Building Caulking & Sealant RenewalCategories: Building Restoration, Strata Services
The exterior “envelope” of your building depends on caulking or sealants to fill the gaps and joints and protect your building exterior against water and air penetration. While sealants are a small detail on your building exterior, their deterioration and failure can lead to large problems, including water ingress and building damage.
We can help protect your building. Our sealant renewal projects include removal and replacement of sealants on metal, concrete and wood building components on strata apartments, townhomes, and high-rises. Often we replace sealant in conjunction with other work on the building such as concrete restoration, painting, waterproofing, or balcony membranes.
We’re experienced at applying single and two-component polyurethane sealants, as well as the installation of Dow Corning’s 123 silicon-seal strip system. Our knowledge and commitment to customer service means that we can complete your sealant renewal project efficiently and cost-effectively.
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Why renew sealants?
A sealant or caulking joint bonds together two substrates – for example, a window frame to a concrete wall, or the “cold joint” between two concrete panels – in order to block the movement of water or air through the building envelope. As the different components of the structure expand and contract (due to changes in season and temperature), the sealant needs to remain flexible and move along with them.
Over time, sealant loses its flexibility and adhesive properties. A single-component urethane sealant will typically last 10-20 years, depending on a number of factors – including its environment, the amount of movement it experiences, and how much sunlight it receives.
If sealant joints are permitted to deteriorate or fail, the building envelope will be compromised, leading to water ingress, heat/cooling loss, and further building deterioration.
How do we renew sealant joints?
Typically we remove the existing sealant joint with hand tools or a Fein tool. Depending on the nature of the joint, we may remove the residue of the old sealant with a wire-wheel or grinder and prime the newly exposed substrate. We then install a bond-breaker or backer-rod where necessary and apply the new sealant.
The most common type of sealant we use on building exteriors is single-component polyurethane. Sikaflex 1A, Sonnolastic NP1, and Dymonic FC are some of the common urethane sealant products we apply.
When should your building sealants be renewed?
It may be worthwhile to consult a building consultant or envelope engineer to determine when your building caulking needs to be redone. We can also do a site visit and provide you with a written evaluation.
One simple test will give you a good idea: the sealant should be flexible and “bounce back” when you push a pen or your thumbnail into it. It should have a rubbery feel to it. If it is rigid and cracking, it has lost its flexibility and may no longer be doing an effective job.
If the sealant is sound, it won’t show internal cracking (called cohesive failure), and it will not have pulled away from either of the substrates it is joining (called adhesive failure).
Visit Our Work project pages to see some of our work in action, and let us show our expertise to you.
Contact us at [email protected] or 604-882-5155 to review your property.Contact Us