Various jobs and projects at home require the use of rubber sealant. As the name implies, this type of product seals and protects different materials using rubber-based substances. The types range in features, with some better at protecting materials from water and others best at guarding against corrosion or some chemicals.
One of the benefits of rubber sealant is that it can be applied to nearly any material, and once the seal dries, it typically can be peeled off quite easily without doing damage to most surfaces. This can also be considered a disadvantage, as sealants that come off easily are not usually suitable for projects that require a heavy-duty seal. Additionally, while rubber sealers can protect against water damage and corrosion, they are usually compromised by toxic chemicals and extremely high temperatures. Thus, they typically are not used to connect or seal materials that would be exposed to such dangers.
Many types of rubber sealant also act as an adhesive, both binding materials and protecting them. For example, a natural rubber sealant can bind glass, paper, wood, plastic, rubber, steel, iron, and fabric. This kind of rubber sealant usually is great for connecting materials, even in water, as long as they do not have to withstand much weight or pressure. While this kind can protect particularly well against water damage and corrosion, it should not typically be applied to materials that will be exposed to the outdoors or harsh conditions.
A particularly popular kind of rubber sealant is caulk, which typically is used to seal gaps between two surfaces. There are a few main types of this product, as well as some specialized kinds that prohibit mildew or are used to seal roof cracks. Butyl rubber caulk is known as the strongest bond, and is usually used to fill in cracks in bricks, concrete, and metal. Acrylic latex caulk usually is used to seal the area around doors and windows, and is frequently painted over to match surrounding colors. Finally, silicon caulk can be used with nearly any material, and is known for staying flexible even after it dries.
Another common product is silicone rubber sealer. This kind of sealant typically is best for applications that require a weatherproof, watertight, flexible seal. It can usually withstand higher temperatures than most other types of rubber sealer, and does not shrink. It retains some elasticity for its lifetime, which means that it does not usually crumble or crack. It is usually best for sealing glass items.