Tips for Using Adhesives:
It is incredible how many different types of adhesives there are available today. Just go to your local hardware store and you will most likely find an entire aisle stocked with hundreds of different types of glues and adhesives. There are many different kinds for bonding various materials. I would have to write a full length book to cover them all. In this article, I’m going to cover two types that every handyman should carry a supply of.
There is a wide range of adhesives commonly used in building and renovation homes and commercial buildings. You can find products in any hardware store that are labeled “construction adhesive”, but in this article, I’m referring to a certain class of adhesives that have certain characteristics, including:
- Available in cans, squeeze tubes and caulking tubes
- Thick adhesives that are applied with a putty knife or notched trowel
- Will adhere to a wide range of building materials
- Waterproof or water resistant
- Generally dry within 24 hours and remain soft and flexible
- Water or solvent based
There are many different construction adhesives for use with different building materials, so it is important to read the label to be sure you have the right product for the job. Some have multiple uses and some are specifically designed for one product only. Some are great for interior jobs but do not withstand temperature changes, moisture and humidity.
Some construction adhesives are applied with a caulk gun and used for bonding large materials to flat surfaces, for example, paneling to a smooth wall or a tub surround to drywall or ceramic, or any job where it is only necessary to run a bead.
Full coverage adhesives are used where the material to be glued is smaller, such as floor tiles or ceramic tiles. This is applied using a notched trowel to apply the adhesive. For these types of projects, do not try substituting a different tool, such as a drywall knife or flat trowel to spread the adhesive. There are reasons for using only a notched trowel, including:
- Saves up to 50% on the amount of adhesive used
- Spreads consistent thickness for proper adhesion and a neater finish. If the adhesive is spread too thick it will cause a soft spot in a floor or ceramic wall, causing movement of the tiles since it does remain flexible
- Speeds drying time as the grooves flatten when the material is pressed into place. A thick coat will take weeks to dry.
- Better adhesion as the peaks produced by the trowel helps the material to grip firmly
- Less shrinkage as the adhesive dries. A thick coat will produce visible settling; do not attempt to fill in low spots with additional adhesive.
Be sure to use the correct adhesive. Some adhesives contain certain solvents which will bleed through plastic or vinyl trim or tub surrounds, creating a permanent stain which cannot be removed. This may take a few weeks to happen; what a major disappointment after all your hard work!
Read all instructions and note the drying times required before applying any stress to your project. If the label says to wait a week or two before moving heavy appliances onto your new kitchen floor, then by all means, do it! Most labels have very detailed instructions, but they don’t always tell you the reasons for them or the penalties when you fail to follow them.
Yes, there is a professional product called “Goop”! It’s not just the gross mess your kids manage to make a mess on the wall with. In fact, there are actually cleaning products that are named goop.
The goop I’m going to tell you about is a handyman’s favorite adhesive. There’s plumber’s goop, capenter’s goop, and even a shoe repair product called shoe goop.
Goop products are all about the same with some variations in consistency and color. Some goops are thinner for precise, detailed work; where others are thicker for vertical and overhead applications. Marine goop and lawn and garden goop are all UV-resistant and water resistant. Shoe goop is rubbery to allow flexibility.
Regardless of what kind of goop you are using, it sticks to almost everything, it remains flexible and it is durable. One drawback is that it can become discolored in certain conditions, like extreme heat and humidity, over time. Do not use in places where appearance is critical.
Goop is great for laminate edging on shelves, cabinets and kitchen counters. It adheres to the old glue and allows time to adjust before setting, unlike contact cement, which sets very quickly, allowing no time to correct mistakes. Simply apply to one surface, press the laminate into place, and then pull it back to allow the solvent to partially evaporate. Press it back together and use masking tape to hold it in place until it dries. Allow at least 24 hours or more for maximum adhesion.
Goop is good for many wood furniture repairs and cabinet repairs, but it is not recommended for fine cabinet building as it is not sandable and it does not absorb stain products. If you’re using goop where appearance is an issue, use sparingly to avoid squeeze out at the edges of the materials you are gluing. It is not recommended for tight fitting joints. Goop is ideal for concealed wood repairs like behind cabinet face frames where nailing is difficult or behind drawers. It works to on split wood where the repair will not be visible. It’s also ideal for repairing chair spindles.
Goop has many uses and it is about the easiest type of adhesive to use, but take care when using in places that mistakes will be visible. Be sure to wipe away squeeze out immediately as it will discolor and look bad over time. Acetone products are good for cleaning up mistakes from excess goop if it is cleaned up before it sets. As with all products read the label for any warnings about damage it may cause on certain surfaces.
This article was written by Keith Paul of HandyPro Handyman Services. HandyPro specializes in home repairs and commercial facility services. The handyman sent to do all jobs is licensed and bonded, experienced and customer friendly. Our handyman will provide 100% customer satisfaction in doing quality work and cleaning up when the job is complete. http://www.handypro.com services Southeast Michigan, Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Westland, Garden City, Wayne, Romulus, Inkster, Belleville, Birmingham, Allen Park, Taylor, Troy, Commerce Twp and neighboring cities and communities.
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