Six Reasons Why Sealants May Fail

Sealants have become almost indispensable in the construction industry, and associated services such as ours. However, there are a variety of reasons why sealants may fail as we share here.

The Six Reasons Why Sealants May Fail

Silicone, rubber-like products are useful finishing materials when applied correctly, because they are non-reactive, stable, and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. But there are a number of reasons why they may fail in the hands of inexperienced persons:

  1. Using Product Beyond Shelf Life: Silicon beyond its use-by-date dries out as it cracks and ages. If it does not flow smoothly you should not use it. Rake out what you applied and start with a fresh batch.
  2. Using the Wrong Sealant Option: There are specialist sealants for a variety of tasks. We avoid using general purpose ones because of the cost of re-work if they fail. Warning signs include failing to adhere tightly and premature degrading. Sealants  and surfaces must be compatible.
  3. Failing to Prepare the Surface Properly: Sealants adhere best to clean surfaces of suitable materials. They will not stick well on damp surfaces, and material covered with dust, mould and other contaminants. We recommend using a proprietary cleaner when available. Poor preparation is a leading reason why sealants may fail.
  4. Joint Flexing While the Sealant is Curing: A fresh sealant applied correctly to a clean, dry compatible surface should stay in place for a long time. However, this is after it has cured properly, and this may take several days. The adhesion may be impaired by unusual heat and cold during the curing cycle.
  5. Joint Movement After the Curing Period: There is a limit to the tensile strength of any material, including sealant. After that tipping point, any seal will fail. Commercial sealants are not the right choice under such circumstances. Consult an expert for a detailed opinion.
  6. Improper Application of the Sealant: There is a skill to running a bead of sealant along a joint that takes a while to acquire. It must be fresh, and have the right width and depth. Lack of sufficient contact can cause early failure.

Speak to Valiant Exteriors For More Expert Advice

We have learned that the key to success is making a clean joint, choosing the right sealant, and ensuring thorough application. We use these skills every time we complete asphalt roofing, eavestroughing, and siding projects in Calgary our home city. Please follow this link for more expert professional advice.

More Information

Sourcing the Tradespeople of the Future

The Right Time to Clean Your Gutters

Caulking Gun (Courtesy Free Images)