Estimating Mastic Sealant
Before a project or job is undertaken, an architect, site manager or main contractor will usually have measurements that assist a contractor in estimating the amount of mastic sealant needed. This can be a common problem for many trades when quoting their customers a cost, as the materials required to complete a job may vary with miscalculation or lack of understanding of the specialist work,
As mastic joint sealant materials vary in consistency and final shore hardness etc. there’ll always be a slight discrepancy in precise accuracy when estimating mastic sealant but a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and use a standardised mathematical system for all joints, obviously utilising a tolerance either way for discrepancies.
The following blog is a GUIDE to estimating sealants based on the most common shaped mastic sealing compound joint configurations, such as straight-forward square (or rectangular) shaped beads, flush or concaved (recessed) in the joint using width & depth to determine the quantity of material required.
Before we go into any depth (pun intended) regarding the estimating of mastic sealant, it’s important to take into account the foundations of many joint configurations which use backing filler (also known as backing foam, backer foam, backing rod, backer rod, caulking foam, caulking strip, cork, chalk, filler foam, backing cord, backer cord etc. etc. etc.) You can see more information on the subject of backing out joints in a separate article here.
Substrates & Joint Shapes
Very rarely in construction is a job 100% straight-forward and mastic joint sealing is no different! Some common issues encountered when the configuration of a joint is decided, is; the condition and consistency of the substrates that the material will seal. For instance, the widths and depths of the gap can vary dramatically along a run due to uneven surfaces or inconsistencies in the material, especially natural stone, brickwork and bowed timber. Imagine a window frame, wether it be timber, UPVC or aluminium, the edge would be fairly, consistently straight, which gives us a nice edge to measure from, but then imagine the ‘other side’ being a concrete or other type of stone wall, which is often extremely inconsistent
Very rarely in construction is a job 100% straight-forward and mastic joint sealing is no different! One issue when the configuration of a joint is decided, is the condition and consistency of the substrates that the material will seal. For instance, the widths and depths of the gap can vary dramatically along a run due to uneven surfaces or inconsistencies in the material, especially natural stone, brickwork and bowed timber.
Common Joint Shapes
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Joints sealed with an elastomeric sealant usually fail from a combination of factors that can be summed up in six words – a lack of attention to detail. Too often, since the sealants are a small percentage of the work, they are perfunctorily specified, easily substituted, and haphazardly applied. Yet successful joints require meticulous design, precise sealant selection, and painstaking application.
(Karen is president of Building Diagnostics® Associates, a Hollywood. Fla., firm that specializes in the analysis of roofing and waterproofing problems.)
This quote is from her informative article on Building Diagnostics® click here to read the full article
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