July 19, 2016 - Building & Construction

Sealant Considerations to Make for Residential Siding

The growth in demand for recent house siding is fueled by acceleration in the residential replacement market.

With a range of options available today, including vinyl, traditional and engineered wood, fiber cement board and stucco, it’s understandable that many contractors are using siding in their building projects. While each option has its own advantages and challenges, they can all require the use of high performance sealants for proper installation. Let’s take a closer look at what you should consider when choosing a product for a residential siding project.

Use a Sealant, Not a Caulk

Historically, solvent-release caulks have been used for siding. However, caulks are fairly rigid when dry and do not offer much elasticity. This makes them susceptible to shrinkage and cracking over time due to temperature swings.

Sealants, on the other hand, provide the flexibility and elasticity needed for this application. They also offer:

  • Good color retention
  • Tenacious bonding to building materials
  • Environmental friendliness

Know the Siding’s Sealant Specifications

Each type of siding has unique sealant application specifications to note. For example, fiber cement board and engineered wood siding have specific sealant installation instructions for around the inside and outside corners where the siding meets the corner trim board. These types of siding also have specific instructions for perimeter sealing around wall penetrations such as windows and doors.

Furthermore, it’s important for contractors to reference sealant industry performance specifications to understand how the sealant will perform when applied to a certain type of siding. One specification in particular is ASTM C-920, Class 25. This specification pertains to a sealant’s design and performance capabilities.

Failing to abide by specifications for a certain type of siding or sealant can result in improper sealant installation and possibly subject the siding to premature aging or damage.Sealants for siding

Understand the Siding’s Level of Expansion and Contraction

Vinyl siding in particular is susceptible to more movement during temperature changes. As a result, a sealant must be able to adapt to when the siding expands or contracts and still provide a weatherproof seal. For example, if the wood shrinks due to reduced moisture, or the vinyl siding contracts from colder temperatures, causing the joints to open up, a sealant must be able to compensate within its own capabilities.

Understanding how much a certain type of siding will expand or contract is important in determining the type of sealant and how much of it to use for proper installation.

Protect the Siding for the Long Term

A properly installed sealant helps reduce or prevent moisture infiltration. It decreases the likelihood of moisture entering the home and helps stop the siding from absorbing moisture. If a sealant is not properly installed, moisture can enter the siding, which can lead to dimensional changes and rotting.

Over time, siding maintenance is required. Additionally, home renovations may require old, existing products to be removed. It’s important to consider a sealant that is compatible with existing products and materials in order to further protect the siding.

Smart Sealants for Siding

Bostik offers quality, durable sealants for siding applications.

Two high performance sealant products in particular are Pro-MS 50 and 915. These sealants are compatible with most siding and can be easily painted to help blend into existing materials. Additionally, they help reduce the potential of mold and mildew and prevent the likelihood of insects from entering the home by providing a tight, resilient seal. These products also have “strength in specification”, which means that Bostik’s sealants meet industry performance specifications as well as high velocity wind requirements.

For more information on Bostik’s smart sealants, call 800-7-BOSTIK.

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