Three Types of Concrete Joint Sealing Products
Concrete is a valuable building material because it is resilient, durable and versatile in terms of potential applications. In addition, there are diverse design options for concrete since the material can be coloured, stained and even textured to produce varying visual effects. However, you should note that concrete structures require some maintenance for continued quality performance. This is particularly important if you have installed a concrete driveway or sidewalk in your property.
Generally, these surfaces are constructed with expansion joints which allow proper enlargement and contraction depending on temperature fluctuations. If the joints are neglected, they will allow moisture to flow under the slabs causing structural damage. Concrete joint sealers are soft materials which are filled into the space to prevent intrusion from water and dirt. They do not limit expansion and can improve the surface appearance. Here are the main types of concrete sealers available in the market.
As implied, liquid sealants are purchased as fluid products which can flow easily into the expansion joints. They can be purchased in local stores and they are typically packaged in tubes and even pails. The material can be applied using a nozzle or you can obtain a backer rod to control the seepage of the sealing fluid. The main benefits of choosing liquid sealants are the ease of application and the relatively low cost of purchase. Good products such as high-quality silicone sealants will provide watertightness, resistance to UV degradation and long-term service.
Impregnated Foam Sealants
Impregnated foam sealants are made using cellular polyurethane. The process involves impregnating or filling up the foam cells with water repellent adhesive compounds. The material is compressed to provide a compact sealant product which can be placed directly into the expansion joints. You can purchase the preformed and pre-compressed foam sealant as finished products from building material stores. The main advantage of choosing this type over the liquid sealants is that the foam provides thermal insulation in addition to moisture non-permeability. This reduces the probability of cracking due to sudden temperature changes.
Hybrid sealants are manufactured by combining the properties of both the liquid and impregnated foam sealants. Basically, the products are designed and produced by applying silicone fluid over a polyurethane foam backing. The foam provides the secure anchoring between the joints, thermal insulation and resilience against the movement of concrete. The upper liquid sealant provides stability and durability because it can fold and unfold without extensive stress or allowing penetration by moisture.
For more information on sealing your concrete, you can contact a concrete construction company like Allied Concrete Cutting & Drilling Pty Ltd.