How To Get That Perfect Sealant Finish?
A perfect sealant finish is not only important to look nice, a sealant’s main function is to form a watertight seal. There are certain methods that can be used, along with the right tools and equipment which will help you apply the sealant correctly, therefore resulting in a neat and professional finish.
Whether you are a professional glazier or are working on some home improvement, we bring you this guide to give you all the tips on how to achieve that perfect finish - so keep reading to learn more.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants are a material that prevents fluids and other substances from passing through surfaces and joints they are protecting. Sealants can also block the leakage of air.
There are many different types of sealants that you can buy. The most common type of sealant that is often used in glazing and construction are:
- Water-based latex sealants
Sealants can save you money on your energy bills by stopping drafts from entering your home through gaps around your windows and doors. Getting the application of your sealant right is therefore very important.
Sealant Finishing Tools
A sealant finishing tool can also be referred to as a caulking tool. It is often used to smooth down sealants to create a smooth and professional edge. This does not only look good but blocks the gaps or joints.
Creating a smooth seal is what sealant finishing tools are known best for. They create a smooth edge around windows and doors as well as for toilets, taps, baths and sinks - this is particularly beneficial when sealant needs to be waterproof.
Sealant tools come in a range of sizes and with different angles too. Sometimes cracks that need to be sealed are at an awkward angle. Different angled tools allow the user to create a smooth sealant finish even at the most awkward of angles.
We have a separate blog post about the best sealant finishing tools which you can read for some more in-depth knowledge about the various finishing tools available.
We have plenty in stock too at GGR Glass, whatever you are looking for we will have the right tool for your specific needs.
How Does a Finishing Tool Work?
When a sealant is squeezed into a gap or crack, it can overflow out of the gap and look messy.
A continuous bead should always be applied, which will be often rough when first dispensed. To get a smooth sealant professional finish, a finishing tool helps by smoothing the sealant into place before the sealant sets.
To use a finishing tool, you should use it to force the caulk securely and neatly down into a gap whilst trimming away all the excess sealant - this creates that smooth and seamless finish.
Why it Is Important to Get a Perfect Finish
The perfect sealant finish is important for several reasons, firstly it should look neat. Something that is going to be in your home and serve a purpose should not look messy. Professional glaziers take great pride in achieving that professional finish when it comes to sealants.
The sealant should not only look nice but it is there for a reason - the purpose of it is to seal. Sealants should never contain holes or gaps for liquid, substances, or air to pass through.
How to Get That Perfect Sealant Finish
If you would like to know the steps to take to achieve that perfect sealant finish then follow the guide below.
Remove the Old Sealant
Before you begin to seal a joint or crack you must remove any existing silicone. All traces of sealant should be completely removed before you begin to put new sealant into the crack. Cut along the edges with a sharp knife to peel it away.
Use bleach to kill off any mould spores and by using elbow grease, get rid of any residue that might still be there. The area should be dry and clean at the end of this step.
Apply New Sealant
Have a sealant gun ready together with a sealant cartridge, masking tape and a small bowl of white spirit. Having some kitchen roll nearby will be handy to wipe away any excess sealant from your hands.
Run masking tape along the length of the area where the silicone will be applied, leaving an 8mm gap between each strip of tape to give you a clean edge. Glide the nozzle of the sealant along the crack without stretching the sealant too far. This will give you a clean edge.
Squeeze too quickly and the gap won’t fill properly. You can always add more sealant later on and any irregularities can be smoothed over at the next stage.
Smooth the Bead
Next comes the smoothing of the sealant bead, this is where you see the transformation take place. Using your chosen finishing tool, apply an even pressure along the sealant so it gets pushed into the gap - you should see a smooth edge at this point.
If you do not have a finishing tool to hand you can dip your finger into the white spirit and use your finger to run along the sealant bead. The white spirit will prevent the sealant from sticking to your skin.
Remove the Tape
Once your job is completed you can peel away the masking tape. This will give you a professional-looking finish with nicely defined edges that will keep the weather out. You should always give the sealant 24 hours to fully cure.
At GGR Glass, we can help you if you need any guidance or have any questions about sealant or any other glazing products. We stock an endless amount of tools to both rent and hire, including sealant finishing tools, glass lifting tools and other glazing tools as well as other products, be sure to check them out on our website.