When it comes to loop sealant polyurethane is king, polyurethane sealants has many advantages when compared to other commonly used sealants.
Does not shrink or crack—it does not have an evaporation cure like most other sealants.
Holds up well in freezing temperatures.
Does not conduct electricity—water based sealants can facilitate shorts to ground.
Has a low viscosity (flows easily) is easier on your hand, and is self leveling.
Can be cleaned up with rubbing alcohol.
Some polyurethane loop sealants have a flat sealant tip that allow you the seal the groove in one pass from the bottom up, saving a significant amount of installation time.
If used with a flat sealant tip, can be driven over immediately after application. Less waste and messy cleanup.
Rubber based sealants are vulnerable to abrasion and will deteriorate when exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight) and water. Rubber will also deteriorate when exposed to chemicals such as oil, petrol, salt, antifreeze, and other solvents and airborne contaminants. These products are often up to 25% solvent.
Water based products facilitate shorts to ground and should not be used to seal loops. These types of sealants are usually meant for indoor applications and deteriorate quickly outside.
Both rubber and water based sealants have pointed tip applicators that require several passes to fill the groove. This extra labor ends up costing you an additional $4.00 to $6.00 per tube.
Crack Fillers are not designed for sealing loops. Crack fillers are often water based and are not designed to be used if the temperature is expected to fall below 10° C within 24 hours of application. Crack filler is messy to apply and requires that the lane be shut down for at least 24 hours as the filler hardens.
If you are buying your sealant from a big box store you probably aren’t getting the proper stuff.
Need to seal loops in cold or freezing weather? Installing loops for a freezer door?
There aren’t many sealants on the market that can be used in below freezing temperatures. Most sealants will become too thick to apply properly and will not cure if the temperature is below 2° C.
This leaves you with 2 options:
Winter Blend 2 Part Polyurethane This a new type of cold weather sealant, it has all the benefits of a polyurethane sealant plus it can be applied and cure in freezing temperatures. This type of sealant will come in a cartridge with a “static mixer” mixing tip that properly mixes the sealant as it is applied. Winter blend 2 part polyurethane sealants apply easily and are self leveling. The lane can be reopened immediately if the groove is slightly under filled (which is easy to accomplish with a mixing tip).
Epoxy There are a few epoxy products on the market that can be used for sealing loops in freezing temperatures. Epoxies require through mixing with hardening agents and are messy to apply. When applying epoxy in freezing
How do you seal a loop in freezing temperatures?
temperatures special precautions must be taken to keep the epoxy vicious enough to use as a sealant. Cure times will depend on how well the epoxy was mixed and the ambient temperature.
Winter is fast approaching. A little knowledge about loop sealants can save time, money, and headaches (repeat service calls).
About BD Loops
BD Loops is a manufacturer of preformed direct burial and saw-cut inductance loops for the gate, door, and parking industries. With over 16 years in business the quality of BD Loops is unparalleled. BD Loops products are available through over 450 distributors in the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.BDLoops.com to find a distributor near you.