Professional Builder speaks to Andy Cummins, Senior Product Manager at Geocel about the benefits of choosing sealants specifically formulated for a certain application.
Why would you choose a specialist sealant for each specific job?
There are a range of factors that can affect how a sealant performs, so choosing one that has been specifically formulated for the job at hand ensures a long lasting, high-quality finish can be achieved. For example, some applications, such as glazing, require a sealant with a degree of elasticity to cope with movement in the joint. For bathroom and sanitary sealants, durability and mould resistance are key factors.
What are the different types available?
Part of the reason why choosing the right product can be tricky is that there are many different chemistry types, such as silicones, acrylics and MS Polymers. The properties of each mean that they are suited to different applications.
Silicone sealants are versatile and generally adhere well to a wide range of construction substrates. Silicones have excellent UV and colour stability and offer excellent temperature and water resistance, elasticity and durability. For example, Trade Mate Glazing Seal is designed to allow movement, has a long service life and will not crack or craze.
Acrylics do not offer the same flexibility or weather resistance but are ideal for jointing, caulking and filling gaps. These products, such as Painters Mate Ultra Fine Filler are designed to work well on plastered walls, masonry and wood, especially where it needs to be overpainted.
In addition, there are tripolymers, that offer excellent adhesion even in wet conditions and cure to form a flexible seal with a high movement capability. These products are ideal for repairs and emergency remedial work, and some also provide a high gloss finish that can also be overpainted.
Finally, there are a number of specialist sealants such as fire cement and flue sealant that have been formulated specifically for those applications, where a more general-purpose sealant is not suitable. Also, there may be applications where an adhesive with resistance to seawater or chemicals may be required, such as the polyurethane adhesives from our Joiners Mate range.
What needs to be considered when choosing a sealant?
It is important to keep in mind the environment and requirements of the application. Some basic factors such as interior versus exterior use can help narrow down the choice but it is also important to consider the materials used, the temperatures it will be exposed to, the flexibility required, the level of UV and weather resistance and the finish that needs to be achieved. It is also essential to ensure that the sealant is suitable for the conditions it will be applied in. For example, some will need to be applied to a clean dry surface while others will adhere in damp or even wet areas.
Can you tell us a bit about the Mates ranges and how they were launched to fulfil this need?
Trade Mate is our range of professional sealants that includes products specifically developed for everything from glazing to roofing to plumbing. It is one of the longest running ranges and has been a familiar part of the Geocel line-up for over 25 years. We also have the Painters Mate and Joiners Mate ranges of fillers and adhesives, respectively.
Importantly the products have been designed to make it easy to choose the right one for the job. For example, Trade Mate Roofers Seal is formulated for use on materials such as lead, bitumen and galvanised steel, while Trade Mate Sanitary Seal is a permanently flexible silicone sealant that will not crack, shrink or discolour and contains a fungicide to resist mould growth. Customers familiar with Trade Mate will notice that each product now has a new look.
What was the reason behind the packaging redesign?
Essentially, the range was redesigned to make it easier for customers. With so many different products on the market we wanted to make it simple for customers to find the ideal product they need, quickly. We’ve made the product name, such as ‘Frame Seal’, larger and clearer on the pack and have introduced bold colours to make it easy to distinguish between the collections designed for each trade. This not only simplifies product selection in store, but also on site. We know that for professional tradespeople, using the right product makes the job easier, delivers a higher quality finish and ultimately ensures customer satisfaction and minimises the number of call backs.
To find out more about the Trade Mate, Painters Mate and Joiners Mate products visit https://www.geocel.co.uk/