In Depth: caulks, sealants and adhesives
Many options and solutions for LBM dealers.
Caulks, sealants and adhesives serve a variety of important purposes for the contractor and homeowner. They help create air-tight buildings, prevent the passage of water and moisture, and fill gaps and cracks.
But there are plenty of choices out there and figuring out which ones to carry can be a tough undertaking for LBM dealers. Manufacturers and distributors of the products recommend carrying a wide variety of options to handle the equally wide variety of applications.
“Today’s adhesive market can be quite confusing,” says Dan Kaufman, Director of Sales-Distribution, Franklin International/Titebond. “Manufacturers have developed products that are multi-purpose in use, and others that are project specific. But what is often misunderstood is what, exactly, is in the tube. There are many different chemistries available, and it is often not very apparent which the user is purchasing. At one time, all construction adhesives were solvent-based. This has changed dramatically due to advancements in technology and manufacturing.”
It’s important for end users to know that not all caulks and sealants are the same or can be used for any application, says Jennifer Johnson, Group Product Director of Caulks & Sealants at DAP Products Inc.
“There are many different technologies and grades of caulks and sealants, each with their own unique performance features,” she says. “Whether a professional or DIYer, it’s best to use a sealant specifically formulated for the job at hand, such as a window, door and siding sealant for window, door, siding application. Typically, the best product for the job is the higher-grade formula which can be more expensive, but will deliver better long-term results and satisfaction.”
Jay Misas, Senior Product Manager, Construction Adhesives at DAP expands on that idea, noting the importance of using high-quality products.
“A common misunderstanding in the construction adhesives category is that low-quality adhesive can be used to complete jobs because mechanical fasteners are also being used,” he says. “However, in many applications, it is the adhesive that prevents failures rather than the fasteners. For example, floor squeaks and nail pops are two common failures that homeowners often experience. These failures are caused by using low-quality adhesives or by failing to use adhesives at all.”
New products abound
The category also continues to get more robust, with existing manufacturers rolling out new products, and new companies entering the market.
Smart Vent produces a 3/16″ marinegrade stainless steel flood foundation vent and had been recommending competitor adhesive products. After dealing with installation failures, the company decided it needed to develop its own adhesive. That effort led to the introduction of HurriBond in 2017. As it turned out, HurriBond was useful in other applications as well.
“When we first developed the product, we put it out to market,” says J. Paul Abrams, Director of Field Operations. “We had an influx of people like window installers, trim carpenters, we had tile guys, gutter hangers, they came back and said…it works with just about every material, even the rubberized roofing. We found that this stuff works.”
HurriBond is fast-curing, paintable, odorless, non-yellowing, and usable in interior or exterior applications.
“We say ‘two-in-one,’ but it’s really ‘three-in-one,’” Abrams explains. “It adheres, and stays, and it’s used on every surface out there, and the neat thing about it is there’s no odor, it’s sandable, it’s paintable, and [has] fast cure time. Twenty-four hours and it’s 100% cured.”
HurriBond can make life easier for installers by allowing them to replace multiple caulks and sealants with one option, Abrams says.
“This one product can handle just about anything out there,” he says. “We’ve not found anything that it doesn’t work on. So, one of the biggest benefits will be to help dealers cut back on SKUs, and make more sales with one product, [rather] than having all these other choices out there.”
Also in 2017, Huber Engineered Woods launched its AdvanTech subfloor adhesive and, this year, introduced a 28″ long-barrel, non-stick spray-foam applicator gun.
“Traditional cartridge adhesive can be slow and hard to squeeze in winter conditions,” explains David Wescott, Director of Product Accessories for Huber Engineered Woods. “Foam-togel AdvanTech subfloor adhesive brings new levels of speed and ease to the jobsite with quick application, even on wet and frozen wood. With the longer applicator gun, builders can keep subflooring installation moving even easier, year-round.”
According to Huber, third-party testing by Home Innovation Research Labs shows that when AdvanTech subfloor adhesive is applied using the new long-reach 28″ gun applicator, it’s a 40% faster subfloor adhesive application process compared to conventional polyurethane-based cartridge adhesive method.
Huttig recently introduced two adhesive products—Huttig-Grip Subfloor and Drywall Adhesives—to its new line-up of Huttig-Grip products.
“We developed this product line to become a better resource to our core customers, professional building material outlets,” says Sam Sprague, Vice President of Huttig Xpress. “Consolidation of product categories makes it easier for these suppliers to stay competitive and work efficiently in managing their businesses.
“Our construction adhesives line features state-of-the-art packaging design that conveys a ‘pro’ look,” he adds. “But the key is the product in the tube, as we have partnered with an industry leader that manufactures some of the highest quality products on the market.”
Another recent addition to the market is MasterSeal NP 100 from BASF, a hybrid adhesive/sealant. The product is a fast-curing sealant with strong adhesion to a wide variety of substrates and combines the best of silicone and urethane chemistries, says Ashley Haag, Marketing Manager-Sealants & Waterproofing.
BASF introduced MasterSeal NP 100 in response to contractor demand for solutions to help them achieve faster project turnaround, superior weatherability and adhesion to a wider range of substrates, Haag says.
Manufacturers are also improving their existing products. Earlier this year, PPG, maker of Liquid Nails adhesives and sealants and Top Gun sealants, announced environmental product declaration (EPD) verification for 15 formulas from the PPG Top Gun architectural sealants product line.
“EPDs contribute to the transformation of green building initiatives, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4, by enabling purchasing decisions built on science-based environmental information,” says Michael Provenzano, PPG Marketing Manager, Adhesives and Sealants. “PPG is committed to helping customers in the commercial building industry reduce their carbon footprint and meet green building rating requirements such as LEED v4, by offering an environmentally friendly product portfolio of 15 sealant formulas.”
The company’s multi-purpose Liquid Nails products are also growing in popularity as they simplify the selection process.