Saturday, January 23, 2021

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Home Improvement Tips

Greetings everyone, I hope all went well for your holiday season. This week I will cover adhesives, caulk, and silicone; what works best and where to apply.

 Adhesives for general use. Super glue works for many small repairs, but keep in mind this product has to be kept away from heat sources in small repairs, including things like light switches. Even after it dries, super glue emits a gas that can ignite in a closed situation like an electrical box or a junction box. It works best with plastics, glass, and metal.

Wood glues come in several strengths and set times. When choosing one keep your skill level in mind, as well as the repair being done. Some wood glues are only meant to be used in joints. All wood glues require some type of direct pressure to set. If you are fixing furniture, for example, clamps are a must.

Epoxy products such as fiberglass repair solvents require some prep work, good ventilation, and a felt, woven or fiberglass liner material that the product will bond to. They also require sanding after curing. These are great for making repairs to fiberglass bathtubs.  When choosing an epoxy be sure again to keep your skill level in mind as there are fast- and slow-setting epoxy products and some are only meant for outdoor use. As with any chemical, before you use it, READ THE LABEL FIRST.

Liquid Nails(R) products are great for flooring repairs and other repairs involving paneling, molding and tile repair, to name a few. It works well with most construction materials. Most often it comes in tubes that you use with a caulking gun to apply. This a great choice for bigger repair jobs.

Flooring adhesives are products used for vinyl tiles and other flooring. Use as labelled. There are a variety of choices in this product class as far as setting time and working time. Keep in mind these products must be allowed to set up after applying and then, depending on the product, they have a working time of 8 to 24 hours. These products also require good ventilation. Do not over-apply as a little goes a long way and you do not want excess to push up between the tiles or seams.

Caulking is a product where not all products and brands are equal, in my opinion. The higher-end caulk you use, the better your outcome. Good caulk can last for several years. Types of caulking are kitchen and bath, interior, exterior, and multipurpose. I tend to stay away from multipurpose caulk. When trying to avoid future water damage, I find it’s better to get the product you need for the specific use.

Caulk comes in either handheld tubes or tubes for caulking guns. I personally find that you get a better and more even bead with a caulking gun. All caulks need to be pressed in. To do so, use your finger in a disposable glove with a little water on your finger. This keeps the product from sticking to your glove. I keep a cup of water with me when applying so I can maintain a lightly wet finger and get a uniform final bead.

Silicone alone is not a caulk, but some caulks have silicone in them. Silicone alone is great for sealing in single-pane window glass and other jobs where you want to keep water and air out. Examples of jobs that this product is great for include sealing in wires and air conditioning hoses where they enter the home, as well as use in cars and trucks sealing small holes or water leaks around windows until you can get to an auto glass replacement shop.

I will say again, in all repairs using chemicals, take the time to read the label for chemical interactions, safety, and proper disposal.

Every year thousands of people are injured because they do not understand that, while the chemical in use is generally safe, when used improperly any chemical can be hazardous or deadly. All adhesives, caulks and sealers are chemicals. Almost all injuries can be prevented by taking five minutes to read the label.

When disposing of adhesives, keep in mind that our drinking water is not unlimited. We must do our part to ensure it is not polluted by taking the extra step to dispose of products properly. Also, try not to purchase more than you need so you don’t end up with lots of waste or chemical hazards laying around the home.

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