Wood, concrete, or any structure/surface may have voids, gaps, cracks, and shaky joints. The most effective solution to this problem is a sealant. It is challenging to understand which sealant is right for your purpose. However, we consider polyurethane caulking sealant the best.
That’s what we’ll show in this content, in addition to giving an idea about the formulation, use and effectiveness of other available sealants.
What is a Sealant?
Sealants are a substance that prevents fluids and other leaking-substances from passing through openings, joints, or surfaces of any material. They can also block air leakage, sound, heat, and the insertion of fine dust and insects. Usually, sealants are different from adhesives, but some contain wood adhesive characteristics, thus, known as an adhesive sealant or construction adhesive. They can show around 25% movement flexibility, which can be further extended.
Why is Polyurethane Caulk the Best Sealant?
Polyurethane caulking sealants are usually composed of a urethane prepolymer, a catalyst or active hydrogen-containing compound, and an organophosphate. They are the toughest option amongst sealants, making them an all-round sealing agent for nearly everywhere, including driveways and high-traffic spots. They are hard to apply for being much gooey and require more time to label than contenders. But of course, they are inexpensive – similar to acrylic latex and less than solvent-based sealants.
Calling it the best is undeniably a bold claim, but this is really going to tackle your toughest caulking tasks, which is nearly impossible by acrylic latex caulk or silicone caulk. In addition to that, they include the following advantages:
- Super resistance against tear and abrasion;
- Inherent self-leveling formula (very effective against abrasion);
- Inherent non-sagging formula (very effective against joint expansion);
- Excellent resistance against extreme weather and temperature;
- High-resistance against chemicals;
- No use of toxic solvent – quite safe to health and environment;
- Wide range of applications – small to big projects;
- Great adhesive capacity and high tensile strength;
- Adhesion compatibility to all substrates, e.g. wood, stone, ceramic, glass, plastic and metal;
- No mixing or special ingredient is required for adhesion;
- Applicable to very large gaps (more than 1 inch) to create a perfect seal;
- Excellent stress recovery after being pulled or bent – shape retaining; and
- Wider availability across the world in different forms and sizes.
Best Polyurethane Caulk Sealant – Shortlisted
Polyurethane caulk is now trending in the market for quality, durability and safety – the first choice of many professionals. They are available in massive quantities – different brands, forms, types! Determining which of them is most effective for a particular purpose was a complex task, although we did it. Hope, the list below will give you a clear idea.
Best for Construction (Wood & Others) – Loctite PL
Best for Roof and Flashing – Loctite PL S30
Best for Indoor & Outdoor – Loctite PL Premium
Best for Concrete, Metal, Masonry – AWF PRO 1a
Best for Gutter, Chimney, Skylight, Duct – Dap 18816
Best for Elasticity – DAP Extreme Stretch
Best for Self Leveling – Sikaflex Self Leveling
Best Polyurethane Foam Sealant – Red Devil 0912
Sealants – Key Types
Market is full of various caulks – different colors, substance, nature, formulation, and use. However, all of them can be narrowed down into four key categories.
- Acrylic Latex Sealant
- Solvent-Based Sealant
- Polyurethane Sealant
- Silicone sealant
- Hybrid Sealant
We have explained polyurethane sealants above – here is the rest:
Acrylic Latex Sealant: When you need the easiest application, acrylic latex caulk is unparalleled! These caulks smoothen out quickly and are water-cleanable. Adding raw silicone, labeled “plus silicone” or “siliconized”, to acrylic latex offers better adhesion and enhances flexibility. They are quite inexpensive but effective, such as Red Devil Masonry.
Solvent-Based Sealant: Solvent caulking sealants are a reliable sealing agent for outer areas, especially roofs and wet surfaces. They degrade less in tough weather, for instance, direct sunlight. But with higher amounts of VOCs, gooey nature, some may not like them. Have a higher cost than acrylic latex sealant, but give excellent value for money.
Silicone Sealant: Silicone caulks are a unique type and probably the most ancient among all sealants. The adhesive sealants come with a gel-like consistency, completely different from other types, especially the glue-like texture of polyurethane or solvent-based sealants. Silicone caulks can do many jobs with being flexible, elastic, and stable across different conditions (heat and cold). However, they take more time to bond before use – from 24 hours to several days after application. They are very popular to date but not as long-lasting as polyurethane or hybrid sealants. But, of course, they are cost-effective.
Hybrid Sealant: When you need the best sealing with the toughest adhesion, a hybrid caulking sealant is what you should buy. It combines polyurethane and silicone, offering a top-notch adhesion with super flexibility and longevity. They are even easier to apply than polyurethane caulk but not as easy as acrylic latex. But, we noticed fewer, in fact, very few hybrid sealants available on the market, including different retailer websites. And most of the available units come without the “Hybrid” label! For this reason, you will have to work hard to get the right hybrid sealant. They are quite expensive as well.
Polyurethane Caulking Sealant Application
Polyurethane caulk should come up with instructions for application. You just have to follow this. You have to use a caulk gun to apply, and mineral spirit to clean up, due to the gooey nature of poly sealant. However, here we’ll show the core process of how to apply polyurethane sealant:
Surface Preparation – Remove existing caulk, paint, dirt, dust, grease or debris from the surface (where to apply) and rinse well. Use rubbing alcohol if necessary. Get it completely dried.
Area Taping – For an attractive finish, area taping is a good approach. Painter’s tape ensures no appearance of sealant of that particular taped area and makes the final appearance better.
Nozzle Cutting – Polyurethane caulks come in squeeze tubes. The tube used to come in sealed under the nozzle cap. Use a scissor or sharp blade to cut the nozzle to remove the seal, following the instructions provided with tubes.
Caulk Application – Insert the tube cartridge into a caulk gun in a snug and secure state. Extend the plunger correctly by adjusting the rod by pressing the gun release. Place the nozzle at an angle of 45-degree to the spot where you’re going to apply the caulk. Grasp and squeeze the tube with the required pressure to put the caulk into the targeted spot. Draw the nozzle along the area simultaneously. Give steady pressure to trigger until the gap is filled with an even bed.
Caulk Bed Smoothening – Some agents are self-leveling. If your one is not like that, use a caulk finishing tool to smoothen the finish. You can alternatively use your fingertip – moisten it in light warm soapy water and then drag it over the finish with light pressure.
Cleaning – Of course, it’s a messy task. Rubbing and rinsing with mineral spirit will make the task easier. Finally, rinse with soapy water and dry thoroughly.
Here you will find the Best Seller Caulking Gun.
Sealant vs. Sealer
Although both give a similar type of result, the main differences between sealant and sealer are their formation and work. The sealer is usually liquid and penetrates the surface after application or forms a skinny coating on the outside. On the other hand, the sealant is a thick or sticky substance that does not penetrate the surface but instead forms a thick layer over it or fills the gap.
The use of sealers in construction or any other work is nothing new – in fact, very ancient. There have been many improvements in the quality and effectiveness of sealing agents over time. Polyurethane caulk sealant is the latest addition. It’s reliable and a long-term protector.