The Dos and Don'ts of Working with Silicone Adhesives and Sealants

The Dos and Don'ts of Working with Silicone Adhesives and Sealants

Silicone adhesive has been widely used in the industrial setting for quite some time now. They are versatile and have a wide range of applications. Compared to other adhesives and sealants, silicone adhesives and sealants require a minimum of 24 hours to cure. This window of 24 hours can increase depending upon the application of the product. 

There are some dos and don’ts that one must follow when working with silicone adhesives and sealants.

Dos of using the silicone adhesive and sealant


1. Use a primer whenever and wherever possible:

Primers help improve the adhesion by 20% when applied on the surfaces before adhesive. They are valuable and have a short shelf life. Solvent-based primers, available in the market, can be applied with the help of a brush or a cloth to strengthen the bond.


2. Prepare your workspace:

While working with silicone adhesives and sealants, always keep one thing in mind the material should not come in contact with kids and dogs. They may accidentally touch or lick the adhesive which can be very harmful for their bodies. Also, make sure your workspace has proper ventilation if there is an odor present in the adhesive.


3. Consider the sealant’s shelf life:

A majority number of sealants available in the market cure at the rate of 2-3 mm per 24 hours. They have a very short life in hot and humid conditions. Storing them in the refrigerator will increase their shelf life, and this goes without saying that do not open the bottle unless you are ready to use it.


Don’ts of using silicone adhesive and sealants


1. Not cleaning the surface:

Always ensure that the surface is clean and dry before applying any adhesive to it. The presence of any oil, grease, or any other material on the surface will prevent the adhesive from working properly.


2. Not choosing the right adhesive:

There have been many scenarios where you might find yourself in a pickle, thinking about which adhesive to use and when. To make your work easier, the following is a short guide that can help you choose the right adhesive. If your task belongs to any industrial application, we recommend using RTV silicone. For general-purpose uses, it is preferable to use window silicone sealant.


3. Not checking the expiration date:

This point is crucial whenever you are purchasing silicone adhesive and sealant. If the bottle is past its expiration date, it will undergo some chemical changes, thus changing its properties.


4. Not using pressure:

Working with glue and working with adhesive are two different things. When you are working with silicone adhesive, pressure has to be applied on both surfaces for them to bond and create a strong bond together.  


5. Not following the instructions

For using different sealants and adhesives, the instructions are different. Some adhesives are very sticky and need to be combined with other substances for better results. Consequently, make sure you read the instructions and strictly adhere to them.



Using silicone sealants has to be done in a step-by-step manner, it's wisest to just stick to the basics first so you can eventually build up to more complex processes. You can’t just go rogue and start flipping things around as they would most likely cause problems. You should understand that firstly the place area should be dry, and clean before you start any cleaning work, contamination is of utmost importance. The first step towards a successful bond is getting the surface right. A good cleaning, and removing dust, and oil can greatly improve the bond's strength and durability. Well then, the silicone can be applied with the aid of caulking guns to make sure that it is spread uniformly and with utmost accuracy. This can also help clean up the job area and make the sealing process go more smoothly.


However, when working with silicone sealants, it is crucial to wear protective gear like gloves and eyewear to avoid underestimating its importance. Safety is non-negotiable. It's crucial to check whether the silicone is compatible with the material you're applying it to; otherwise, it could create problems.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I apply silicone sealant on a wet surface?

No, you cannot apply silicone on a wet surface it will hamper the formation and strength of the silicone bond.


Can I use any type of silicone sealant on all surfaces?

No, unfortunately, you cannot use a single type of silicone sealant on all surfaces as each type of sealant has different properties, and can be used on specific surfaces only.


Can I speed up the curing process of silicone sealant?

While some silicones offer faster curing times, it's generally not recommended to speed up the process. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results, as altering curing times may affect the quality of the seal.

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