Hi thanks for checking out webofconcrete.com you know it might be a surprise to some readers that not everything carpenters are required to do fall under the category of living the dream of being a carpenter, shingling roofs insulating and concrete caulk control joints in concrete all fall into that category but it’s work that still needs to be done. If you have a system that provides excellent results every time well it takes away some of the pain and misery out of doing an unpleasant job.
So today I just want to do a quick blog post for getting professional results in sealing up control joints and expansion joints in concrete or you can say concrete caulking.Right tools and the right technique are key to get successful results.
The best sealant I’ve found for sealing these control joints is a
1.Urethane Concrete Caulk:but make a note it’s not the self leveling kind,that stuff has a time and a place and a purpose but for the most part it’s difficult to work with and I don’t see consistent results with it.So I use a urethane caulk but it’s it can be used vertical or horizontal it’s not self leveling and I just tool it into place to get great results so this is the typical gun that’s used for this sort of stuff I like this style it has a smooth plunger on here not a ratcheting little cheap stamped metal handle it’s worth the extra money to buy a good gun and then I use a chunko demonic fast cure but sicka makes one and np1 makes a good urethane but I’ve always used the trimco demonic so that’s to say a good gun and a good product are the first and most important things to have for this sort of work because of the volume of this sort of caulking.
I don’t use this standard caulk gun but rather use this this bazooka style it’s made by the same manufacturer it’s got the same mechanism for advancing the plunger and this is called a sausage gun and the reason is that instead of rigid tubes with a fixed nozzle on every tube this gun takes these sausages and it’s literally a sausage with a thin foil coating little crimped ends and they slip down into this tube.
I guess I’ll show how that works now this is what a sausage looks like when it’s spent I was doing some concrete caulk yesterday it’s all crisps mashed down to nothing but I just released the retract the plunger and drop in the sausage tube slides right down in that tube and then I advanced.
It so that little end sticks out and the best way to get rid of that little crimped end is a pair of regular side cutters hope this focuses just clips that off and I’ll mention it nowI’ll mention a few times in the video this Yorick urethane it’s like once it gets on something it gets on everything.
So managing where the wet urethane is you’ve got to pay attention to it so they don’t make a mess out everything but these sausage guns come with these plastic tips they come like this it’s just a solid tip and then it can be snipped off to whatever size joint you’re working on I’ve got a whole range here and believe it or not there’s times when I’ve used this monster tip to lay down a ridiculous B to the sealant and that’s not an ideal application but kind of a Hail.
Mary to stabilize a situation but for the most part I’ll cut about this size that’s Oh about a 5/8 half-inch 5/8 inch hole works really well and that’s what I’m going to be using today so this little foil part twists out of here this is where I manage that wet it’s just sticky.
When those strands get stuck on stuff they just don’t go away slip the tip down in this retainer ring just put that over the end of the foil tighten it down and then the advancing plunger just pushes the urethane concrete caulk out of that foil tube and on out this tip it’s a great setup. There’s not a lot else that’s necessary for this kneepads aren’t essential but they sure help preserve the pants and the knees I’ve got those old beat-up that old beat-up hair then masking tape you’ll see how that gets used I use it in different widths but I always get a good quality tape this 3m stuff is good and holds up for this process 409 is essential for doing this job and you’ll see how that works and last but not least is fine silica sand that’s the key to getting excellent results every time and having them stay excellent.
This is a superfine grade it’s really nice you can use stuff that’s a little more course but silica sand is nice it’s better than place and because it has a kit consistent texture and appearance place and tends to have pebbles and rocks in it depending on the job I’ll put the silica sand at different dispensers this is just like an old ketchup thing that allows me to sprinkle it I keep an old paintbrush around for brushing the sand around if necessary and then on bigger longer joints where I’ve accessed.
I’ll use this bigger container for the same purpose but just applies the sand more quickly so that’s the overview and background the arsenal of things needed to do a good job on this so I’m gonna head outside and show you how the process works well let’s go I did a little pre cleaning on these concrete caulk control joints with a thin diamond wheel and the side grinder to clean up rough spots and make a uniform gap between the driveway slab and the garage slab after cleaning up the control joint with the diamond wheel.
The next step is to blow up the concrete caulk joint when these loose dust pebbles rocks leaves bugs and whatever from the joint I use a leaf blower here but this compressed air is available it’s better well not only is it this the most enjoyable work but it’s starting to get cool and breezy but I’m going to keep going just to show that this could be done in somewhat less than ideal conditions as long as it’s not wet here the masking tape will stick and I could proceed it’s a little on the cool side but I’ve never had any issues other than a slower curing time by applying this.
yesterday I was doing a bunch and it was 37 degrees everything’s fine anyway so the first step after this is ground smooth to my satisfaction and all the dust is blown out and it’s dry I apply the masking tape and I hope should this shows in the video these two surfaces are somewhat unlevel and that’s fine that helps water drain off and not pool here but I want to show how I treat an area like this and then down at the other end of the door these levels are more even but I’m using the same method to deal with it and I want the joint to start somewhat slightly down it’ll be a concave joint in there so I’ll apply the masking tape just slightly below the crown of these tools edges as you’ll see the edges of the masking tape determine the edges of the Sinister.
I’m using finger pressure to seal down the edge of that tape that’s important this is hard to do with the camera rolling this upper side and I like that that’ll make the joint wide enough to have enough volume to stretch but not so wide that it’s smeared up here on the finished driveway surface and this handheld panning shot you can see a little more closely what’s going on here finished joint wolf be slightly concave about like the tip of my thumb here and the edges will be feathered out down nice and smooth so they don’t catch and peel out .
I’ll speed up this post a little bit because it’s boring but I hope you get the idea that running this masking tape is surprisingly quick and efficient at cross or T intersections I use a special technique with the tape to get nice crisp corners I tear the tape so it’s got a kind of an angle on there and I can start that angle right down in the joint like that I’ve already done this other direction but I tear the piece of tape with an angle going the other way and match up the corners of the tape so when I peel this tape back they’ll be a nice start corner I can do this side to here and this will be a little better example just tear the tape so it has a one end edge longer than the other stick it down and put that sharp end to tape right where I want the corner to be and I use the opposite angle on the other side line up the two corners some basically mitering masking tape.
if you can believe that with the masking tape down that’s the end of the prep work it’s time to apply the urethane concrete caulk out of this gun I work right to left generally just that’s just the way I am I’m right-handed and I do as much of a section as I can with whether allowing the stuff is super sticky if wind is blowing dirt and leaves around it’ll stick to that concrete caulk immediately so I’ll do a short section if it’s a beautiful day nice and calm I can do a longer section but the main thing is I try to apply the caulk so that the joint is full and has that little concave surface to it that’s really close to the finished joint I want I don’t want to starve it for concrete caulk and I don’t want too much because then it’s harder to tool it and I guess the main thing I’m thinking about when I’m applying the caulk is to let the concrete caulk work its way down into that joint so I I let the bead of concrete caulk build a head of the tip as it goes so that I know it’s getting down into that crack and there’s all sorts of crack types with backer rod and all sorts of things that need to be taken care of but those are kind of another subject.
I just want to show how to get a nice perfectly tooled finished joint and not cover the extremes of what’s possible with this system and I’ll just do a short section here going through all the steps so you can see how it works beginning with filling the joint with concrete caulk got a roll of paper towels handy here which I did not mention in the supplies but they’re absolutely essential for this I’m gonna push out the little skinned over end of concrete caulk from work.
I was doing yesterday and then I started on the joint you can see the come out of the tube and get ahead of the tip and I just pushed that along so you can see how it folds or rolls down into that joint as it goes I’m using the rounded surface of this tip that’s cut on an angle to form that concave surface on the bead it’s just a little more than is necessary but as I told it it works a little more down into that joint and this part of the process you kind of get the hang of as you do a little bit so that you don’t have extra fussing to do when tooling the joint the closer this is to the finish bead the less trouble it is later on but that’s looking pretty good right there if you ask me this is where the magic comes in because although that’s not a bad looking joint it’s not what I want to end up with instructions say apply to a clean dry frost free surface tool to desired finish dry tooling recommended do not thin if there is anything controversial about this video and this method it’s going to be that dry tooling recommended I use the 409 which is a mild soapy liquid for wet tooling and you’ll see how and why I’ve had people comment that using that will put bubbles in them surface I’ve done thousands of feet of this and never had a single bubble to worry about other trimco urethane cocrete caulk products say right on the container that a mild soapy solution is useful for tooling the product and I’ve never experienced any negative results of the cured product using this method if you’ve had conflicting experience and don’t like this idea well just don’t use it and if I try to tool this dried tool or whatever in some cases where the edges are perfectly smooth I’d get a good finish speed but a fingertip is about the only way to be able to get a finished nice finish.
Being in all situations but as soon as you touch this stuff it’s just sticky as all get-out you can’t get a good bead in here that’s reliable or consistent so that’s where the magic of 409 or a soapy spray comes in just a quick spritz of that bead and a fingertip and this stuff just tools out like magic and the goal of this tooling is to feather that caulk down to where it’s just the thickness of the masking tape where it meets the masking tape.
I don’t want to step there another cool thing about this is if I need to add more caulk which I don’t really need to here but I want to show you I can just go right over that 409 with another spritz and just work that additional caulk in like I said in this in this situation I didn’t need to do that but if you end up with a spot that’s a little starved for urethane you can add some more and conversely if you get too much you can just scoop this stuff out and put it in somewhere else and just work back and forth and tell that joint is nice and full with a little concave surface and that’s just as smooth as can be once I’m happy with the way that joint is filled and tooled I pull off the masking tape and make a note I pull the masking tape across the bead so that this little if there’s any extra sealant there it folds it over onto that tool joint so you get this little flash edge on there but again it’s no big deal because a little spritz of 409 allows that little bit to fold over into the bead and come up with a perfect edge no slop no smear onto the concrete.
I pull this other piece of tape across the joint this way for the same reason and the better of a job you do tooling the joint the less of this extra flare that you get and again practice makes that go a little more smoothly and that right there is what I’m looking for there’s no uneven this there’s no dip there’s no bumps there’s no smears it’s perfect a little bit of 409 on the surface that doesn’t hurt anything and now I can sprinkle in some of that fine silica sand into the joint just trying to overdo it it doesn’t matter the only part of that sand that remains is what actually sticks to the caulk the rest of this will just blow away when it dries and that caulk does are that sand does two things it keeps dirt and bugs out of there it keeps it from sticking to a shoe if somebody happens to step on this before it’s cured and it also gives the surface of the caulk a rough texture a little bit like smoothly finished concrete I can use this soft dry brush to take off some of that excess sand so you can see what it looks like underneath there keep in mind that that caulk is incredibly soft right now and even pushing too hard with a brush can change the surface of the clock I’m gonna go ahead and caulk and sand the rest of these joints here today and probably by the time I get done editing the video that sand will be dry enough to blow it away but I hope you agree that that’s a pretty sweet looking sealed control joint I’m just going to let the camera run while I tool and say the rest of this joint to give you an idea of the speed of this process once you get a system down and kind of get used to the steps the sausage tube contains the same volume as two of the standard size caulking tube but there’s far less waste by-product [Music] well it should give you a pretty good idea how this process works of course I don’t have a cameraman here I’m trying to line up for the camera so that kind of slows me down and then I’m doing extra starting and stopping for the video when I’m just doing a section like this I can just do this whole length put the in to lit peel up the tape put in the sand like that so it looks a lot slower than it is when you get up to speed on it a section like this probably take 20 minutes less than a half an hour to do it and get a really nice job I took pictures a few years back of how not to do a control joint and I can stick those in here in the post you can see that it’s all uneven it’s sloppy it’s not smooth it fills up with dirt and bottom line is it doesn’t seal up the joint very well.
The advantage of using this method with this product instead of a self-leveling is this driveway has a slope if I tried to do this joint here with self leveling.It I’ll just run down to that end and I’d have a mess on my hands using the masking tape can finds the edges it’s very easy to get an uneven bead and if you don’t have masking tape there anytime you touch it it just makes it worse so I really like this whole setup and I hope you find it helpful too the cold weather is making my camera battery fade.
There so I’m just gonna wrap this up well in the time it took the battery to recharge so I could shoot this this all dried up I got the sand blown off and so the bead is pretty much complete and for the record in the time the battery was charging I was able to do this control joint here this is a 10 foot door I was able to mask it it tool it and sand it all in that 10 minute period of time so it goes pretty quick once you’re set up and you’re not trying to do it in front of a camera so that’s it for this video if you like what you saw I’d appreciate you consider subscribing if you haven’t already .
so I’m glad to have this project taken care of I’m gonna go get this posted and edited and uploaded so you can check it out and as always until next time thanks for reading.