brownmillerite are used to liquefy the Hydraulic cement in its initial state.

Some other chemicals are also used to add some extra properties such as

  • It can be used underwater.
  • Prevent any kind of shrinking.

Hydraulic Cement Usages

Hydraulic cement is very popular among civil engineers for its vast usability and quick fixing property.

It can be used in:

  • Fixing the Home Drainage System.
  • In the construction of the Swimming pool.
  • Fixing Underwater leakage.
  • Chimneys.
  • Fixing the basement walls.
  • Foundation
  • Manholes
  • Fixing the cement and masonry structure

How To Use Hydraulic Cement?

Due to its easy dry and hardening properties, you have to take proper attention before applying Hydraulic cement paste onto the repair site which is either your basement, drainage system leakage, pipes, chimney, etc.

Steps To Use Hydraulic Cement On The Site That Needs A Fix

  1. First, you have to ensure that the surface should be cleaned. You have to clean oil, dirt, and other contaminated debris from the site.
  2. Remove extra layers of loose particles from the surface before you start applying cement.
  3. Now it’s time to prepare the Hydraulic cement to apply on the site. Take a small quantity of the cement and put it into the bucket.
  4. Now pour some water on the hydraulic cement and mix it with your hand. Here, use gloves for mixing and avoid direct contact with your hand with the cement.
  5. Mix until you will get a fine thick paste of Hydraulic cement.
  6. Now you are ready to apply the Hydraulic cement on the surface.
  7. Now take the paste and apply it on the surface moving from top to bottom.
  8. Press firmly the paste on the site, and continue until the cement become hard and leakage cures.
  9. Don’t use excess water on the surface after applying the hydraulic cement as it may cause bleeding.

Pros & Cons Of Hydraulic Cement

Everything has some plus points and some negative points. Hydraulic cement also has some pros and cons, that I’ve discussed here…

Pros Of Using Hydraulic Cement

  • One of the fastest and easy methods to fix any kind of leakage and drainage problem.
  • Hydraulic cement is very easy to prepare and apply.
  • A durable and cost-effective way to fix any type of leaking and drainage problem.
  • Its dry and hardening time is less than 5 minutes and in some conditions around 3 to 4 minutes.
  • You can trigger the dry and hardening time by using warm water and can retard the same process by using cold water.
  • It is a shrink, corrodes, and rust-free solution.
  • You can fix the leaking pipe and chimney issue without having to stop the leakage.
  • After one hour of applying you can paint the surface.

Cons Of Using Hydraulic Cement

  • As its hardening process is very fast, you’ve only 10 to 15 minutes to apply it on the site.
  • The hydraulic cement is not working on the frozen surface.
  • If you live in a place where the temperature drops frequently then the Hydraulic cement will not be as effective.

Also Read: Drylok Vs Quikrete Hydraulic Cement: Clear Every Doubt

What Is Caulk And How Does It Works?

Caulk is totally different from Hydraulic cement in terms of its chemical substances, looks, using methods, and properties.

Unlike Hydraulic cement, Caulk is a flexible material that is used to fix some most common but serious leakage and sealing problems in various structures and piping.

Hydraulic cement has very limited usability which means it can not be applied on wood furniture, windows, and doors, but Caulk can be applied in most places.

Chemical Compounds Used In Making The Caulk

Caulking is not a new invention. It is being used since ancient times. The caulk that is used earlier consists of fibrous material.

The modern Caulking process consists of 5 different types of chemical substances such as:

  1. Silicone
  2. Polyurethane
  3. Polysulfide
  4. Silyl- terminated-Polyether
  5. Acrylic sealant

All of these are ready-made chemical substances. Somewhere Silyl-Terminated-Polyether is also used in place of Polyurethane.

Also Read: Hydraulic Cement Vs Expanding Foam: Features & Differences

How To Choose The Right Caulk For Your Work?

There are five types of Caulks available in the market. Choosing the right one as per your need is really crucial that’s why I’m giving a brief guide so that you can always choose the right Caulk to fix the right thing.

Types Of Caulk And Their Usages


Latex Caulking is widely used inside your home to seal joints of the tub, and shower, and fill cracks of broken tiles, glass, home plaster, and plastic. It can also be used to fill nail holes.

It will cost you moderately means not too high and not too low. It will shrink by around 5 to 10%. It is water washable. Its adhesion capability is decent.

It is very easy to use. You can use your moist fingers or some tools to trim or smoothen the surface where you want to apply Latex Caulking. When it gets completely dry, it makes the surface water-resistant and you can also paint it when it dries.

Its durability varies between 2 to 10 years. Its elasticity and flexibility are less as compared to other caulking components.

Acrylic Latex

The Acrylic Latex Chaoulk has the same applications as you have seen in Latex but it is more durable than Latex. It becomes waterproof after drying and can be used on the exterior.


The silicon-based caulking is more durable and flexible than the previous caulk components. The kitchen and bath silicon fixer comes with added antimicrobials that prevent mold. It is unaffected by temperature changes.

It can be cleaned by dry clothes and by some mineral spirits. It is little or not shrinkable. Its adhesive property is decent. It has three times more flexibility when cured. It is durable enough to seal cracks in masonry and concrete.

You can choose between its paintable and unpaintable options. It will cost you a little be higher than the previous Caulk components.


Polyurethane has some same properties as we have seen in Silicon such as it is waterproof and unaffected by temperature changes.

But some properties make it quite different from Silicon such as it is UV radiation-sensitive which means it gets decomposed with prolonged exposure so must be painted to prevent UV radiation during exterior use.

It has amazing flexibility that makes it suitable to seal larger and irregular masonry and concrete gaps. You can clean it by using mineral spirits. It will cost you moderately to high.

Butyl Rubber

If you have to joint or seal some most dissimilar materials like plastic, wood, glass, concrete, or metal then you have to use Butyl Rubber Caulk. It is only usable on exteriors such as sealing around the roof pipes and chimneys and sealing the gaps of masonry and concrete. It comes in various colors.

Its durability is 10 and more years. It can be painted and you can apply paint over its surface after one week of curing. Its adhere capability is good but it doesn’t adhere well on a painted surface. It is not sensitive to temperature changes.

It contains toxic elements so use it with proper precautions. It can be cleaned by using mineral spirit or naphtha, and Butyl Rubber will cost you moderately to high.

How To Use Caulk?

It is very easy to apply caulk on the surface, but you have to take care of a few things before applying the caulk…

  • First, you have to clean the surface to ensure you can apply the caulk properly. To clean the surface you can use some tools such as a screwdriver, putty knife, and stiff brush.
  • You have to remove the old caulk layer if any.
  • Don’t apply caulk on a wet surface, clean it with a dry cloth if the surface is moist.
  • Now One of the very important things to do where most people make mistakes is cutting the tip of the caulking.

How To Cut The Tip Of The Caulk?

By cuttng it properly, you will get a successful bead that looks elegent without spending hours on its finishing.

Cutting too big results a sloppy outcome and cutting it too small end-up with no enough bead. You can do this by your gun. Just place the caulk in an angle with eight inches through the gun then snip. 

By doing this you will get a pretty small hole and this is what we are looking for. 
A big size hole allows way too much caulking on the site and this will increase the overall expenses. 
cutting the spout of the caulk
cutting the spout of the caulk
  • After cutting the tip properly, you will have to clean the elongated mouth by slipping it using a thin rod that is attached to the gun.
 cleaning the caulk using the seal puncture tube
cleaning the caulk using the seal puncture tube

What Type Of Gun Should You Buy For Caulking?

There are different types of guns available in the market but I would strongly recommand you to buy a dripless gun (View In Amazon). 

Benefits Of Having A Dripless Gun:

When you squeeze the gun its trigger lock the pouring of access caulk and that way you will save some money that could be wasted on purchasing the caulk. 
  • Now apply the caulking across the wall at 45-degree angle to get a smooth and clean bead that will seal the crack properly.
  • When you have done your job release the trigger of the gun so that you can prevent too much wastage of chalking.

Pros And Cons Of Using Caulk

Pros Of Using Caulk

  • It provides a wide range of caulking components to apply in almost every DIY and construction work.
  • You will get a huge variety of colors.
  • It has better flexibility and adhesive capability.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to clean and paint.

Cons Of Using Caulk

  • Caulk might not be as effective as Hydraulic Cement for fixing the water submerge sealing or gap.
  • Some good quality caulking components will cost you much higher.

Caulk Vs Hydraulic Cement Which One Is Best For Your Work?

If your work is related to making a foundation, submerging construction, fixing the leakage of the swimming pool, fixing the cracks and gaps of the floor spots, roof sealing fixing, chimney, and pipes leakage fixing, etc you have to choose hydraulic cement due to its durability, fast dry and harden properly.

You can also do all the same fixing tasks using the right kind of Caulk despite the underwater construction and fixing but it takes time to cure and dry up over the surface.

Hydraulic cement does not offer colors and patterns and is not useful to seal wooden doors and windows. On the other hand, Caulk offers different colors and features to seal and fill the gaps in the doors, and windows, and is also useful in fixing the masonry and concrete gaps.

Hydraulic cement and Caulk come with waterproof and durable characteristics but Hydraulic cement does not work in frozen conditions which means it is affected by temperature changes.

On the other hand, Some Caulk variants are not affected by temperature changes. Hydraulic cement is a very cost-effective solution to cure sealing and gaps indoor as well as outdoors while Caulk offers different components some are costly and others are cheap in price.

Hydraulic cement and Caulk both are very easy to use and paint. Hydraulic cement is not available in painted colors while both painted and unpainted options are available in Caulk.

Wrap-Up On Caulk Vs Hydraulic Cement

If you want to construct something or want to fix underwater sealing or want to fill the gap of the water submerges components then must go with Hydraulic cement.

But if you want to fill the gaps or want to seal the doors and windows gap to prevent air from escaping from the room or want to get rid of insects, and rodents from the room then must go with Caulk.

Caulk offers decorative and creative fixes for your home while you will not be able to decorate things using Hydraulic cement.

About The Author


Adam is here, I'm an Editor and writer on guidingpapa. I love to share home improvement tips and new ideas in this blog. I have been doing this from couple of years and I'm very passionate about it.

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