Caulks and sealants are indispensable for installation and home improvement projects. They must be chosen carefully based on performance and their suitability to the particular task/project. That means more than just a basic understanding of what sealants can do to being aware of the various types and specific application for which the sealant has been developed.

Here's a look at the various uses, applications and types of sealants in construction projects.

  1. Exterior vs interior applications

Some sealants are more suited to projects inside your home or commercial establishment while others perform better for exterior applications.

For instance, some acetic cure silicone sealants are suitable for interior sanitary applications, and not recommended for decks, patios or terrace joints where there is a risk of abrasion. At the same time, they lend themselves well to curtainwall joints, skylights and windows.

  1. Can all sealants be painted?

No, not all types of sealants can be painted. Those that can be painted are more durable than sealants that cannot be painted.

  1. Silicone versus construction sealants

Silicone sealants are versatile, finding use when a gap needs to be filled or a connection joint or expansion requires sealing. They offer excellent resistance to UV exposure and weather elements. Silicone sealants also offer good temperature stability, joint movement capabilities, and adhesion to a number of substrates. They often come with a 10-20 year warranty, and have a shelf life of on to two years. Their common applications include:

  • Glazing
  • Curtainwall sealing
  • Replacement glazing
  • Solar panels
  • Butt and lap shear joints
  • Glass butt joints
  • Compatible with ceramic, marble, metal, fiberglass and glass
  • As a typical adhesive, silicone sealants can be used in innumerable ways

Neutral cure silicone is one of the most popular types of sealant and comes in a variety of colors. Custom colors may also be available upon request.

Construction sealants from CRL include polyurethane, butyl rubber and acrylic latex with silicone sealants. Each has its own advantages. Polyurethane can be painted and offers excellent bonding to a variety of surfaces. Butyl rubber sealants can also be painted, and offer impressive adhesion to several substrates and weather-resistance. Being water-based, acrylic latex with silicone caulks are easy to clean up and paintable. Their typical applications include:

  • Window perimeter sealing
  • Masonry joints
  • Seals around tubs, toilets, backsplashes and sinks
  • Interior gaps around window frames and baseboards
  • Aluminum siding, gutters and flashing

CRL's modified polyurethane construction sealants are ideal for moving joints, and used extensively for mobile homes, travel trailers, and galvanized air conditioning ductwork.