When creating a sealant joint, consider the following tips to ensure proper functionality and longevity.
- Thoroughly remove old, existing caulk.
If there are any old sealants still on the substrate when applying a new one, they may not be compatible. As a result, the new sealant’s life expectancy can be greatly affected and its performance compromised.
- Prepare the surface.
In addition to removing old caulk, it’s important to clean the intended surfaces prior to sealant joint installation. Cleaning methods fall in two categories:
- Porous (mortar and brick)
- Non-porous (anodized aluminum window frames)
- Choose the correct product for the application.
Be sure to select a sealant approved for the intended installation. For example, if there are traffic bearing surfaces (sidewalks, mall walkways, etc.), a product strictly intended for perimeter sealing of window frames would not be ideal.
Criteria to consider include:
- The product’s adhesion to substrates
- Horizontal vs. vertical application
- Ensure proper installation.
While the sealant may be properly installed, the joint itself may not function as intended if other aspects are not. The backer rods, bond breaker tapes and any primers used must also be correctly installed.
- Conduct tooling.
Tooling can often be overlooked or deemed unnecessary if the sealant is gunned properly into the joints. However, it’s an important step to conduct. Tooling helps ensure the sealant gains good contact (or wetting) to the substrates. It also fills the intended joint completely. Additionally, depending upon the tool used, it can also increase aesthetics by forming a concave appearance.
For more information on sealant joint optimization, call 800-7-BOSTIK. With over 125 years of experience, Bostik has the knowledge and experience to help ensure proper sealant joint designs.
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