Rocky Mountain Exteriors & Interiors is Calgary’s commercial and residential caulking services specialist. Whether you require caulking for a new construction, or you have a property with failed caulking and/or other building envelope related issues, we provide services to commercial property owners and builders, as well as residential owners.
We can offer our expertise for all aspects of exterior caulking. Our team has a thorough understanding of building design and joint detail, combined with knowledge in choosing the proper caulking type on a site-specific basis.
Our exterior caulking services includes window/door perimeters, expansion joints, control joints, structural silicon glazing, as well as concrete slab crack chase and seal, pipe penetration, and various siding/stucco/cladding terminations. We will locate and investigate problem areas and provide a durable solution.
With a temperamental environment like Calgary and surrounding area, your home needs to stand up to the elements. Which is why it’s important to trust caulking professionals who know which products are right for each unique application, while understanding the architectural designs, limitations and tolerances of commercial and residential structures.
Sealant is used in the exterior joints of every modern building, however, it’s usually incorrectly. Owners have high expectations for performance and durability. But, premature sealant failure is common, resulting in air and water infiltration, property damage, and expensive repair work. Design details and installation practices contribute to the service life, but there is a bigger problem in the industry — many sealant products cannot resist movement and weathering, which are their core functions.
Joints sealed with an elastomeric or silicone sealant usually fail from a combination of factors, including a lack of attention to detail. Often, sealants are easily substituted for a cheaper and less effective option. But most commonly, issues are the result of either poor application and incorrectly sized or poorly designed joint details.
Often in construction, consideration for joint movement is limited to thermal expansion and contraction. However, other factors influence correct sizing and placement. Intersecting walls/change of plane, dissimilar material abutments as well as expansion/contraction/control details require a sealant joint.
Wind loading affects joint placement, not only for structural glazing applications, but also for parapet walls. Moisture-related movement of materials also plays a part. Concrete shrinks as it dries, brick grows as it absorbs water, and wood alternately shrinks and swells. Differential thermal movement between different but adjacent materials must also be accommodated with joints. For example, aluminum or vinyl window frames heat and cool at different rates than siding or stucco etc.
If joints are detailed too far apart, or are made too small, the building simply creates its own. Most often the new joints appear as cracking in the exterior walls and floors, but incorrectly sized or located joints also manifest themselves by causing bending or bowing out of the walls, crushing at the joints, or shearing of the curtain-wall fasteners or masonry ties.
Successful joints require meticulous design, precise sealant selection, and painstaking application.
The most common types of joint failure are Adhesive Failure and Cohesive Failure
The most common cause of failure in residential applications is that the sealant chosen lacks sufficient movement capacity for its intended use. Often the sealant is selected because of readily available colours.
Commercial applications tend to have stringent product specs. Sealant materials have usually been pre-approved by the architect or engineer. This, however, doesn’t mean the joint details are impervious to failure. Insufficient joint layout, or poor joint detail placement, are always contributing factors.
Performance relates to the amount of expected joint movement and the capacity of the sealant to elongate and recover. Low performance sealants will not work in joints that experience movement greater than ± 5 percent of the joint width. Medium performance means that the sealant will work in joints that move up to ± 12.5 percent of the joint width. High performance will take movement in joints greater than ± 12.5 percent.
Recovery characteristics are also important to proper sealant selection. Some sealants stretch, but once subjected to tensile forces, do not easily return to their original shape. This phenomenon’s known as stress relaxation. Other sealants experience compression set. This means they remain bulged out after being compressed and do not easily stretch out again. In both cases, the sealant has developed a “memory,” which eventually will cause failure. A stress-relaxed sealant will assume a distorted shape when the joint closes. When the joint reopens, the sealant will not stretch as it should from its distorted shape and will fail. A sealant with a compression set will rip from the substrate under the tensile stress developed as the joint opens.
As is the case with paint, sealants will not last forever and need to be undergo maintenance periodically. Many of the old sealants commonly used in the 1980’s don’t have the ability to expand and contract as required.
A Silicone joint detail lifespan is typically 20+ years and Elastomeric Polyurethane sealant joints should be able to last for 20 or more years while a Polyurethane joint lifespan is typically 5-10 years.
Rocky Mountain Exteriors & Interiors Inc. has been a trusted sealant contractor for many of the biggest construction companies in Calgary and area since our inception in 2012. Our company was founded on this service with 30 years experience. Since then we’ve grown to a staff with a combined 70+ years focused on building envelope components.
Our services are extended to commercial, residential and institutional applications.