Sealants: Everything you need to know

Have you just moved in, and you want to get the old kitchen in top shape? Chances are, a simple sealant can go a long way. You can avoid turning your home into a construction zone and save money by doing it yourself with the proper Loctite sealant for your project. Keep reading to see how to easily apply sealant and give your home a professional edge.

Sealants and caulks: What are they and what can they be used for?

Sealants and caulks are used in construction. Their main purpose is to act as a barrier against draft and moisture, sound pollution, and dust. They are also used to compensate movements between individual construction components like bath (shower) tubs and tiles or window frames and façade elements. Depending on the type of project you’re working on, there are different sealants and caulks available to meet all of your specific needs.

You will need to determine whether your job is interior or exterior, whether you are going to be fastening two surfaces together or simply be filling gaps. This will help you choose between the two basic types: caulk and sealant.

Caulk

Caulk is used to seal the joints and seams of two surfaces to eliminate air and moisture leaks, as well as keeping out dust and pests. Its strong hold and protective qualities are perfect for renovating spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. With Loctite RE-NEW, you can repair existing caulk that has yellowed and cracked over time. This fast-acting, silicone-based solution is the ultimate choice for achieving a professional look in under 10 minutes.

Sealant

Sealants are generally used for applications that require a strong hold between surfaces. They tend to be more flexible than caulks and are typically well-suited for interior as well as exterior projects, including tubs, showers, windows, and doors. With Loctite PL Heavy Duty Sealant, you can achieve premium results for nearly any type of job. This product is the first and only formula of its kind; it works under any conditions and maintains both incredible strength and flexibility.

Caulking tips: Steps for proper application

As far as renovations go, caulking is a relatively easy application. We recommend following these specific steps to achieve the best results every time. You will have to know what sealant to choose and what kind of tools you’ll need and ensure you have a clean, ready-to-use surface. But that’s just the beginning. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to approach different surfaces.

How to apply caulk to existing sealant on a bathtub:

  1. Use a damp washcloth to wipe down the old caulking and let it dry.
  2. Squeeze Loctite RE-NEW at a 45-degree angle on top of the existing sealant.
  3. With the specially designed applicator, go over your new caulking again to smooth out the product for perfect results.
  4. Not satisfied with your first attempt? Simply wipe off the new caulking with a damp washcloth and start over.
  5. After a six-hour drying time, your bathtub will be ready to use and just like new.

Tip: If your old caulk is moldy, simply apply a mold cleaner. Remember to remove any cleaner residue before adding the new sealant.

How to apply caulk to baseboards, windows, and more

  1. Prepare your surface by removing any debris or residue such as grease, dust, snow, or water.
  2. Prep the joints: Apply new caulk to a small section or joint to see if you need a primer. If the new caulk does not stick, you probably need a primer.
  3. If necessary, apply primer. If not, continue to step 4.
  4. Cut the application tip of the caulking tube at a 45-degree angle to about ⅜ inch (which is best for protecting the joints), and add it to the caulking gun.
  5. Apply sealant to the area. Let sit for one hour before painting.
  6. Allow 24 to 72 hours to cure, and your project will be complete and durable.

Loctite PL Heavy Duty Sealant has 5x the stretch of a regular sealant and a limited lifetime guarantee!

What to watch when using sealants

When you work with sealant adhesives, there are a few things you need to watch out for to make sure you get the best results every time. After you’ve chosen the best caulking sealant for the job and have carefully prepared your workspace and tools, you can get straight to the fun part: home improvement! 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when applying sealant, so you get the ultimate professional look:

  • Be sure to cut the tip of the application tube so your bead fits the project at hand. Some surfaces require a finer tip than others.
  • Having a steady hand and applying consistent pressure are key. This will ensure an even look. 
  • Mind the gap. If the depth exceeds ½ inch, you will probably need to add a backer rod to fill the extra space. Do not add more caulk to fill this space!
  • Note cure times. Fortunately, with Loctite sealants, cure and paint times are always quick. 
  • After you’ve applied the caulk, be sure to use the applicator tool to smooth out the sealant for a neat and professional-looking job.

Backer rods do not only help adjusting the size of the joint, they also prevent three flank adhesion and really help when the sealant has to be replaced after its lifespan – which is probably a decade away, but everyone will be very happy to have one in place once the time comes.