Your commercial building is an essential component of your success, and it is your command center, public face, and a sense of pride for your employees. Protecting your building is of the utmost importance, which is why commercial building service professionals are crucial for maintaining such a significant investment.
Expert caulking and sealing protect your asset by sealing off gaps and cracks that might result in air, moisture, and pests penetrating your commercial building.
Why Use Caulking/Sealing?
Every building is susceptible to gaps and cracks forming between different materials. When moisture penetrates your facility, it further deteriorates and compromises the structure, opening the door to even more severe problems. Air entering your building causes uncomfortable drafts that make energy bills much higher.
Caulking the exterior of your commercial building remedies the normal wear and tear that comes with seasonal contraction and expansion. As old caulk loses its elasticity, it is necessary to replace it to maintain the protective shield that is your building’s exterior.
As exterior caulking reinforces your building’s protective shield, interior commercial caulking prevents drafts and water damage on the inside. Many areas of your building’s interior need a regular caulk refresh, including the following:
- Plumbing fixtures
- Expansion joints
- Control joints
- Baseboard and trim
- Tubs and showers
- Vents and pipes
- Areas where different materials meet (gas and electrical entrances, air conditioners)
Sealing includes weatherproofing concerns that go beyond caulking. Just as building expansion and contraction impact joints and materials, so are surfaces like windows. Reglazing window systems with commercial window sealant and addressing skylights and curtain walls prevent air, moisture, and pests from entering the building at those crucial points.
Complete waterproofing goes beyond just caulking windows, and services will include:
- Traffic coatings
- Expansion joints
- Epoxy sealants
- Wall coatings
- Deck coatings
- Chemical grouting
- Glass caulking
- Wall caulking
- Commercial window caulking exterior
It sounds like a lot but bringing in commercial building caulking pros will ensure every external and internal gap gets sealed.
What are the Different Types of Caulking and Sealing?
The variety of building areas and surface types that require commercial caulking and sealing services makes it necessary to ensure you use the proper caulk and sealant. Building services professionals will evaluate the different types of caulk and apply the appropriate one depending on the application.
Silicone and polyurethane calking products are classified as elastomeric materials, as both fill gaps and allow for contraction and expansion. Despite being similar in their classification and general uses, these materials have significant differences, impacting their suitability for different applications.
The most significant consideration is how the materials will break down as time passes. The two primary concerns of performance and life-cycle costs are applied to determine the benefits of silicone versus polyurethane-based sealants.
Silicone is an inorganic material, giving it an advantage in areas exposed to UV light from the sun. Because it is inorganic, it is less reactive to UV light. The lower UV reactivity of silicone makes it the superior choice for your commercial building’s facade.
Silicone also offers a much longer lifespan due to its excellent resistance to UV light and temperature fluctuations. Many manufacturers provide 20-year warranties, making silicone caulk vs. sealant the perfect choice when durability matters.
An extended lifespan and lower reactivity to UV light and temperature fluctuations mean a significantly higher price for silicone sealants over polyurethane. Your commercial building services company will weigh the trade-offs of cost and expected sealant lifespan when determining which sealant is appropriate for each application.
As an organic material, the sun, elements, and temperature break down polyurethane much faster than silicone. Typically, polyurethane’s lifespan will max out at ten years, reflecting this shorter lifespan in its much lower price.
When weighing silicone vs. polyurethane caulk, silicone will always be the best investment for areas exposed to the elements or subject to more variation and use.
Are Your Current Sealants Still Effective? When To Replace
Depending on your sealants’ location, type, and application, they can break down at differing rates. If polyurethane was used extensively in the past, it could break down and crack over a significantly shorter period.
It could be time to replace sealants if it has been some time since you last had them inspected. One way to confirm the need for a replacement is if you see a loss of elasticity and separation from the surfaces. Other indicators would be visible cracks or splitting.
Exterior sealant might show visible evidence of weathering, including chalking, blistering, discoloration, or cracking.
Of course, the best estimate of sealant effectiveness will come from calling commercial building professionals for a comprehensive inspection.
Working With an Expert for Commercial Wall Coating
Your company’s commercial building is essential to the organization’s identity. Maintaining one of your most important assets is a crucial task that requires expert attention.
Every wall is different based on the construction approach, the material used, and exposure to the elements. An established and expert building services provider knows how to identify issues that could become more extensive problems and remedy them.
Proper caulking and sealant application ensure the building continues to serve its essential purpose best. Turn to experts to ensure your commercial building is in its best shape and focus on what you do best, running your business.
Valcourt Ensures Expert Protection for Your Building
Valcourt is the building services provider for property managers and building owners. We have 35+ years of experience providing industry-leading waterproofing, window cleaning, and facade restoration services.
Caulking and sealing are essential components of building maintenance. Contact us at EDS today to ensure your building keeps water, air, and pests where they should be; outside.