A lot of homeowners are provided with home improvement choices to make minor repairs and maintenance a lot more doable. Here, we’ll walk you through the steps in applying silicone sealants for various areas in your home.
Silicone sealant offers a wide range of adhesive and sealant solutions across industries and are generally used for finishing joints, filling seams and gaps, and keeping moisture out. Its chemical properties include elasticity, which allows for easy movement and flexibility. Most sealants available in the market come in either cartridges or tubes. For areas with a length of around 12-13 meters long and 5 mm. in thickness, one cartridge of silicone sealant is enough for filling gaps.
Tools for Getting the Job Done
Before getting started with your DIY silicone sealant application, here are the tools you’ll need to accomplish the task.
Steps in Applying Silicone Sealant
Choose the right silicone sealant. Not all silicone sealants are created equal, and not all of them are suitable for the task at hand. You need to look for the silicone sealant’s composition that suits the area you are going to apply it. An all-purpose or universal silicone sealant is suitable for about any space. However, for areas that are usually wet like your bathroom or kitchen, you’ll need to buy a waterproof sealant or a mold-resistant sealant. A mold-resistant sealant avoids joint blackening and further damage. Keep in mind that there are silicone sealants that can be painted over, while some can’t. This is why it is crucial to determine whether you want to have the area painted for uniformity or not. It is also important to note that the bonding properties of some sealants work better than others depending on its composition. Acrylic sealants aren’t ideal for tiles, glass, and other smooth areas. Teflon and Bitumen, also referred to as silicone rubber works best on roofing materials or bitumen surfaces. However, adhesion can be improved on these silicone sealants by making sure that you coat the area with primer first.
Paint over the sealant. Silicone sealants come in various colors like gray, white, brown, black, or transparent. You can choose a color that you think would suit best or at least complement the surface to which you are applying it on. But, if there’s none, you can decide whether to paint over the silicone sealant so that it’s visually appealing. As mentioned earlier, there are silicone sealants that can be painted over. However, paint is not elastic as silicone sealants are and it cracks over a long period or when there is movement on the applied area.
Be wary of oxidation. To avoid oxidation on the area to which you plan to apply silicone sealant, choose an acid-free sealant. You can check if the sealant you purchased is acid-free by sniffing on the underside of the cartridge.
Clean the surface. If you’re planning to seal a gap or fill a hole or a crack, it’s important to remove loose materials and contaminants with a knife or a scraper beforehand. Afterward, clean them with a vacuum or brush to maximize the seal from the silicone’s sealant. If there are residues such as oil, glue, or old sealant, remove them with a degreaser or a spirit. You can also utilize masking tape to remove loose materials from hard to reach areas.
Utilize a sealant cartridge. To make the process easier and more accurate, you can purchase a sealant cartridge to apply the sealant. First, cut the cartridge seal. Then, cut a small portion off the tip of the applicator nozzle. As a rule of thumb, cut only a part that is wider than the area you intend to apply. Then, load the sealant’s cartridge on the applicator and pull the handle. If there is a sealant on the tip of the nozzle, you can start the application.
Apply silicone sealant. Only apply the necessary amount of sealant over the area to avoid irregular bumps and effectively filling the gap. With a 45 degree angle, start filling the space. When you reach the end portion, release the applicator’s handle to stop the flow of the sealant.
These are the six steps to the proper application of silicone sealants and the use of construction sealants. Done properly, you can make sure silicone will seal your cracks and gaps for the longest time possible.