Patching leaks in the facility is as easy as ABC when facility managers know the right type of sealant to use. Working closely with commercial building waterproofing contractors, the facility manager can choose the most superior sealing product that will satisfy the building’s unique requirements. With many products out in the market, what are the choices?
Criteria in Choosing Waterproofing Sealants
The main criterion in choosing the sealant to use for commercial building waterproofing is suitability to the building’s waterproofing needs. The commercial building waterproofing application should be a reconciliation of facility needs and product performance.
Another criterion for commercial building waterproofing that is often hard to ignore is cost. But facility managers should not at any instance sacrifice performance over cost, nor be influenced by cost considerations alone. If it is possible to find a balance between good performance and savings, this must be done. That is the reason why facility managers should work only with certified waterproofing contractors who can select the most appropriate sealant for the facility and use their years of experience and industry knowledge to work within the project budget.
Sealant Categories for All Types of Waterproofing Needs
Commercial building waterproofing sealants cut across three broad categories, and they are as follows:
1. Silicone-Based Sealants
These sealants are considered of the highest quality by industry standards. They are more versatile than other sealants because they deliver superior adhesive bonds to almost any surface type — wood, glass, plastic, metal, fibrous surfaces, and even already-coated surfaces.
Silicon sealants evolved from nuclear and nanotechnology researches, as such they are stable and very resistant to extreme conditions such as fluctuating temperature and UV radiations. They are also used in marine waterproofing because they have stable chemical and electrical properties, and are often the sealant of choice in off-shore oil rigs that need high-performing fire retardant sealants.
Since these products use an expensive material — silicone — in their formulation, they are more expensive than other sealant products. However, that is more than made up for by high performance and a 20-year service life guarantee.
2. Urethane-Based Sealants
Urethane-based sealants offer a good compromise between cost and performance, and are often the preferred choice in more commercial building waterproofing projects.
Urethane sealants have decent useful life. They can last as long as 10 years with proper application. They also provide flexibility that is very useful in commercial building waterproofing projects that require sealing areas subjected to constant joint movements.
Since urethane-based products can be painted over, they are the preferred option for projects with aesthetic considerations. Thematic colors can be used for the building without hindering the performance of the underlying urethane sealants.
Urethane sealants are often used in waterproofing glass insulations, joint sealing, roofing membrane sealing, concrete and metal commercial building waterproofing, and even machinery coating.
3. Resin Modifiers
Developments in adhesion technology have synthesized polymers at their molecular level. The results are phenolic resins that are used to produce low-cost adhesives. Resin-based sealing formulations have excellent adhesion to many surface types. They can resist water intrusion and high temperature heat and flame. As part of a commercial building waterproofing solution, resin modifiers offer strength and reliability minus the expense.
Choosing the correct sealant suitable for a particular commercial building waterproofing project need not be a formidable task. Working with certified waterproofing contractors and gaining a basic knowledge of what’s in the market today makes the task easy.