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“Caulk” it Up to Moderate Weather


By Scott Parello, VP, Exterior Building Services | September 6, 2013

caulk it up image

 

Did you know we only have about two months left of prime building caulking and waterproofing weather?

As the temperature begins to drop, one runs the risk of sealant performance issues. You see, at temperatures below 32˚F the cure rate of sealants is diminished and the presence of ice and frost on bonding surfaces becomes a threat. Both of these conditions can affect the overall cure adhesion and ultimate performance of the sealants during the application process.

Weather Affects Performance

It is crucial to pay attention to the weather, as it can affect:

  1. Joint size at the time of caulking
  2. Contaminants on the surfaces of the joint (like dust, pollen, etc.)
  3. Ability of the caulk to “wet” the surfaces of the joint for good adhesion
  4. Proper curing and developing of ideal physical properties

Ideal Weather Conditions

What is ideal? Dry weather and an outdoor temperature between 50°F and rising and 90°F and falling. Why dry? Low humidity is key during application in order to prevent cracks from swelling with moisture.

Weather Extremes

It is typically not a good idea to apply caulk in very cold or very hot weather. Whether hot or cold, the joint will not be at its ideal size. In extreme temperatures the size of the joint will be in an altered state – either at its widest (when cold contracts the substrates) or at its narrowest (when heat expands the substrates). If sealant is applied in either of these instances, the caulk will not cure correctly and may develop blisters. Additionally, a great amount of stress is put on the sealant as the temperature travels to the opposite extreme. By applying caulk to a joint in the middle of the typical temperature range you will minimize the overall stress applied to the caulk as a result of thermal changes.

Wet/Snowy Conditions

If it has just rained or snowed, it is recommended to allow the surfaces to completely dry before caulking. Wet surfaces will inhibit proper adhesion and curing of the caulk. We also suggest avoiding applying caulk if rain or snow is expected within 24 hours.

If you have questions about waterproofing your building please contact us at services@pcmservices.com or 301-595-3700. Our professional caulking services team is here to help!

Want to learn more about choosing the right sealant for the job? Read our blog “Silicone vs. Polyurethane Sealant.”