How to Repair Concrete With Expansion Joint Sealant

Aug 30th 2022

Concrete is one of the strongest construction materials there is. It’s used in everything from walkways to the Hoover Dam. Its first use dates back thousands of years in ancient architecture. The Romans, Mayans, and Nabateans used concrete forms in their construction.

However, It’s not indestructible. Concrete wears and weathers just like any other building material, albeit at a slower pace. Concrete can develop cracks and gaps when subjected to harsh weather conditions like rain, cold, ice, and snow. The sun’s UV rays can also take a toll on concrete as they are a near-constant source of degradation.

If you have a patch of concrete you need to repair, you have a few options. You could get it entirely replaced, but that takes time and will likely be expensive. You could try to repave the concrete yourself, but that would also be arduous and costly. There’s an easier and gentler way to fix your concrete surface. It’s called weather-resistant concrete expansion joint sealant.

What Is Concrete Expansion Joint Sealant?

Many concrete structures are designed to accommodate their natural expansion and contraction due to environmental temperature changes. These create necessary but aesthetically displeasing gaps. For functional reasons, these shouldn’t be left alone. That’s where concrete expansion joint sealant comes in.

Concrete expansion joint sealant is a special material that can be applied to both designed and unnatural gaps in concrete to ensure that the structure is sealed up tight. It was first used in 1906. This type of silicone sealant works so well because it’s weather resistant.

Concrete expansion joint sealant is terrific at repelling dirt, moisture, and plant growth in any concrete cracks. In addition to its strength, silicone sealant for concrete joint expansion expands and contracts with the gap it’s filling so it won’t crack or break apart.

Uses and Benefits of Concrete Expansion Joint Sealant

There are three main uses for concrete expansion joint sealant: construction, walkways, and repair. In construction and masonry projects involving concrete, there are often expansion and/or crack-control joints made in the structure. You can use silicone sealant to seal these up.

On concrete walkways, you’ve probably noticed gaps placed intermittently along the ground. These joints can run vertically or horizontally. Even so, their function is similar to concrete joints in construction: to allow for expansion and contraction, preventing excessive cracking. The concrete joints on walkways should be sealed with concrete expansion joint sealant. Doing so can prevent water, ice, snow, dirt, and gunk from getting into the joint and creating a crack. This is especially important in areas that receive considerable amounts of ice and snow during the winter.

The third application for concrete expansion joint sealant is to repair any cracks and gaps in your concrete. Silicone sealant is preferable for this task not only because of its weather resistance but because of its superior elasticity. You can easily apply concrete expansion joint sealant with a caulking gun to ensure that it fills the gap you’re working on.

Silicone sealant has many benefits. As discussed above, it’s weather resistant and will stand up to the sun’s UV rays. It’s flexible but strong. Silicone sealant for concrete joint expansion also holds its integrity for a long time, even through multiple freeze-thaw cycles. It has tremendous movement capability and can be applied quickly. With concrete expansion joint sealant, the affected area will be ready for use in no time.

How to Apply Concrete Expansion Joint Sealant

First, you’ll want to grab some safety goggles and waterproof gloves. Next, you’ll want to completely clean out the joint you’re sealing and make sure it’s free of any dirt, pebbles, or other debris. From there, you should thoroughly clean and rinse the joint to ensure you get a good seal. Wait until the joint dries.

Next, you’ll want to insert the backer rod if your particular project calls for it. You should allow for a sealant depth between ⅛ and ½ of an inch. You can then take your concrete expansion joint sealant, put it into a caulking gun, and slice off the tip at a 45-degree angle with a utility knife. Make sure the opening matches the size of the joint you’re sealing. You can now apply the silicone sealant.

Do this by slowly moving the nozzle over the joint. If the product you’re using is self-leveling, then you don’t have to do anything else. If it’s not, you can use soap and water to smooth out your caulk line. Take your finger, wet it, and rub it on a bar of soap. Take your finger and run it along the top of your silicone sealant to smooth it out. Use a commercial solvent to clean up any excess silicone sealant that you find.

For your next concrete project, consider Concrete Elite Expansion Joint Sealant. It’s 100% silicone and superior to other polyurethane products. For any other do-it-yourself projects, check out our selection of high-quality silicone products today!