Commercial sealants are a great way to prevent water and other liquids from seeping through surfaces and mechanical joints in your home or business. They offer protection from the elements and prevent heat, sound, dust, pests, and air from leaking in or out of places.
The sheer variety of sealants is enough to perplex anyone, from latex and acrylic-based sealants to silicone and polyurethane variants. Each has its qualities and applications, which can often be confusing to discern.
These sealants can be permanent, temporary, strong, weak, rigid, or flexible. It all depends on your needs because the applications dictate the type of commercial sealants you use.
Let’s discuss sealant applications and the things to consider about their properties when selecting a commercial sealant for your needs.
Commercial Sealants: Things to Consider
When it comes to commercial sealants, you need to identify your purpose or application.
Most sealants are commonly used to seal or close openings between surfaces where mortar or concrete cannot be applied. Identifying why you need commercial sealants will help you choose the correct one.
Typically, commercial sealants have three key applications.
- Seal to fill the gap between two or more surfaces or components
- Seal to provide a protective, impermeable layer that acts as a barrier for various substances
- Maintain their sealant properties throughout the expected lifespan, provided the conditions and environments match the specifications of the commercial sealant being used
If you want the sealant to provide these functions effectively, it is important to match the most suitable commercial sealant with the materials you need to join together. Apart from this, you will need to consider the sealant properties of the commercial sealant you use.
When choosing a sealant for application, here are the things you need to consider about the sealant properties.
- Weather Resistance
Another widespread application of commercial sealants is to provide outdoor waterproofing for surfaces and joints. Hence, sealants must be able to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Typically, high-performance commercial sealants are weatherproof and can endure extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, moisture, and other weather conditions and remain functional and flexible as expected.
If you want to use a commercial sealant outdoors, it must withstand the hot South Florida sun and rainy seasons.
The adhesion of elastomeric sealants is an important factor when choosing commercial sealants. Typically, manufacturers provide the required adhesion data for sealants with various substrates. This information can make it easy to understand their adhesive capabilities for various substrates.
Hardness is the ability of a commercial sealant to avoid deformation after settling. The hardness is always inversely proportional to the sealant’s movement and flexibility; Harder sealant is less flexible.
If you are applying a sealant for static purposes, consider using harder variants.
- Liquid Consistency (Viscosity)
The liquid consistency of the sealants refers to their viscosity. A high viscosity sealant will not move or flow much from the application area, even on vertical surfaces and joints. Low viscosity sealants have more flow and are typically used to penetrate surfaces or on horizontal joints.
Low viscosity sealants are also self-leveling, which can be very handy in tight spaces.
- Movement Tolerance
A sealant’s joint movement capability is determined by the percentage of movement between the substrates to be sealed. Movement tolerance is shown as a percentage of the joint width. The less static a substrate is, the more movement tolerance or flexibility the sealant will require to function properly.
- Modulus of Elasticity
Usually, high-modulus sealants have low movement capabilities and vice-versa. High-modulus sealants are typically used for static, non-moving joints, whereas low-modulus sealants are used for sensitive or delicate substrates that are not static.
There is a wide variety of commercial sealants available in various modulus of elasticity, and your choice will depend on your application.
- VOC Content
Volatile organic compounds are chemical irritants in commercial sealants. While there are plenty of low VOC content sealants, not all sealants are made the same. You may want to check the VOC content before selecting a sealant.
The chemicals in commercial sealants may stain certain substrates, which is very common with natural stone materials because they are quite porous. You may want to test the sealants on a small area before application, even if the manufacturer claims that the sealant is non-staining.
- Life Cycle (Durability)
Most sealants should easily last you a decade. Some silicone sealants have life cycles of up to 20 years, and manufacturers often guarantee it. However, every commercial sealant has a different expected life span under ideal conditions.
As long as there are no misapplications, improper conditions, or incompatibility with application surface materials, you can expect it to last the entirety of its life cycle.
Selecting the correct commercial sealant for your needs is always easier and cost-effective than replacing failed sealants. Hence, it would help to consider the things mentioned in this post before choosing one for your purposes.
We highly recommend letting professionals like A1 Tropic Painting & Waterproofing handle your sealant needs because they know which ones to use here and can give you excellent sealing results.
Please visit our website today if you want to learn more about commercial sealants or the best professionals for sealant application, removal, or replacement in South Florida.