Joint Sealing & Sealants Perth
What is Joint Sealing?
Joint sealing involves the installation of materials into the joints of buildings, balconies, carparks and concrete slabs so as to allow for contraction and expansion, withstand shrinkage, protect against water ingress, allow for loading pressures and to avoid random and thermal cracking. The seal produced with the joint sealing will intercept movement within the surfaces or at the intersection point of various building elements. While only a small portion of the overall construction, joint sealing is of key importance to ensuring the functionality and durability of the building envelope and therefore is of critical importance to the construction process.
What is a joint sealant?
Joint sealant is a polymer-based substance used in building and construction design applications to seal joints, openings and gaps between two or more substrates thus protecting them from environmental elements that cause corrosion. The use of this sealant to prevent water damage to buildings, and their contents, is extremely common in modern commercial structures.
Joint sealants are designed for specific types of joints and the physical properties such as elasticity, fatigue, tear strength and resistance to abrasion are matched to the sealants intended use. Additionally, they are matched to the application environment which may require additives that are resistant such environmental elements such as mildew, fire, ultraviolet and acid.
When are joint sealants used?
Some of the most common uses for joint sealants is to close open joints (internal and external) thus preventing water and air from entering, for aesthetic reasons, cleanability (internally where water resistance isn’t a problem) and to reduce the transmission of sound through cracks (usually internal). Common areas of use include construction and expansion joints, cracks in slabs and fascia, open joints and cavities and façade joints.
Why is the use of a concrete joint sealant important in concrete?
Using a joint sealant to seal expansion joints and contraction joints in concrete walls and floors helps maintain the integrity of a concrete structure. Concrete joint sealant in concrete floors protects the expansion joint from damage, such as chipping and cracking, caused by heavy equipment, moisture, rain, gravity, wind, surface tension and capillary action.
What are the most common joint sealant types used in concrete?
Liquid sealants: usually used due to the ease of installation and lower cost. The high-performance liquid sealants provide low modulus, UV resistance and moisture permeability even with age and changing temperatures.
Impregnated foam sealants: supplied ready for installation. They provide thermal insulation as well as moisture permeability and also resist air pressure differentials which are common between interiors and exteriors of structures that use forced air heating and cooling systems.
Hybrid sealants: effective products that combine factory applied and cured silicone with impregnated expanded form sealant backing. This sealant type guards against the fatigue and potential cohesion failure of concrete liquid sealants.
Is caulk a sealant?
The terms “caulk” and “sealant” are often used interchangeably as they serve a similar function – filling gaps between building materials to prevent water, dust, sound and air from entering and are both applied by a caulking gun; however, they do have significant differences. When dry, caulk quite rigid and is generally used in areas with minimal expansion and contraction. A sealant is a flexible material (silicone or mastic) that curse in an elastic state, bonding to the surfaces of the joint, and used in areas that are prone to expansion and contraction.