What to Know About Silicone and Polyurethane Sealant

Selecting the right sealant can be quite a task, especially when you do not know what you should be looking out for. However, with the right information, choosing the best sealant will come to you naturally. First things first, what is a sealant? A sealant is a material that is elastomeric that allows 25% to 50% movement. There are different reasons why a sealant comes in handy in exterior building restoration. For starters, it keeps out water and air. It fills gaps and allows for contraction and expansion of building materials. And lastly, a sealant enhances aesthetics when properly used. The two most common sealants are silicone and polyurethane.

Differences Between Them

While they are used for similar purposes, these two sealants have a couple of differences between them. The very major differences between these two sealants is their chemical composition. While polyurethane is organic, silicone is an inorganic material. The question here would be, does this matter and if it does, how?

Yes, the chemical composition of a sealant matters. When an organic material is exposed to UV rays for a prolonged period of time, the end result is that disintegration and deterioration occurs, with the material eventually changing to its original state. What this means is that when you use polyurethane as a sealant, you should expect pronounced wear and tear after a couple of years. This is not the case with silicone. Inorganic material can withstand UV rays without much change, which allows you to get longer service from your sealant.

Exterior Building Restoration

How Lond Will Silicone Joints Last?

Say you’ve already had polyurethane installed and thereafter realized that silicone would have been a better decision, what options do you have? Existing polyurethane sealant can be removed and replaced with silicone. However, caution must be taken to ensure that all the polyurethane is removed before the silicone can be installed. If any polyurethane is left behind, it will cause deterioration of the silicone over time.

If you are about to get sealant for your new house, or wish to repair some emerging cracks in your current house, go for the best sealant to avoid the recurring troubles of choosing cheap sealant that will cost you more in future repairs.

Your Options

A silicone joint will last for 20 years and beyond, while a polyurethane joint can only do ten years at maximum. It is not just the UV light that affects sealants, the temperatures play a significant role as well. Temperatures induce contraction and expansion, and this means that a sealant needs to be flexible enough to accommodate these frequent changes in size. Silicone tends to allow greater movement compared to polyurethane, and as such you will not have to worry about cracks in your joints when you go for silicone.

In terms of cost, silicone tends to attract higher prices than polyurethane. But the initial cost should not push you towards the cheaper option because even there lies a caveat. While polyurethane might cost you less during the initial installation, the maintenance needs thereafter tend to be higher when compared to silicone. You must therefore choose carefully which bet you are willing to place.

Contact us to do for all your building restoration

So if you own a residential, commercial or industrial building in Toronto and its surrounds, be sure to contact Horizon Construction for any restoration project, no matter how big or small. We not only offer an obligation free quote, but extremely competitive rates. Our 25 years in the construction industry will help ensure your restoration project is a massive success.


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