Caulk and Sealant Manufacturers Flaunt Products' Mold and Mildew Resistance

  • By Victoria Markovitz
  • Source: BUILDING PRODUCTS Magazine
  • Publication date: 2009-02-13

Manufacturers have included mold and mildew inhibitors in caulks and sealants for some time, especially products for bath areas. Now some are tweaking formulas or adding antimicrobial treatments to boost their resistance to these nasty problems as consumer and professional interest surges.

Megan Mazur, manager of market development for retail and distribution for Franklin Adhesives, says the company's interior caulks and sealants always have been mold- and mildew-resistant and pass ASTM standards. This means the resistance lasts for the product's lifetime, she says.

But she says Franklin has seen an uptick in customers seeking mold-resistant products. "It's more of a health concern, creating safer environments to live and work," she says. "It's always been there. Now, it is just more popular."

A number of manufacturers are promoting new formulas. Wayne Summons, vice president and technical director at Sashco, says most of his company's products include mold inhibitors; however, Mildew Free, which was released early last year, combines two active ingredients instead of just one to help prevent mold growth. Summons says the protection lasts at least seven years.

In addition, Henkel's Polyseamseal Ever Bright silicone sealant protects against mold for five years after application, the maker says. Irene Williams, Polyseamseal's brand manager, says the product works by using an "antimicrobial cocktail" to resist mold in three ways: preventing it from adhering, keeping it from spreading, and inhibiting it from growing.

Likewise, DAP includes an antimicrobial treatment in its Kwik Seal 3.0 kitchen and bath adhesive caulk. Shree Naber, DAP's vice president of technology, says the product combines two technologies: The first, an antimicrobial treatment, resists mold and mildew. The second lets the caulk cure fast enough to be exposed to water in three hours. Also worth noting is Mapei's OptiColor grout, which uses antimicrobial protection to resist stains, mold, and mildew.

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