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PDB Debrief: Liquid Applied Sealants

December 2022


Choosing the right sealant is very important—the last thing a client wants is a sealant failure that results in water infiltration or water damage, especially if it goes unnoticed for a period of time. Below you will see types of liquid applied sealants and quick facts for each one. The surfaces it must adhere to, how it cures, weathering and UV affects, and how much movement a joint has will all impact the choice of sealant. We should confirm compatibility and adhesion of each sealant used for building applications and perform standard field pull tests.


Types of Liquid Applied Sealants:

  • Latex: Light commercial & residential applications, excellent paintability (with latex paint), will shrink some after cure

  • Acrylic: Light commercial & residential applications, can be painted, short open time (difficult to tool), some shrinkage after cure, often used in low movement joints

  • Butyls: Excellent adhesion to most substrates, excellent weathering, used in industrial applications, stringy & difficult to apply neatly, may shrink, harden & crack over time, typically only used in hidden applications (i.e. IMP joints, under thresholds)

  • Silicones: Structural sealant glazing of glass to metal framing systems, excellent UV & heat stability, excellent joint movement capabilities, good adhesion to many substrates (esp. glass), most are not paintable, can insulate glass to improve thermal performance, may stain porous materials. Leach plasticizers which can result in collection of dust/dirt, our PREFERRED sealant for storefront

  • Polyurethanes: Industrial & commercial applications, good movement capabilities, avoid direct contact with glass, can be formulated for good UV resistance, can stain porous materials, paintable

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