DIY Tips: How To Choose A Waterproof Sealant

For DIY enthusiasts a waterproof sealant is a valuable product. Not only can it be used to fill seals, cracks, and joints outside your home, but it can also be used in areas that are exposed to a high volume of water inside your home. The formation of a seal will protect the surface from the elements. As a multi-purpose product, a waterproof sealant can be used for a range of applications and when used correctly, can last for around 20 years. Silicone is one of the most commonly used waterproof sealants, along with water-based latex which is commonly for residential purposes.

How To Choose A Waterproof Sealant

The availability of different types of sealants can make it difficult to choose one. Different options have different levels of flexibility and resistance and although sealants are particularly versatile, it isn’t always the case that one single type can be used to tackle every type of job. Below, we have compiled a guide to help you choose the best waterproof sealant for your needs. 

Uses Of Sealant 

Sealants can be used for a range of purposes. Waterproof sealants are often used in bathrooms to seal gaps around baths, showers, and windows, etc. Outside a waterproof sealant can be used for repairing gutters and piping and they can also be used for some car repairs. A water-based paver sealer can be applied to a paved area to maintain its appearance and protect it from weeds and moss. Waterproof silicone sealants are used for many DIY purposes and building tasks because of its flexibility and resistance to UV rays and temperatures. A sealant will often be used in an intensely used area for enhanced durability. 

The Type Of Sealant

Silicone sealant tends to be the most commonly used for waterproof purposes due to the properties that it possesses, however, other options are sought after for other qualities such as their quick dry time. A flexible sealant is ideal for areas that are exposed to a lot of humidity. Anti-mold sealant is used to form a seal to protect the surface from the development of mold. Most multipurpose sealants are waterproof because they are used for many purposes so they must be able to withstand the elements. There are several other sealants available each of which possesses particular characteristics that make them suitable for certain applications. 

The Color

Sealants are available in a range of colors, however, the most popular tend to be white or clear. It is important to determine which color is suitable for the environment in which it is going to be used. If the product is going to be used in your bathroom etc, you may opt for a white or clear option. If the sealant is going to be used outdoors, you may prefer a more subtle or neutral color so that it does not stand out against the surface. If the product is required for multiple purposes a clear option offers more versatility as it isn’t going to appear obtrusive once it has been applied. 

How To Choose A Waterproof Sealant - sealing

The Drying Time

Most sealants take around 24 hours to cure fully. Although they may seem soft to touch shortly after application, they should not be exposed to water for at least 24 hours because this can cause the quality to deteriorate. Paving sealants typically take a few hours to dry, however, they should not be subject to foot traffic for at least 4 to 7 hours. On a sunny day, the sealant will take less time to dry. The curing time can differ between brands and the product specifications will state the amount of time that you should expect it to take. 

Anti-mold Properties

All sealants that are intended for use in bathrooms are waterproof as they need to withstand exposure to water and moisture, however, they will not all possess anti-mold qualities. As implied, an anti-mold sealant will prevent the growth of mold which can affect the quality and appearance of the sealant as well as affecting how long it is going to last. Cleaning the sealant using a special anti-mold cleaner and wiping the seals after you have used the shower can prevent this development of mold. Because this isn’t a characteristic of all types of sealants, it is important to consider the environment in which it is going to be used and whether the lack of anti-mold is going to be problematic. 

Indoor and Outdoor Suitability

Many sealants are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and this typically tends to be the case with silicone sealants. The qualities of the sealant will determine whether the product can be used in different environments. The product specifications will state whether the sealant is intended for use indoors or outdoors. Multipurpose sealants tend to be suitable for use in both environments because as implied they can be used for the completion of a range of tasks. For other types of sealants, it is important to check that your chosen sealant is suitable for your intended use. 

Applying The Sealant 

Generally, sealants tend to be easy to use and apply allowing users to create a waterproof seal with ease. The design of the packaging will determine whether the sealant needs to be applied manually or using a gun. Those that require the use of a gun can be applied directly to the surface and those that do not will need to be applied using your finger. Before touching the product you will need to ensure that your finger is wet as this will make it easier to spread the product smoothly. Another option is to stick masking tape onto the sealant as doing so will compress it against the surface. Then it should be pulled off before the sealant becomes tacky. When using a sealant for paving you will need to ensure that you are working with a dry surface before applying a heavy amount of product that saturates the ground. You will likely need to apply more than one coating. When choosing a sealant, the application method may influence your purchase. If you are working with a large surface, applying the product using your finger may become rather tiresome over time. For this reason, it is important to consider the expanse of the surface that the sealant is going to be used on. 

The Amount Of Product

When choosing a waterproof sealant, it is important to consider how much product you are going to require. To decide how much sealant you need, it is worth measuring the size of the area that it is going to be applied. It is likely that one bottle will be suitable for multiple uses if you are dealing with a smaller surface. The size of the bottle can differ between offerings from different brands with some offering their product in larger quantities than others. The size of the bottle that is needed is likely to be a key consideration when choosing your product. 

The Brand 

There are many brands that produce waterproof sealants. While some will excel in their offerings of indoor products, others will offer high-quality outdoor products. The reputation of the brand is likely to influence the product that you choose. If a brand has a reputation for producing waterproof sealants that are ineffective in fulfilling its purpose, it is unlikely that you will want to purchase their product. However, if a brand is recognized for producing high-quality, effective waterproof sealants you are likely to feel more encouraged to make your purchase with them. 

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