Sealants Selection for Modern Day Facades

World Trade Centre, Manama Bahrain
Photo source
Effective performance of modern day façades rely heavily upon effective sealing between the various façade components.

These can be wide ranging in terms of composition from glass and aluminium to natural stone and concrete to exterior insulation and finishing systems (EIFS), glass-reinforced concrete (GRC), glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) and even coated fabrics – clearly all very different materials with different characteristics.

Using the wrong sealant can lead to compatibility issues, poor adhesion and a premature failure of the seal which lead to air and water ingress and a whole host of related problems. The relative cost of the sealant as a percentage of the façade is very small so it pays to make the right choice.

Correct sealant selection can only follow a detailed analysis to answer the following questions:

  • What is the joint width?
  • What are the substrates?
  • What is the anticipated joint movement?
  • Does it have to be fire rated?
  • Is the joint internal or external, IF external is it exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays?
  • What is the service temperature?
  • Are acoustics a consideration?
  • Is colour or appearance important?
  • Will the joint sealant be in contact with other sealant/gasket materials?
World Trade Centre, Manama Bahrain
World Trade Centre, Manama, Bahrain

Sealant solutions can then be sought from a range of either wet sealant, dry sealants OR membranes as briefly described below.

Wet Sealants

Wet sealants are the most commonly used, typically caulked into joints between 5 to 50mm wide that are fully supported by a suitable backing material. This range include silicone, polyurethane, acrylics, butyls and now also hybrids.

Dry Sealants

Dry sealants provide additional benefits over the weatherproofing qualities provided by wet sealants such as acoustic insulation and maintenance free installations. This range is often described as tapes that can be butyl or pre-compressed polyurethane (PU) foam tapes.


Membranes are typically used for high movement joints and can be used to seal much wider joints. This range include EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) membranes, butyl membranes and where very wide , very high movement joints are concerned, a silicone membrane is also used as a "bridge" or "bandage" joint seal.


Correct sealant selection is required for effective performance of modern day facades. Correct analysis (questioning) is required to allow you to correctly select your sealant material, which is likely to be either a wet sealant, dry sealant or membrane solution.

600450 Sealants Selection for Modern Day Facades

Others also read

ERCO individual LED lighting tools for an award-winning facade lighting concept: SPG Headquarters Geneva
SPG Headquarters Geneva gained a new "second skin" of light and vertical offset glass fins as part of an extensive refurbishment.
EuroWindoor daylight conference during the „glasstec“ fair: The diverse benefits of daylight
On October 24th, 2018 EuroWindoor will host its conference “Daylight by EuroWindoor” during the „glasstec“ fair in Dusseldorf: Provision of Daylight in Buildings – state of the art and news about planning.
Meet FG Trading industry partners at Glasstec 2018 International Trade Fair
FG Trading management will be attending Glasstec 2018 in October to support our industry partners and principal suppliers who will be exhibiting at the world-renowned show.
“Function Meets Glass 2018 Conference” during glasstec 2018
A highlight of glasstec 2018, International Trade Fair for Glass Production, Processing and Products, will be the 2-day expert conference “Function meets Glass” on challenges and solutions for manufacturing and finishing functional glass and the application areas for functional glass.
Pacific Glazing Contractors Achieves NACC Certification
The latest company to complete the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) process is Pacific Glazing Contractors.
122 Leadenhall - 'The Cheesegrater'
Designed by Senior Partner Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, 122 Leadenhall has become an iconic part of the London skyline.

From industry

Am Pfahlgraben 4
35415 Pohlheim


Add new comment