Elastomeric Sealants: King of All Caulks

Elastomeric Sealants: King of All Caulks

Titebond DuraMaster High Performance Sealant, seen sticking between a brick and a piece of molding
Elastomeric sealant is ideal for filling cracks and gaps indoors and out. While your home naturally expands and contracts, elastomeric sealant moves with it.

The once-simple act of buying a tube of caulk has become a frustrating challenge for DIYers and professional contractors alike.

Walk into any home center or hardware store and you’ll find a dizzying array of caulks, sealants, adhesives, cements and mastics designed to seal gaps, fill cracks, plug holes and bond to various building materials.

The result of all these options is that it’s often difficult to find the most appropriate caulk for your specific project.

But, within the sea of caulking tubes lining the store shelves is a family of superior products known as elastomeric sealants.

About Elastomeric Sealants

Elastomeric sealants have a well-earned reputation for being extremely durable, tenaciously strong, and easy to apply. And, once fully cured, they’re resilient, yet flexible to accommodate any expansion and contraction, a phenomenon known as dynamic joint movement.

These sealants can be used indoors or out and will bond to virtually any building material, including wood, steel, stone, tile, brick, glass, plastics and vinyl.

Most importantly, elastomeric sealants are highly resistant to seasonal movement and long-term exposure to the elements, which are the top two reasons why most caulks fail.

And they’re especially effective when bridging a gap between two dissimilar materials, such as vinyl siding and wood trim, which tend to expand and contract at different rates based on temperature and humidity.

When you’re sealing a joint that must stay sealed, you need an elastomeric sealant.

Choosing the Right Sealant for the Job

Several types of elastomerics—including both polymer and acrylic-based—are formulated to meet the needs of specific tasks.

Here’s a brief look at the six most popular types:

  • To stop cold drafts from blowing into your home, use a window-and-door elastomeric sealant, which will provide a weatherproof seal against wind and rain. Apply a continuous bead of sealant around window and door frames and between any house trim and siding. This specially formulated elastomeric will bond to all types of siding and trim boards, including wood, composites and cellular PVC.
    Be sure the window-and-door elastomeric sealant you buy can be applied in low temperatures, has zero shrinkage, and is either paintable or available in a wide range of colors. For example, Titebond WeatherMaster Sealant comes in over 200 colors!
  • Rain gutters and downspouts typically have several joints and seams that can—and often do—eventually spring a leak. Fortunately, there are elastomerics designed to plug leaks in any gutter system, including those made of aluminum, vinyl, galvanized metal, wood or copper.
    Titebond WeatherMaster Gutter & Seam Sealant is a long-lasting, extreme-weather polymer elastomeric that can be applied in temperatures as low as 0° F, and once cured, can withstand temperatures ranging from -75° to 300° F. And unlike many other caulks, Titebond WeatherMaster Gutter & Seam Sealant will adhere to Kynar, which is a fluoropolymer resin coating applied to many types of metal gutters.
  • And for all other jobs, use a multi-purpose elastomeric, such as Titebond DuraMaster Sealant. This sealant can be used for a wide variety of caulking tasks, both inside and out. It forms a durable bond to virtually any clean surface, and can span gaps up to 2 inches wide. Plus, it’s crack-proof, mold and mildew resistant, paintable, cleans up with water, and comes in 13 colors.

Further Reading

Metal Roofing Types: Stylish Options with Exceptional Performance

Metal Roofing Types: Stylish Options with Exceptional Performance

Metal roof as seen in Cut Off, Louisiana
Metal roofing is more popular than ever thanks to its durability and design.

Homeowners’ increasing interest in metal roofing isn’t surprising. Metal is one of the most durable and attractive roofing materials.

However, despite its growing popularity, there are still plenty of misconceptions and confusion about modern metal roofs.

So, let’s take a detailed look at the many styles and key benefits of quality metal roofing, including why it just might be the perfect roof for your home.

Red metal roof, as seen on white house
Today’s metal roofs come in many colors and styles to match any home.

Stylish Options

You may be surprised to learn that metal roofing is available in dozens a wide variety of colors and several styles to complement the architectural design of virtually any home.

Here are the five most common styles of metal roofing:

  • Standing Seam: Features clean lines, is available in several widths and profiles, has waterproof seams that lock together, and is quick and easy to install. In some regions, standing seam is known as vertical seam roofing.
  • Metal Shingles: Stone-coated Stamped metal shingles mimic the look of traditional asphalt shingles, but are much more durable and weather-resistant.
  • Metal Shake: Stamped metal shakes have a thick profile and wood-grain texture that resembles wood shakes. However, unlike wood, metal shakes have a Class A fire rating  and won’t swell, rot, crack or curl.
  • Metal Slate: Stamped metal slate looks very much like natural slate tiles, but at a fraction of the cost. Plus, metal slate is much lighter, easier to install, and more resilient than real slate.
  • Metal Tile: Traditional clay tile roofs are beautiful, yet extremely heavy. It’s easy to capture the architectural charm of clay tiles with metal roofing that mimics the same styles and colors, and is strong and durable, but yet weighs significantly less. lighter weight.s.

Metal roofing is made from a variety of different materials, including hot-dipped galvanized steel, zinc, aluminum, copper, and aluminum-zinc alloy-coated steel, commonly known as Galvalume. In addition, several of these styles can be made with stone-coated metal, which offers a granular coating to mimic those of asphalt shingles but with the more environmentally friendly base material of metal.

Denver and Alexis Damron's Southern Alabama home, newly renovated with a new metal roof
Metal doesn’t crack, delaminate or curl like other roofing materials.

Unparalleled Performance

Here’s a brief look at the top 10 benefits of metal roofing:

  • Durability: Metal roofs are highly resistant to rot, mold, mildew and termites. They are also extremely resilient to severe weather conditions including snow, hail, high winds, heavy rains and high heat.
  • Long Life: Quality metal roofs can last up to 50-plus years, depending on the material. Asphalt roofing, on the other hand, typically needs to be replaced every 15-20 years or less, depending on the quality of the material.
  • Fire Resistance: Every year, raging wildfires burn thousands of homes. Most quality Mmetal roofs offer strong protection since they carry a Class A fire rating.
  • Wind Resistance: A properly installed quality metal roof system can withstand winds up to 140 MPH, which is equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. And that’s why metal roofing is popular in hurricane- and tornado-prone regions.
  • Energy Efficiency: Quality metal roofs reflect solar ultravioletultra-violet and infrared rays, which can help cut home cooling costs by as much as 25 percent.
  • Noise: Despite a common misconception, metal roofs aren’t noisier than any other type of roofing during a heavy rainstorm or hailstorm, especially when the roof deck and attic are properly insulated.
  • Increased Value: Homes with metal roofs typically sell for more money than homes with traditional roofing. 
  • Recyclable: Metal roofs are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Metal roof, as seen on a beautiful two-story home
Metal comes at a higher cost than other roofing materials, but it also provides better performance.

Final Considerations

For more details and to find answers to all your metal-roofing questions, get the free buyer’s guide from the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA).

It includes tons of useful information to help you understand the best metal-roofing options for your region. You can even upload a photo of your home and see how different metal roofing designs will look with MRA’s visualizer.

Plus, the “Find a Professional” tool can help you find quality metal roofing contractors in your area.

So, dig into the resources here to help you put a great roof over your family’s head that will last for decades to come—and get ready to love your new metal roof.

How to Build Planter Posts for String Lights

How to Build Planter Posts for String Lights

Cafe lights in Chelsea's backyard for her concrete planter project
Cafe lights add atmosphere to any outdoor living space! Pairing them with floral arrangements makes this patio look inviting and luxurious.

How to Build Planter Posts for String Lights

Our family loves to relax on the patio, and now it has some serious ambiance thanks to my latest DIY project: planter posts for string lights!

They’re super-easy to make. You just need Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix, in the red bag, a couple of planters and string lights, and small tools.

Ready to create something special? Let’s go!

Supplies for creating concrete planters

What You’ll Need:

  • Bags of Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix (per post) 
  • 2-4 Planters (enough to support the café lights)
  • 4-by-4 Posts (enough to support the lights)
  • Steel Screw Hooks
  • Café lights
  • Drill
  • How to Build Planter Posts for String Lights
sealing planters

Seal the insides. You won’t want potting soil or concrete mix to spill from your planters (I used wood), so apply Advanced Polymer Non-Sag Sealant or Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesiveto close any gaps or cracks inside them.

Find a location. Place the planter where it will be used. Make sure it’s where you’ll spend a lot of time and could use a little light. (I just want to stress: This is a permanent placement. You won’t want to move the planter after it has concrete in it!)

Chelsea placing post

Place the post. Add a 4-by-4 post at the center of the planter. (I kept mine the full length of 8 feet.) You can eyeball it or check that each side-to-side measurement is the same.

Chelsea pouring concrete

Pour the concrete. Slowly pour two bags of Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix around your post so that it’s evenly distributed.

wetting the concrete

Slowly add water. You’ll need approximately one gallon of water per 50-pound bag of concrete. The great thing about Fast-Setting Concrete is you don’t need to mix it around. Just pour in the concrete and add the water — easy peasy!

chelsea leveling

Level it. While the concrete is setting but still loose, use a level to check that each planter post for string lights is perfectly plumb. It shouldn’t be leaning in either direction.

Repeat steps 1-6. If you need a second planter to support your string lights, repeat these steps while the first one dries. By the time the second one is drying, the first one will be ready for the next step: hooks!

inserting hook to post

Add hooks. So far, we’ve got planters with posts secured in concrete. Now we need to create the support system for our string lights. Use a tiny drill bit to start a pilot hole on the corner of your post. Then attach a steel screw hook.

inserting hook into side of house

You can create four planter posts (arranged in a square or rectangle) to support the string lights, or drill two pilot holes into your home’s facia to connect the lights from the planters.

drilling holes into planter

Create drainage. While you have your drill bit in your drill, add a small drainage hole on the backside of your planter, above the concrete.

adding mulch to planter

Insert plants. Add potting soil and plant some pretty plants. You can keep it simple with one plant per planter or, for eye-catching results, go ‘extra’ and create a ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ arrangement. (Google it!)

hanging string lights

Add lights. Finally, drape your string lights over the hooks and plug them in.

That’s all it takes to make planter posts for string lights! Now, family gatherings on the patio have just a bit more atmosphere so you can make more memories together.

Why Metal is the Best Option for Reroofing Your Home

Why Metal is the Best Option for Reroofing Your Home

Many homeowners want to reroof their houses, which is a desirable alternative to ripping off an old roof and installing a new one. But it’s still a big decision and a major expense.

Choosing the right roofing material can be confusing. And, because this process is so involved and even stressful, it’s not something that many homeowners want to do often.

But that’s often the case, depending on the roofing material.

For instance, asphalt shingles usually have a 15- to 20-year warranty and if you live in hurricane-prone areas, you could face some serious problems. During high winds, shingles often fly off the home, making it vulnerable to water damage.

Metal roofing, on the other hand, has a 50-plus-year warranty. It will not only withstand hurricanes, it also has a Class A fire rating.

So you get a roof that isn’t just stylish, with the ridges and embossment that you’d expect from other materials such as shakes, slates or tiles, but it’s also safer for your home and the people and possessions inside.

And it doesn’t require additional support. You may have to reinforce the roof’s decking when adding slates or tiles to an existing home, but that’s not the case for metal roofing.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when reroofing your home. So, if you’re serious about this project, do your homework!

Working with the Metal Roofing Alliance provides peace of mind because its contractors know the proper processes and warranty guidelines to do the best job.

Head on over to metalroofing.com where they have a buyer’s guide and visualizer.

Just upload a photo of your home and pick out different metal roofing options before ordering one that suits your home.

Metal Roofing’s Benefits: Strength and Energy-Efficiency

Metal Roofing’s Benefits: Strength and Energy-Efficiency

People who are considering a new roof often ask me, what are the benefits of a metal roof? As a remodeling contractor with over 40 years’ experience, I always tell them it’s all about the roof’s strength and all about saving money on your energy bill.

With extreme weather conditions, such as hail storms, other roofing materials such as asphalt shingles are prone to damage. Metal roofs can withstand wind speeds up to 140 mph.

Insurance companies love the added strength that metal roofing provides so many of them provide discounts for homeowners with metal roofs.

Also, with a metal roof’s interlocking design, it’s like the parts work together as one piece to withstand strong winds. Compare that to separate asphalt shingles, which can easily blow off, making the home vulnerable to water damage.

Metal roofs are also energy-efficient. Because metal is a reflective material, heat from the sun won’t penetrate your home’s attic and work its way down in your living space.

Best of all, with a metal roof, you can save up to 40% on your cooling and heating costs. That means you can have peace of mind during severe weather and relief when you open that energy bill.

If you want to learn more about energy-efficient roofing, go to metalroofing.com.