Caulking is a type of sealant that is used in building construction and maintenance to fill gaps to prevent moisture and air from getting inside a home or other building. This can help make the interior more comfortable and keep utility bills down. It is available in many different formulations, including polyurethane and silicone.
Why Polyurethane Caulk?
Of all the sealants available, many experts believe that polyurethane caulk is one of the best. That is because this material offers some of the best attributes of other types of sealants in a convenient format that is easy to apply in a variety of conditions.
Polyurethane is an organic compound that is created through the reaction between glycol and an isocyanate. It resists corrosion as well as moisture, making it appropriate anywhere a heavy-duty sealant is needed. It also provides superior flexibility. When it is used to fill joints, it is flexible enough to resist loosening and cracking as the joints expand and contract.
Polyurethane sealants are some of the most widely used formulations for new construction projects as well as renovations. It is often used for roofing, gutters, expansion and control joints, foundations and isolation joints.
Lifespan And Replacement Warranties
Although polyurethane caulk—as well as caulking made of silicone—does not hold unlimited lifetime against sunlight exposure, manufacturer warranties do offer protection to those who opt for this material. Most manufacturer warranties for polyurethane caulking only cover five years, but when this type of caulking is used in places where joint movement and exposure to sunlight are minimal, it can last 10 years or longer.
No Mixing Or Special Equipment Required
One big advantage of polyurethane caulk is that no mixing or special equipment is required to use it. It is sold in single component cartridges in a standard 10-ounce size as well as one-quart caulking guns. It is very easy to apply, although it can be stringy and slightly more difficult to smooth out than other types of caulking. However, it is unlikely to fail as long as the surface it is applied to is clean and it is pushed into the surface.
There are two formats of polyurethane caulking available. The non-sagging formula works well for gaps in wood siding or around doors or windows and expansion joints in concrete block. A self-leveling formula is suited to applications such as control joints in concrete floors given its high resistance to abrasion. For example, a self-leveling formula is the ideal choice for stealing a garage floor before applying epoxy.
Polyurethane caulking can even be used to create a seal in big gaps spanning an inch or greater. In addition, it is easier to clean up than silicone varieties, as it takes around 24 hours to dry completely. However, once it is dry, it will become quite hard and difficult to remove.
Cost is a factor that is often considered when planning a home project. Polyurethane caulking can cost about half as much as silicone formulations, but it is also important to take into account the cost of labor. The initial application process for the two materials can take roughly the same amount of time, but polyurethane sealant may require more maintenance, especially if it is placed in an area where it will be exposed to sunlight. When choosing a specific polyurethane caulking formulation, price can often be used as an indication of the quality of the formulation.
Know When To Use Polyurethane Caulk
The right caulking formulation for a job will depend on several factors, including the temperature at which the caulking will be carried out and the material to which it will be applied.
Depending On The Temperature
In colder temperatures, polyurethane caulk can be difficult to apply and may not form a permanent bond. However, special high-quality formulations are available that can stand up to the cold, so it is important to read the labels carefully if caulking cannot wait for a warmer day.
Generally speaking, polyurethane caulking should be applied at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when rain is not expected for at least an hour and freezing temperatures are not expected for at least 24 hours.
It is worth noting that polyurethane caulks cure by reacting to moisture; higher levels of moisture can speed up the process. When humidity drops below 30 percent, a light misting of water can be used to speed up the process of skinning and prevent dust from collecting in the caulk. Although this caulking can be applied to moist surfaces, it will need to be worked into the surface.
Material Can Play A Factor
When you are caulking wood or another surface that needs to be painted, polyurethane caulk is the correct choice, as silicone caulk cannot be painted. Various formulations are available, with some adding other raw materials to the polyurethane polymer to give it different degrees of performance functionality and quality. In addition to wood, polyurethane caulking is suited to a broad range of materials.
Contact The Caulking Experts
If you need caulking for a home construction or building management project, get in touch with the caulking experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration. Their experienced professionals can advise on the right type of caulk for your project and explain how their commercial caulking services can give you peace of mind that your caulking will stand the test of time.