Sealant is often used in construction and home projects to both close gaps and protect surfaces. If the goal is chiefly to prevent water damage, a waterproof sealant typically should be used. There are several types that are made of different substances, and most have a few particular surfaces that they protect best. The main types include silicone, polyurethane, and bituminous, and can range in shade from clear to lightly tinted.
One of the most common types of waterproof sealant is silicone-based. Not only can this type typically keep water from damaging most materials, but it can also protect surfaces and its own structural integrity from ultraviolet (UV) rays and extreme temperatures. There are different types of silicone waterproof sealant, some of which can protect against mold or be applied to natural materials like marble or stone without staining. In general, silicone sealant cannot be painted over, though there are a few specialized silicone sealants mixed with other substances just for that purpose.
Polyurethane sealant, on the other hand, typically can be easily painted over. This is helpful when it comes to blending waterproof sealant with the surrounding décor. It also does not usually shrink, and is not easily damaged by abrasion, which means it is used often with both flooring and cars. The drawbacks of this type of sealant include having a shorter lifespan than silicone sealant, and having a lesser ability able to withstand extreme temperatures and UV rays. Additionally, polyurethane sealant is not known for being friendly to the environment.
A kind of waterproof sealant that is less suitable for floors is the bituminous type. A few versions of this product are particularly fuel-resistant or able to withstand hot and cold temperatures. For these reasons, some types can be used as concrete sealant on airport decks and roadways. Roof sealant also is often made with this substance to protect the tops of houses and buildings from water damage. Additionally, bituminous sealant is usually one of the best to use around a lot of water, such as in tanks that hold several tons.
Clear sealant is the most popular type, as it is often best for industrial and commercial projects that do not need color. Tinted sealant that specializes in waterproofing is also available, though. For example, much of the wood sealant on the market includes a slight tint that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Such sealant also often includes some resistance to mildew.