This page includes links to all of our Sealants and Sealers DIY hwo to projects. Browse through the below list and click on your chosen link to view the project information.
Available DIY How To Projects
The Building Adhesives and Sealants Association has a great deal of information on the correct use of, and safety aspects of all types of sealant but the following pages contain most of that which you need to know when applying sealants around the home.
Sealants, mostly known as joint sealants, do exactly what it says on the tube, they seal joints. Different types of joint however, need different type os sealant and these pages show you which sealant to use where. This page explains why you need to alter the type of sealant you are using for different substrates. We show you how to use a sealant gun and also how to remove sealants from around the bath and basin.
Sealants came into being many many years ago when old lime mortars were mixed with tars and natural resins to make a waterproof joint which stayed flexible in most conditions. To choose the correct sealant you need to know the material or materials you are trying to seal a joint between. If the sealant does not stick to one of the surfaces then the time and effort is wasted. The main types of sealant are:
Water based, latex sealants such as decorators caulk and sometimes called flexible filler, are used in light rather than commercial applications. They are not used outside where a lot of movement is expected.
Acrylic (synthetic polymer derived from acrylic acid) solvent based sealants are used again in home improvements rather than industrial settings. They are used mostly to seal the edge of a unit of some kind as it sits in an opening or against another wall. They can usually be painted and have a limited amount of movement before they tear or peel away from one of the substrates. They do not last long once the tube has been open and their ultra sticky properties make them difficult to get into a tidy, neat order when finished. Ideal for window and door frames and sealing kitchen worktops etc.
Silicone sealant is the daddy of sealants with high structural strength, great movement but most cannot be painted successfully. They usually run nicely out of the tube, are very pliable and easier to work (or tool) than acrylic sealants.They resist UV well and stick to almost anything but a primer may be needed for porous surfaces like masonry. They are ideal for glass, baths, tiles and other non-porous surfaces. High modulus sealant is able to stretch more as it has greater elongation. For our purposes this means we can apply it all the way round a bathtub without worrying if we have stretched it too far. Low modulus sealant can be used but may need to be applied in thicker ribbons.
These days sealants come in handy squeezable tubes