Caulking control joints is a process that protects and preserves a building’s beauty and longevity. Before we dive in, let’s define just what control joints are and what caulking them means.
- Just like those you see on residential driveways, control joints on commercial buildings are designed to control where masonry cracks occur. Typically used in concrete masonry, control joints help ensure peak performance of the building material and relieve tensile stresses due to shrinkage of the concrete, mortar, and when used, grout.
- The caulking of control joints prevents air, water, and insects from entering a building. The procedure is usually done around windows, doors, plumbing, and pipes.
Presto Restoration has been caulking control joints for more than 25 years. The current condition of your building’s control joints, the material currently in place, the access method, and the timeframe for service of the joints are all taken into consideration before we begin a control joint caulking project.
Does Your Commercial Building Need Control Joint Caulking?
Building owners and managers typically reach out to us for control joint caulking after they notice leaks in their structure’s facade. As a rule, the cause of the leaks is the degradation of the caulking material.
Depending on the type of sealant used, caulking lasts anywhere from five to 20 years. For instance:
- Urethane caulking installed on a building’s south face typically lasts about five years.
- Urethane caulking on the north face of the same building may last 10 years or more.
Urethane caulking that’s been in a control joint for longer than it should get gummy and is difficult to remove. Silicones that have been in a joint for more than 20 years can start to harden which makes cutting them out more difficult. Once silicone petrifies in a control joint it must be removed with an electric cutter, a significant and time-consuming process.
Which Caulking Material Should You Use?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a material to caulk control joints. At Presto, we recommend using urethane when working with painted surfaces, tilt-ups, or areas where we’ll be applying an elastomeric coating and silicone for most other control joints. Applying urethane is a less expensive process when compared to silicone or a hybrid type caulking, we do find some retrofit projects have and/or require a urethane sealant, even though silicone can last longer.
In these cases, we recommend a pull test to determine the future adhesion of the control joint caulking. We often find a hybrid will stick to either urethane or silicone. In some cases, however, we end up grinding both sides of the joint which makes it possible to install silicone. The process determined to be best for your building has an effect on the overall cost of the project.
Cost Considerations for Control Joint Caulking
What else affects the cost of control joint caulking on your building?
- Access to the work area. Even one-story buildings have at least three times the height a typical worker can reach from the ground.
- Equipment. Ladders, lifts, swing stages, and/or cranes must often be used to reach the entire building surface.
- Overhead protection. Any time access over entry doors or high-traffic sidewalks is required, safety precautions must be taken and enforced. In some cases, the area beneath the work zone can be taped off to prevent pedestrians from entering a fall hazard area. In other cases, the work can be performed after hours or on the weekend. Sometimes the only way to complete the job safely is to allow the work to be done with overhead protection under the work area.
Whatever the case may be, when caulking control joints on commercial buildings, Presto is always considering access to the facade.
The Best Time to Caulk Control Joints
The ideal timeframe for joint caulk replacement on commercial buildings depends on a number of factors and doesn’t always jibe with what a building manager or owner has in mind. It’s true most caulking products can be applied at lower temperatures than coatings can, but many geographic areas have additional environmental factors that make doing the work prohibitive at certain times of the year.
For example, when caulking control joints in the southeast region of the country, we need to consider the fall hurricane season. In many other areas of the country, late fall and winter bring increased precipitation and windy conditions that can delay the control joint caulking project. We’ve had a case where heat waves in the southwest have significantly impacted projects because the temperature of the building’s exterior exceeded 130 degrees!
Probably the biggest factor to be concerned about with any control joint caulking job is how to both prevent water from entering open joints and ensure the dry substrate is sealed. That often means scheduling projects outside rainy seasons.
Commercial Control Joint Caulking Experts
Clearly, control joint caulking is a critical part of your commercial building’s maintenance. Presto Restoration has provided joint control caulking services that help weatherproof facades to countless properties nationwide. Our years of experience and expertise make it possible for us to tackle even the most complicated and difficult jobs.
We quickly determine the best long-term, high-quality solutions for your control joint caulking project and provide quick pricing turnaround. Our technicians provide a safe and efficient environment for any control joint caulking project and are equipped to expertly handle your specific needs. We also make sure you obtain the best product warranty for your project.
With years of experience serving clients of all sizes, Presto is the trusted name in commercial control joint caulking. We use experienced and highly skilled technicians for every aspect of your project. From beginning to end, you’ll get the quality and customer service you deserve. You can read about a recently completed waterproofing project for a commercial office building and many other projects on our portfolio page.
If you are looking for commercial building caulking services in your city, we would love to learn more about your project.
Contact Presto Restoration for a free consultation today.
Call us at 1-800-785-9927 or Request A Quote.