Urethane sealant vs. silicone

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Urethane sealant vs. silicone
Sealants keep water out or in. (glazier image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Sealants prevent water from getting where you don't want it. They keep the walls behind bathtubs and showers dry and free from rot and mildew and prevent rain from seeping in through windows and doors.

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Urethane Sealant

Water-based urethane sealant cures fully in a week. Open windows while curing as it puts off a distinct odour. Paint only after it has fully cured. Urethanes are a known toxic substance. Exposure to the UV rays of the sun causes chalking of urethane sealants if you don't paint over it. Do not use urethane sealants on polycarbonate plastics as they won't bond but they do bond to most everything else. Urethane sealants resist abrasion well, making them suitable for use on floors.

Silicone Sealant

Silicone sealants contain solvents and adhere tightly to glass, metal and tiles but not to wood. You can't paint over them. Clean-up of silicone sealants requires solvents. They don't degrade in the sunlight, remaining flexible and allowing some movement in the parts they seal without failing.

Other Sealants

Latex sealants shrinks significantly but can be painted after cure. Easily applied, latex sealants clean up easily with water. Paint latex sealant after curing. Butyl Rubber sealants remain gummy throughout their life but they resist water better than other sealants, making them perfect for use on gutters and roofs.

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