Tightness of the structure plays an important role for its service life. Water is one of the main enemies of most building materials. A high level of protection against it is necessary for the roof and foundations that are in constant contact with water. The slightest gap in the roof or foundation block can cause structural failure. To protect against high humidity, bitumen sealant is used based on natural bitumen, which is a derivative of oil and is similar in texture to resin, which, in turn, is not affected by water and has effective hydrophobic properties. A man noticed these properties of the composition tens of thousands of years ago, therefore bitumen was used in the construction of buildings by Sumerian architects. The properties of the material made its use quite difficult, only the appearance of polymer additives allowed the construction workers to make life much easier.
At the end of the twentieth century, based on bitumen, they began to produce waterproofing materials, which were called bituminous sealants. They found the widest application on building sites, when laying communications. Among their main advantages - affordable price, efficiency, durability.
The main properties of bitumen sealants
Chemists were able to modify the bitumen binders with polymers, which made it possible to change the viscosity characteristics of the natural material. The bituminous composition has become less susceptible to such aggressive factors as temperature drops and severe frost. High-quality bitumen-based sealer has the following basic properties:
- good adhesion to most building materials;
- hardened sealant layer is characterized by high elasticity and strength;
- is reliable protection against corrosion;
- drying does not form cracks;
- resistant to solar ultraviolet radiation;
- high biostability;
- does not contain carcinogenic substances, is an environmentally friendly composition.
The performance characteristics of bituminous sealant provide it with wide application at various stages of building construction.
Where bituminous sealant is used
The application of this material is different: it is the main sealant for roofs, it is used to seal containers, to protect wooden structures from high humidity, during the construction and repair of foundations. Used bituminous sealant for the roof during the following work:
- sealing of the junction of sheet roofing materials;
- sealing of joints of sheet materials with piece components - endov, eaves slats, pediments, wall profiles;
- sealing gaps between the wall profile and the wall;
- sealing of fastening elements of such structures on the roof as snow holders, ladders, antenna outlets;
- sealing the joints of the roofing material and ventilation pipes.
It is possible to use bituminous sealants for urgent repair of flat roofs, roofs of bituminous slate, corrugated metal and metal tiles. The characteristics of the composition allow it to be used in the rain, while all leaks will be sealed qualitatively.
A bituminous-polymer sealant is used as an adhesive for mounting waterproofing rolls. It is effective for more reliable fixation of shingles and its components. When working with them, sealant is used in arranging the most complex elements of the roof. When arranging a flat roof on concrete structures, it is necessary to repair the foundation. Slots and gouges in concrete can cause leaks. Using roofing sealant, you can qualitatively seal these defects by preparing the basis for laying the material.
Another important application for bitumen-based sealants is waterproofing of structures that are constantly in contact with water or earth. We are talking about the foundation blocks of concrete, wooden and metal pillars used as the basis of fences. The sealant will protect against the penetration of water into the concrete and the premature destruction of the blocks. This will provide the foundation with a long service life, and the structure is guaranteed reliability. Bitumen prevents corrosion of metal structures and protects wooden supports from rotting.
Bituminous sealants are used to protect metal tanks under water from corrosion, which are installed in household plots, summer cottages, on the territory of farms. The material effectively protects against leakage free-flow water pipes and sewage systems used in private homes.
Where it is impossible to apply bituminous sealant
The highest quality bituminous sealant for metal roofing or for eliminating leaks has limitations in application. This is due to its physical and mechanical properties, such as operating temperature range, fluidity, viscosity. It is not allowed to use bitumen-based roofing sealant to seal the connections to the furnace tubes. Here there is a high temperature that can make bitumen more fluid. The repairs made in the summer during the heating season will be nullified and the melting snow will penetrate into the design of the roofing pie.
In construction today widely used porous materials - foam concrete, aerated concrete. If it is necessary to apply a bitumen-based waterproofing layer on them, it is necessary to prime the surface thoroughly. In this case, the sealant will not be absorbed into the substrate and will form a reliable waterproofing layer.
You should not apply to the roof or on concrete thick layers of sealant, as they may not dry out. If necessary, create a powerful waterproofing method used layer-by-layer application, while carefully maintain the time required to dry the existing layer.
Bituminous sealants have good adhesion to many bases, and before applying the composition you can not care about the cleanliness of the surface. Such recommendations are given by many manufacturers, but do not take them literally. It is only about the presence on the surface of the treated dust, small debris in small quantities. They are able to play the role of a mineral filler for bitumen sealant, but if there are oil stains on the surface, then there can be no talk of adhesion to the base.
It is impossible to apply a sealant on the paintwork, it is difficult and paint the treated surface. Bituminous compositions have good vibration-damping properties, but they are lost at low temperatures. If during the operation of the structure it constantly experiences vibrations, then it is better to replace the bituminous sealant with a rubber seal that does not lose its properties at a temperature of -50-60ºС.
Putting bituminous sealant
Manufacturers offer a variety of packaging bitumen sealant, the most common tubes and metal cans. The compositions in tubes used for the application of narrow seams. To facilitate the work is to use a mounting gun, which allows you to gently squeeze the sealant from the container. With it, you can effectively seal complex nodes on the roof, the place of installation of fasteners.
Sealant, supplied in cans or plastic buckets, is applied with a spatula. Such packing is convenient for large volumes of work on waterproofing foundations, tanks, piles. Waterproofing is applied in layers, the excess is removed with a spatula.
During the work the bituminous sealant can get on hands, unlike acrylic materials it will be impossible to wash it with water. For this reason, it is recommended to work in gloves, but if the composition got on the skin, then it can be removed with the help of white spirit. This solvent is applied in small quantities on a clean cloth and it is used to clean the dirty surface. No white spirit at hand? Use the makeup remover, which is probably in the purse of a spouse or colleague. After treatment and disposal of bitumen, it is imperative that you wash your hands with soap and water.