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What is Repair Sealant?

By J. Airman
Updated May 17, 2024
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A repair sealant is a watertight adhesive used to patch cracks in exterior surfaces. Repair sealants are often made of quick-drying plastic compounds designed to be strong and durable. There are a wide range of project-specific repair sealant varieties available to fix damage to items that come in direct contact with moisture like boats, driveways, and pools. Some repair sealants come in kits that include a piece of patching material and application tools. Application instructions and drying times are different for each repair sealant product.

Marine repair sealant is commonly used all over the structure of boats to fix cracks and keep them watertight. Small cracks on a boat can turn into major damage when they are exposed to the pressure of being pounded through crashing waves. Clear silicone rubber is often used to make marine sealant strong enough to stand up to the water pressure without springing a leak. Most manufacturers suggest using a hull cleaning product to strip any residue from the boat before applying the repair sealant. Silicone repair sealants labeled for marine use are often used as general waterproofing repair agents to seal and protect around the house.

Driveway repair sealant is specifically designed to adhere to the rocky surface and improve the look and functionality of a blacktop surface. Temperature fluctuation and settling earth can often cause what was once a solid, even driveway to split and break. Repair sealant made for use on driveways is usually tinted black and often comes in caulking tubes. The sealant is commonly injected directly into the cracks in asphalt driveways to prevent water damage and deter spreading.

Vinyl repair sealant is one of the most widely used kinds. Patching sealants for above-ground pools can often be applied to small underwater cracks in the vinyl without draining the pool. Larger splits in pool material may require the use of a vinyl patch in conjunction with the sealant. In a matter of minutes, most vinyl sealants will fully cure and form a waterproof seal. Many pool repair sealants are repair sealants designed to permanently remain flexible to avoid future cracking.

Food-grade silicone repair sealants are used in equipment repairs involving edible products. Some sealants give off toxic fumes that would contaminate items intended for consumption. Repair sealants that are specifically labeled as food safe are designed to cure fully without leaching chemicals into the foods with which they come into contact.

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Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Feb 02, 2014
Animandel - You are right; some of those commercials for sealants seem a bit far fetched. However, there has been a lot of money invested by government and private business in an effort to create more reliable sealants.

Recently, I was using one of the sinks in my laundry room and I felt a drop of water hit my face. At first I thought the water had splashed up from the sink, but after a couple more drops, I looked up and noticed water droplets on the ceiling.

I went up to the attic to find where the water was entering the house from the outside. I found a pipe from an old exhaust system, and it was wet. I went onto the roof and found the end of the pipe. I couldn't tell for certain that there was a gap between the pipe and the roof, but I assumed that was the issue.

So, I bought a can of sealant from a local home improvement store and sprayed the product liberally around the pipe and the surrounding roof tiles. That was some time ago, and we have had a few rain storms, and I haven't seen any more water droplets on the ceiling.

I don't know whether this product will work for your basement leak repair, but if you visit your local home improvement store, one of the workers can point you in the right direction.

By Animandel — On Feb 02, 2014

There are so many sealant products out there now that it is difficult to know which ones are better for which jobs, and which ones' manufacturers are making claims that the products cannot possibly live up two.

Has anyone tried the sealants in the spray cans? They are advertised to adhere to almost any material. I'm looking for something to help with making concrete repairs in a storage shelter/garage.

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