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Types of Sealants Used in Building Construction

By: | April 22 , 2020

One of the final touches to any new house is the application of sealants. If you’re building a new home, you will want to ensure the sealants used are effective and of good quality. They keep exterior substances from entering indoors by effectively blocking them. These substances can include dust, air, insects, sound, and many more. They’re also highly effective in ensuring fires don’t break out and quell flames in case of an emergency.

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Most sealants close openings that are small for other materials such as timber, mortar, or concrete. 

They are necessary inclusions in any household because of their other properties, which include solubility, flexibility, resistance to corrosion, and more. Even if you’re having a regular renovation done at home, make sure the sealants are checked for any breakage or inconsistencies.

Why are Sealants Important in Building Construction?

Sealants have adhesive qualities but aren’t necessarily adhesives. They have higher elongation and lower strength compared to adhesives and can be used more flexibly while mixing with substrates of different properties. 

Related Article: What are The Benefits of Sealants and Adhesives?

Most sealants can be used in your home for –

  • Forming a barrier so other substances do not pass
  • Maintain the necessary sealing properties 
  • Fill the gap between two or even more substrates

To achieve the above functions, you must match a suitable sealant to its substrate materials, so it has the necessary bonding properties and is flexible enough to tolerate movement. 

What are the Types of Sealants Used?

There are different types of sealants, and they’re differentiated based on their viscosity. In essence, high viscosity sealants do not flow from where they’re applied, and low viscosity sealants can penetrate through a substrate, which is the underlying layer. 

Based on this differentiation, there are different types of sealants –

  1. Acrylic sealants

  2. What are they?

    An acrylic sealant is a water-based, synthetic ingredient that is made out of acrylic resins and is mainly used for jointing and filling cracks and caulking in home construction. 

    What is its purpose?

    Acrylic sealants are used generally to prevent dust or insects from entering. They are applied on different surfaces and are usually flexible even after applying paint. In construction, they are used in the joint filing, and it becomes like rubber when it is cured, in terms of property.

    Where to use them?

    You can use acrylic sealants for both exterior or interior decoration as they are resistant to both low and high temperatures and moisture. They can be used on various materials like concrete, plastic, glass, brick, or metal. A few good examples include windows, door frames, and joints on sanitary ware.

  3. Hybrid Sealants

  4. What are they?

    Hybrid sealants generally combine properties of two different sealants to provide improved application and unique solutions. In construction, they consist of fusing urethane and silicone sealants and are easy to apply. 

    What is its purpose?

    Hybrid sealants provide better adhesion to surfaces without the need for an initial primer. They have both high toughness and strength and offer a resilient material that can be used for both bonding and sealing characteristics. 

    Where to use them?

    As hybrid sealants come with high solid content, they don’t crack or shrink when exposed to harsh weather. This means they provide longer service and protect buildings from air penetration or moisture. Typical applications include door thresholds, chimneys, joints filling joints between blocks, bricks or concrete floors, and window reglazing. 

    Read Also: What are The Benefits of Sealants and Adhesives?

  5. Polyurethane Sealants

  6. What are they?

    Polyurethane sealants are generally classified as rigid or robust materials and are thorough to flexible materials as well. They are made of organic material and have very high UV resistance.

    What is its purpose?

    These sealants can be used to make lightweight and strong products and are versatile and durable. They are primarily used in high-efficiency insulation materials like rigid foam insulation owing to their strong adhesive characteristics.

    Where to use them?

    PU sealants can be used for paints as well as other coatings, microcellular seals for foam and gaskets and roofing, foundations, and gutters as well. 

  7. Silicone Sealants

  8. What are they?

    Silicone sealants are crystalline structures that display the properties of both metals and nonmetals. They’re highly effective sealants in building construction and are versatile, depending on the material used.

    What is its purpose?

    Silicone sealants can be used as additions to coatings as they impart resistance to oils, salts, heat, alkalis, and acids. They also repel water, which is why they are used in repellent treatment works like masonry and brickwork. 

    Where to use them?

    Silicone sealants easily adhere to materials like vinyl, metal, or wood. They are useful in caulking as well and increase the efficiency by preventing any unwanted exchange of air from the inside and out. 

    Thus, these are the different types of sealants used in building construction. Depending on your need and how you’d like to protect your windows and other surfaces, you can use them effectively to your benefit.

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