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Why use Silicone Concrete Expansion Joint Sealants?

Posted by Isaac Morey on

Sealing Concrete Expansion Joints: Silicone Vs. Polyurethane

Whether you’re repairing your driveway or managing a large-scale construction project, everyone hopes that their concrete will stand the test of time. After all, replacing concrete is pricy and time-consuming. Installing expansion joints and using a high-quality silicone-based sealant is one important step you can take to ensure that your work will last for years to come.

Why Joints Need Quality Sealant

Expansion joints allow space in which concrete can contract and expand without causing cracks. However, joints need to be filled with soft, pliable material so that rainwater can’t get under the concrete, which could cause the construction to sink or heave. Also, because the underside of concrete usually cannot be treated, it is particularly vulnerable to erosion and other dangers of water exposure.

While anyone with experience working with concrete can tell you how important expansion joints are, the need for a quality sealant is sometimes overlooked. Since the cost of sealant pales in comparison to that of hiring a contractor to replace your concrete, it's important not skimp on sealant.

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Silicone Vs. Polyurethane Sealant

Most sealants are made of either silicone or polyurethane. Polyurethane sealants are often cheaper; however, they are not as well-suited for most outdoor projects. This is because polyurethane is an organic material that is very susceptible to damage in changing temperatures. In fact, the lifespan of polyurethane sealant can be as little as five years, whereas silicone tends to last about twenty.

Silicone’s long lifespan is due to its chemically inorganic makeup. Unlike polyurethane, silicone is highly resistant to temperature changes. Silicone also dries faster; polyurethane remains wet or "tacky" for 24 hours longer than silicone would. Last but not least, silicone also dries effectively in cold temperatures, whereas polyurethane is unable to form permanent bonds in such weather.

Need High Quality Silicone? Visit Silicone Depotonline to shop for silicone sealants, along with useful tools such as caulking guns. If you have any questions about sealing concrete expansion joints, feel free to reach out to us, and we will be in touch!