In Depth: Caulks, sealants and adhesives

“For contractors and customers looking for a multi-purpose adhesive, Liquid Nails FUZE*IT All Surface construction adhesive is the ideal option, and it takes the guesswork out of selecting an adhesive,” says Provenzano. “The adhesive is formulated with a proprietary hybrid-polymer blend, with two times the strength of fasteners alone, and bonds nearly all materials in any weather conditions, and on surfaces that are dry, frozen or wet. The product can be applied in temperatures ranging from 0˚ to 140˚ F and performs in temperatures ranging from -40˚ to 300˚ F.”

With the rise of various cladding products being used for exterior finishes, users are asking for more from their sealants. Henkel developed OSI Quad Max with that in mind, designing it to meet the needs of the professional window, door and siding installer.

Quad Max offers long-term durability and the ability to flex in different conditions, says Bill Sobonya, Senior Brand Manager for Henkel.

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“You look at the trends in materials and what the architect is specifying on these buildings, you get different materials with different expansion and contraction characteristics that are coming together, and that in and of itself puts a lot of performance pressure on sealants,” he says. “The other piece of it outside of adhesion flexibility, it’s also the long-term UV resistance of that sealant to maintain those properties over a long period of time. That’s really where the development of the Quad Max product started from, was those two areas.”

With its application flexibility, Quad Max can help address the confusion many contractors have when choosing a product, as there can be a world of difference in ASTM C-920, or elastomeric, sealants.

“You can have a C-920 sealant that has a movement capability of maybe 12% to 20%, which means its flexibility is somewhat low,” says Henkel Applications Engineer Paul Majka. “There’s other sealants that have up to 50% to 100%, where their flexibility is much higher. Or, you can have a C-920 sealant that will adhere to a few different substrates. All of these different sealants with different performance aspects that vary so much still fall under one classification of C-920. There’s a lot of contractors and end users that don’t understand that.”

DAP’s latest sealant is Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant for window, door, siding and trim applications.

“New DAP Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Sealant is powered by breakthrough Weather Max Technology to provide tough, all weather protection so the sealant won’t crack, fade, crumble or breakdown,” Johnson says. “The sealant will stay looking clean and new for years with no worries about call backs or unhappy customers. It improves productivity with fast one-hour rain and paint ready times. And Dynaflex Ultra is easier to use than most other sealant technologies: it’s easy to gun out, tools smoothly, is low in odor, and cleans up with just soap and water.”

DAP has also introduced its Dyna- Grip Heavy Duty Max adhesive in a 28-ounce cartridge.

“Many professional tradesmen, like drywall and framing contractors, primarily use 28-ounce cartridges due to the larger application volume inherent in new home construction,” Misas says. “By providing this DynaGrip Heavy Duty Max in a 28-ounce cartridge, DAP is pioneering hybrid solutions for professionals to help prevent floor squeaks and nail pops when installing moisture resistant OSB or drywall panels that traditional adhesives cannot bond. Heavy Duty Max also provides a wider temperature range for professionals working in extreme weather conditions, as well as up to five times faster bond times to complete jobs faster.”

Titebond has also recently rolled out several new products, including Titebond Fast Set Polyurethane Construction Adhesive, Titebond Ultimate TiteGrab Construction Adhesive, and WeatherMaster Ultimate MP Textured Sealant.

Fast Set “is a one-component, advanced adhesive technology designed to build strength faster than other comparable products,” Kaufman says. “Fast Set can be used for interior and exterior construction projects and is the highest performing product of its kind, offering unmatched strength and durability even when bonding non-porous materials. It offers a fast set-up time as well as a smooth bead for effortless extrusion, even in near-freezing temperatures.”

Titebond developed Fast Set in a no-drool tube to address frustration in the market place over drooling construction adhesives, especially in the polyurethane construction adhesive category. “Our goal in R&D is to develop products that meet real needs on the construction site—and Fast Set is no different,” Kaufman says. “It bonds just about any material on the construction site, extrudes easily, [and] eliminates the mess and waste of after flow and sets quickly.”

The company developed TiteGrab in response to a shortage of skilled labor in the construction market, designed to make it easier for crews of varying skill levels to use.

Titebond “doubles the initial vertical bond strength of most other adhesives and quickly grips and holds materials, eliminating the need for bracing in many cases and speeding up the job,” Kaufman says. “Users can reposition the materials for up to 10 minutes after application. The adhesive then quickly cures into a powerful, durable bond that is 100% waterproof.”

WeatherMaster Ultimate MP Textured Sealant is an elastic multipurpose sealant that seals and blends in with most construction materials, including asphalt, stucco, concrete, mortar, wood, brick, concrete and stone.

“We developed WeatherMaster to provide construction professionals with a textured adhesive that maintains its consistency after tooling,” Kaufman says. “Other textured adhesives on the market tend to lose their textured look after tooling.”

The Sherwin-Williams Company has two new products in its White Lightning line developed in response to the need for faster-drying options.

3006 Quick Dry is an upgrade of the company’s popular 3006 caulk designed with the professional applicator in mind, says Keith Krese, Senior Product Manager, Caulks & Sealants.

“Contractors have to get in and get out, and do more with less,” he says. “So we launched this 3006 Quick Dry product, an upgrade to our heritage 3006 product, and it offers the ability to be painted in 20 minutes with brush application, or immediately with airless sprayer.”

The company also recently introduced Speed Grip, a latex all-purpose construction adhesive for use in many construction and repair options.

“So, one of the big pluses of this product is it creates a very high strength bond,” Krese says. “It cures quickly compared to some of the other competitive products on the market. And because it’s an acrylic, it is water cleanup. If there’s any little residual that gets on the surface it’s easily painted.”

Managing options

With the wealth of options available, it’s incumbent on dealers to understand the various solutions so they can offer the best choices to their customers.

The two most important things a dealer can do is make sure its staff is educated, and offer product information to its customers, says Majka.

“The sales staff being educated can help to increase the credibility of the product itself by just making sure that they’re able to communicate the differences between different products,” he says. Dealers should also work with manufacturers “to set up educational training where they could bring together their end users, their customers and bring in the manufacturer who can speak to their products and be able to clearly explain some of these technical aspects and differences between sealants.”

Dealers can assist the customer in choosing the correct adhesive by asking a few simple questions, Haag says.

“Not all adhesives are created equal. It is important to understand the type of substrate the customer is trying to adhere, is the material in an area of temperature changes, an area where it may come in contact with moisture.”

Misas agreed, pointing out the importance of knowing about a project.

“When recommending adhesives, dealers should seek to understand the customer’s application and unique needs,” he says. “Questions such as: What type of surfaces are you looking to adhere? What is the temperature in which the product will be applied? Will this product be exposed to moisture during or after curing? How quickly do you need the adhesive to develop strength? These questions are critical to helping the dealer determine the correct product to recommend based on the customers needs.”

Proper organization and smart displays can also help customers make their product choices.

“Categorizing the products available on the shelves is a great starting point,” Provenzano says. “This helps customers to easily differentiate which product types meet their specific project needs. To help customers select a specific product within a category, understanding the use of the product in a project is of key importance, and sales associates should be trained accordingly. Leveraging various materials and resources available to dealers can also be beneficial. Using product selectors or keeping reference guides or online resources can help sales associates and dealers make the correct decisions for customers.”

White Lightning has made efforts to remove some of the confusion by addressing issues identified in consumer studies and shop-alongs. That resulted in simplified packaging and redesigned at-shelf, point-of-purchase materials.

“That can be a very challenging 8′ or 16′ of space, so we tried very hard to address those needs for that hierarchy of ‘I’ve got a project in mind,’ so I need to know what product works for that project, and help some of those quick narrow-downs,” Krese says. “Do I need to paint it, or am I not concerned about that? Is it going to be interior or exterior? Is it an area that has a need for a product with a lot of flexibility? Or it’s going to be used outside and there are going to be temperature changes?”

The company added a QR code to all of its packaging as well. If a customer has a question that can’t be answered by a store associate, they can simply scan the QR code and go directly to the detailed product data sheet.

Marketing can play an important role in growing sales of the category as well, Wescott says.

Internet Information

Companies in bold participated in this article.

BASF:
www.master-builders-solutions.basf.us

DAP:
www.dap.com

Franklin International/Titebond:
www.titebond.com

Henkel/OSI:
www.ositough.com

Huber Engineered Woods:
www.huberwood.com

Huttig:
www.huttig.com

PPG Architectural Coatings/Liquid Nails:
www.liquidnails.com

Sashco:
www.sashco.com

Sherwin-Williams/White Lightning:
www.wlcaulk.com

SmartVent/Hurribond:
www.hurribond.com

“LBM dealers are using social media and digital advertising to reach builders [and] homeowners,” he says. “At Huber Engineered Woods, we’ve connected with this audience on social media platforms to provide technical support and amplify product advocacy. …We also have a dedicated customer marketing program that provides partners with marketing assets and even customized marketing programs across media channels.”

DAP recommends selling sealants along with other products to maximize sales. “Sealants are an important part of key building projects, such as the installation of windows, doors, siding, and trim, and should be bundled with those purchases,” Johnson says. “The higher performing, higher margin sealants should be recommended for these demanding applications as they will provide the best results. Dealers should educate their consumers on the advantages of these higher performing sealants.”

Encouraging customers to invest in higher quality products will pay dividends for the customer and the dealer, Misas says.

“Many customers may try to save a few pennies on the adhesive used for a job, primarily because they do not understand the performance differences of the many adhesives available,” he says. “Dealers should help the customer understand that they can prevent spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair common failures, such as nail pops, by investing a dollar or two more for a quality adhesive.”

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