When it comes to sealants and adhesives it pays to go premium, according to Bostik
More and more tradespeople are embracing premium adhesives and sealants, valuing a higher quality product that can offer increased reliability. The latter is a growing priority; there is still a backlog of jobs delayed due to the pandemic, so having to revisit a job can eat into your valuable time. The number of premium adhesives and sealants on the market presents a great range of choice yet narrowing down the best solution can be difficult. While quality and a strong performance are key considerations, premium adhesives and sealants should come with an added value. Sifting through the various terms on packaging can be a pain, so we’ve compiled a guide to cut through the jargon and help you quickly pick the best product for your job.
Hybrid adhesive and sealant products, such as Evo-Stik The Dog’s B*ll*cks, can be extremely versatile and useful for lots of bonding and sealing jobs, which makes them the ideal product to keep in the back of your van for sudden emergencies. Technological advancements have really pushed forward the development of more products like these that use silane modified polymer (also known as SM Polymer, SMP or MS) technology. They provide strong characteristics such as resistance to extreme temperatures and movement, superior bond strength in both wet and dry weather, and fast setting times. This ensures you can finish the job on schedule, whatever the conditions, and sometimes in a shorter time frame.
Waterproof vs weatherproof
Conditions are one of the most frustrating parts of the job. The time of year, the environment and the weather can all adversely impact your work on a project, either delaying work or ruining work already completed. High performance products that work in all sorts of conditions can make things easier. There are two descriptions that tend to trip people up. Isn’t waterproof and weatherproof the same? Well, no.
A waterproof adhesive or sealant will not be affected by water, and when used correctly it shouldn’t let any water past it once cured.
A weatherproof (sometimes described as an ‘all weather’) product, such as Evo-Stik Gripfill Max, can be waterproof, but it will also provide protection from other elements, including extreme temperatures. When you’re selecting a product, you should consider where it will be used. Remember that indoor areas can still be affected by high temperatures and, if it’s a sealant, the product may be exposed to UV rays, especially if the building has large glass windows or doors. You should also check whether your chosen product can be applied in wet or damp conditions, as this varies, with some products only waterproof once they have cured.
SM Polymer sealants such as Sticks Like Sh*t Waterproof Sealant can be used on almost any building material or substrate and have excellent flexibility. As they’re solvent-free, SM Polymer products are also ideal for use in occupied buildings.
Often considered a more traditional option, solvent-based grab adhesives are renowned for their superior final bond strength.
Once applied, these adhesives rely on the evaporation of solvent in order to set and fully cure. After the solvent evaporates, the adhesive will become stronger until there is no solvent left in the solution and the adhesive reaches its maximum effectiveness.
Some solvent-based grab adhesives, such as Gripfill, offer gap-filling properties that remove unevenness between two substrates, making them ideal for the application of skirting and coving.
It’s important to check that surfaces will not be adversely affected by solvents before applying this type of adhesive.
Water-based adhesives, such as Gripfill Solvent Free, offer all of the benefits of a regular, solvent-based adhesive without the odour.
As they’re water-based, these adhesives have low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making them a more environmentally friendly option.
With no corrosive qualities, water-based grab adhesives can be used on almost any building material without the risk of a chemical reaction. Their properties make them suitable for both porous and non-porous materials. However, they’re generally slower to set than their SM Polymer and solvent-based counterparts and are often only suitable for use indoors.
Lots of people are unsure what ‘paintable’ really means in practice and can end up making a mess of a job. Adhesives and sealants usually need to fully cure before you can paint over them. This involves the evaporation of water, which means the products shrinks, so if you paint them too soon your paint will crack.
To achieve a paintable sealant joint, it’s important to select the correct product in the first place. For example, paint won’t adhere to a silicone sealant, but it will adhere to an SM Polymer sealant such as Sticks Like Sh*t Waterproof Sealant. However, although these products ‘skin over’ rapidly within 15-30 minutes, they often need to be left for 24 hours before they’re paintable.
Always check individual product details as timings can vary, even on very similar looking products, while some products are only compatible with certain types of paints.
Premium adhesives and sealants can provide you with a range of advantages, so you should prioritise what’s most relevant for the job and your needs to ensure you find the ideal solution.
For further information on the range of solutions from Bostik visit https://www.bostik.com/uk/en/