Whether you seal surfaces for a living or it’s your first time giving it a go, there’s always something you can learn. From removing old, tough caulk to clever ways to achieve a professional look and application, it’s never too late to have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Solseal know everything there is to know about sealants and adhesives. Supplying only the best products on the market, and providing huge savings on bulk orders, they are an official UK distributor for many top brands.
Below, Solseal outline 8 top tips for using sealants and adhesives (for both experienced and non-experienced DIYers):
- Remove old sealant with caulk remover and utility knives or needle-nosed pliers
Old sealants and adhesives can be tough to remove. To make the process easier, you can apply a commercial caulk remover to soften it up. Once soft, wear protective equipment and use your utility or putty knife to carefully slice through the caulk, making sure you don’t damage the surface underneath (or yourself).
For situations where caulk has been layered, needle-nosed pliers are great for peeling away with ease.
- Prepare the surface before applying a sealant by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol
You’ll want to avoid applying silicone sealants over a surface that has just been exposed. Instead, remove any residue with a brush, and clean up the surface with rubbing alcohol, allowing it to dry completely before applying sealant.
Sealant manufacturers will often provide information on how best to prepare surfaces before using their products, so make sure you read their instructions, however rubbing alcohol is usually the safest option.
- Don’t use the wrong sealant – do your research and use the right one for the job
For sealant to successfully grip and perform its duty, you’ll need to pick the sealant that works with the surface and performs the required function. Choosing the wrong sealant for the job could result in sagging caulk that shrinks and weakens.
You’ll need to consider what material you’re applying it to, such as wood, glass and metal, where in the home it’s being placed (does it need to be water repellant), and whether there are any specific sealants to suit your job (such as acrylic products for skirting, or food grade sealants for food preparation areas).
- Don’t freestyle – use masking tape for straight lines
A freestyled sealant can look messy and unprofessional, and even experienced hands can sometimes slip. To get that professional look every time, use masking tape!
Simply put the tape either side of where you’ll be applying the sealant, apply your seal, and remove the tape before it dries.
- Use straws for spaces where your caulk gun simply won’t fit
A lot of modern houses or inventive small outhouses are equipped with very small sinks. These can provide a stern test when it comes to using sealants and adhesives. Yet one of the simplest and cheapest ways to tackle such an issue is by using a straw.
Find a straw that fits flush around your sealant tube. Cut to your desired size, so that it fits within the small space, before chopping the top off at a 45-degree angle. The sealant will flow through and make the job a breeze.
- Glass cleaner is a great way to smooth out sealant without the stickiness
Sealant can be very sticky. Whilst many DIYers will use their finger to remove excess product, before wiping their hands on a paper towel, they’re always left with a sticky mess.
Spray glass cleaner over the fresh seal, as this won’t mix with the silicone and will allow you to smooth it out without that unwanted residue. Now, simply leave it to dry!
- Blocked sealant tube? Use a screw to unclog it
Even the most experienced of DIYers can end up with a blocked tube. This is caused by excess sealant not being wiped away from the top of the spout. However, you don’t need to cut a big piece of tube off (making it very difficult to apply in the future) or waste product.
Instead, simply use a masonry screw (something with a tough, sharp thread), and push this into the dried sealant to unblock it.
- No seal on the spout of the tube? Use sealant!
Not all silicone sealants come with a cap, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seal it off to ensure the product remains usable.
To use sealant to cover the spout and prolong the longevity of the liquid, wet your fingers, take a small piece of sealant and mould it into a ball. Squash this on top of the spout and allow it to dry, and hey presto, you have a cap.
Solseal are a family run distribution company with over 20 years of experience, focusing on specialist grouts, concrete repair mortars, adhesives, and sealant products for the construction industry. Solseal only supply the best in the business, and are the exclusive distributor of the Everbuild Tecnic range, and a national distributor of FEB products. Browse their products via the website: https://www.solseal.co.uk/product-category/sealants-and-adhesives/