Read more from Chris Bennett
Just recently I’ve been busy helping a relative fit out his new business showroom. Being a good DIY person he decided to do all the non compliance work himself to keep the costs down. Good idea I thought especially as the extended family were on call to lend a hand. Most off the work involved fixing plasterboard. MDF board, internal hardware and painting.
During the course of the work we used a lot of silicone sealers and adhesives which led to a discussion over a cup of tea about the variety and brands of products on the market. Most people use their favoured brands and pardon the pun, stick with them over the years until one day someone introduces them to a product that changes their mind. The sea-change product that I introduced the team too was Holdfast Fix All HG, the by line of this product is ‘Will Sick Almost Anything’ and it certainly does. Not only is the product technically good in that it has a high grab-high bond characteristic which made it ideal for the variety of jobs we were doing , (including being paintable by the way), it saved us buying a range of products. One cartridge in the gun and get on with the job.
Have a look at it next time you go to the Hardware Store it might save you a lot of time and effort on your next project, its from the same people who distribute the well known Gorilla brand of glues. As a matter of interest most of the sealants used by the home handyperson are grouped under three basic headings: acrylic, silicone and co-polymer types.
These sealants are ideal for filling gaps. They are paintable and remain flexible even after drying.. This type of sealant is excellent for use indoors or outdoors to fill cracks and gaps that expand and contract with the weather. You might, for instance, fill in a gap with rigid filler during wet winter months and then in the dry summer months you find that the filler drops out. You should use an acrylic sealant for this job. They can be used around doorframes, windowsills, skirting boards, cornices and almost any other area where expansion and shrinkage causes problems. Most brands of acrylic fillers are water clean up, skin over in less than an hour and cure in two days. Painting can be done as soon as the sealant skins over.
These tend to come in a variety of types for specific jobs. You must be careful when purchasing silicone sealants that you get the correct one for the job in hand. . For example, Window and Glass sealant is an acid cure sealant whereas Brick and Concrete sealant is a neutral cure sealant. Most manufacturers have tried to make life easy for the consumer by giving names to their products that tie in with the product usage. for example , product names such as Window and Glass, Brick and Concrete, Plumbers and Roofing, Bathroom and Kitchen and so on.
These can be used on most metals, plastics and substrates. One of their many features is that they can be used in damp conditions and some can even be used in very wet conditions as well. In many ways co polymer sealants are universal in the surfaces that they will stick to and being neutral cure, will not cause any damage to those surfaces. Holdfast Fix All HG , for example, is based on a MS Polymer.
A few tips when using silicone sealants
Prepare the surface. Clean off all traces of the old sealant (if there was one) and make sure that the surfaces are clean and dry. In bathrooms or kitchens be extra careful in getting rid of fats and soap scum. Wash with a mild bleach solution to get rid of any mould spores. If you are on a metal surface, make sure that that there are no rusted areas and prime any bare metal. Apply the sealant you are using on the same day that you clean the surface you are going to work on. Most importantly, READ the manufacturers instructions carefully before use (including all the safety information).
The key to successfully using silicone sealants is that you really need to purchase the correct sealant for the job in hand.