Butyl sealant for better bonds

Butyl sealant: The right choice for protecting your home

Drafty windows or water damaged window frames mean it’s time for some maintenance. Butyl sealant to the rescue! Get long-lasting, waterproof protection for your home.

What is butyl sealant?

Butyl rubber sealant is a type of caulk that has proven to be a cut above many other sealants due to its water resistance, elasticity, and gap-filling properties. These qualities are based on the fact that this formula includes butyl, which is a type of rubber.

Ordinary latex caulks will do fine for many applications but fall short in places with larger than average gaps. These sealants can shrink or crack, allowing moisture to enter your home. Butyl adhesive sealants cling to the surrounding materials and won’t shrink or crack.

The elastic nature of butyl sealant also means that it will stand up to vibration and temperature changes without losing its grip. Add to this the quick drying time and you have a very desirable home maintenance product. No wonder it is the professional’s choice.

How to apply butyl rubber sealant

Butyl joint sealant is applied in much the same way as other sealants. Here are a few tips for a successful job:

  1. Load the tube into a caulk gun and cut the end of the tube at a 45° angle. Make the cut at the point that will provide the correct size bead.
  2. Starting at one end of a seam, slowly squeeze the trigger and apply an even bead as you move along the joint. Try to do an entire seam in one go.
  3. Smooth the bead immediately with a fingertip, or better yet a caulking tool. Wipe away any excess immediately. Remember, butyl sealants dry quickly.
  4. Clean up tools with mineral spirits.
  5. If the area is to be painted, allow several days for the butyl rubber sealant to fully cure.

Please note that cold butyl sealant can become a bit stiff, making it hard to squeeze out of the tube. In cold weather, keep your materials in a warm place before use, or submerge the tubes in warm water for 20 minutes or so. Doing so will loosen the material and make application easier.

Choosing the right butyl adhesive sealant 

As we have discussed, butyl sealants have superior adhesion to many surfaces and remain elastic. They excel at sealing exterior trim work, masonry, and problem areas. Always choose a quality, name-brand product designed for the intended application. 

Butyl sealing rope is also available. This rubbery “tape” comes in a coil and can be used as a gasket to fill the gap between two surfaces. For example, butyl tape is often used to seal a septic tank lid in place.

Of course, butyl sealants do have some drawbacks. Since they are solvent-based, clean-up is a bit more of a chore. Working with them can also be a bit messy.

If you are doing a quick repair, you will appreciate Loctite Extreme Glue No Drip Gel as a handy alternative. It has many of the same qualities as butyl sealant, such as bonding strongly to a wide variety of materials and standing up to extreme conditions, indoors or out. Its high viscosity means it can fill large gaps to seal and repair many surfaces. It also cures quickly to a clear finish and remains flexible.