Even if you’re an experienced DIYer, it’s always important to put safety first. Whether you’re completing a simple paint job or renovating your home, preparation is key. The same applies to applying silicone sealant. It’s one of the easiest home improvement projects one can accomplish, but it still comes with its own share of potential risks. Just like you wouldn’t climb a ladder without any practice, it’s important to follow silicone application instructions carefully.
Potential Safety Hazards
Overall, silicone sealant is safe to use when you follow instructions and prepare yourself for the project. For assurance, silicone materials are commonly found in kitchen items like cookware or food containers. Thus, silicone sealant is usually very safe once it’s applied and dried. In reality, the majority of potential safety hazards are more likely to occur during the application process.
In summary, dried silicone is usually harmless. It’s when silicone is in its liquid form that you need to be careful. When working with silicone sealant, it’s important not to come in contact with the materials before it dries.
As silly as this advice may sound, never ingest silicone sealant. This sounds simple enough, but when thinking about lunch or hydration breaks during the application process, it becomes a lot more serious. The material may still be on your hands, leading to accidental ingestion of harmful chemicals. Never eat or drink anything during the application process and wash your hands thoroughly once you’re finished.
Select the Correct Silicone Sealant
As mentioned above, silicone sealant is usually safe once it’s applied and dried. However, there are certain details to keep in mind when selecting the correct caulk for your project. For example, if you’re using caulk to make some minor repairs in your kitchen, it’s important to purchase food grade silicone sealant. This will make sure that the material is always safe when coming into contact with food, even after it dries.
Do you have children and/or pets? Are you working in an area with a lot of surrounding objects? Have you read the instructions labeled on the silicone sealant container? Like with any home improvement project, these are all questions you need to ask yourself prior to caulk application. It’s important to plan ahead before applying silicone sealant to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need and you’re taking all necessary safety precautions before starting the project.
Wear Safety Equipment
Silicone sealant application may be one of the more simple home improvement projects, but that doesn’t mean you should go into it empty handed. To prevent coming into contact with the caulk materials, wear gloves and safety glasses/goggles. Consider wearing clothes that cover up your skin in case the material leaks and/or spills. Even when you’re wearing gloves, always wash your hands thoroughly once you’re finished with the application.
Ventilation is Important
Silicone sealants release strong fumes during the application process. Thus, ventilation is a requirement when applying caulk of any kind, particularly those containing acetoxy. Too much exposure to these fumes could result in lightheadedness and harmful side effects. To prevent this, open as many doors and windows as possible and place a large amount of fans around the surrounding area. If none of this is possible, always wear NIOSH-approved respiratory protection during the application process.
Be Aware of Flammable Materials
Silicone sealants are often contained in flammable, pressurized cans and aerosol cartridges. This makes it incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you’re not applying silicone sealant near open flames. As a general rule of thumb, avoid applying silicone sealant anywhere with high temperatures. Nevertheless, always have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
Have a First Aid Kit Nearby
We should emphasize that being ready with a first aid kit doesn’t mean something bad will happen. If you follow all the instructions and plan ahead for your silicone sealant project, everything should work out just fine. However, for safety reasons, it’s always important to be prepared with a first aid kit. Some silicone specific first aid measures may involve the liquid adhesive getting into your eyes and skin.
Silicone Depot takes your safety very seriously. Our high quality products always come with clear, detailed instructions and warning labels. We even provide helpful safety data sheets for people interested in learning more about certain materials within our products. Silicone Depot always sell high-quality silicone sealants and caulks at wholesale prices. Check out our silicone selections today!