This simple priming tip is a contractor’s ace in the hole

How much time do you spend focused on sealant application and proper usage?

Regardless of the answer, chances are as a contractor you’ve learned that while no sealant is a universal solution for all applications, using a good primer helps sealant perform well on a wider range of substrates.

The proper application of sealant primer involves a series of procedures that ensure the primer functions as intended. One important yet often overlooked procedure is the transfer of the primer from the factory-supplied container to a separate, clean vessel.

Yes, this sounds like a simple step, but it is often ignored because the worker applying the primer typically believes the reason for transferring the primer is solely to prevent contamination. The thought process is: I can be careful enough that I won’t contaminate the primer.

However, there is a very important reason for transferring the primer, beyond simple contamination. Using only a small portion of primer at a time prevents solvent loss. The solvent is a thinning agent that will evaporate out of the primer. Excessive solvent loss causes the primer to thicken, which means you are going to face a number of issues:

  • The primer doesn’t penetrate the substrate well
  • The primer cannot be applied as thinly as specified
  • The drying time increases because the primer has been applied thicker, and because there is less solvent being released to aid the drying process

In extreme cases, sealant that should be as thin as syrup is instead as thick as contact cement, which will not give you the desired results. If you notice any change in the physical properties of the primer, especially where it starts to show signs that it won’t flow or spread as easily as when you started the application, this primer should be properly disposed of and replaced with a new batch.

In summary, something as simple as limiting the amount of primer dispensed at one time can have dramatic effects on the sealant adhesion, the success of the installation and the bottom line.

Learn more about our broad range of Master Builders Solutions sealants and primers.

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