Tape sealing applications can always be challenging in cold weather, but finding the right waterproofing product will prevent unwanted damage and provide an aggressive adhesive bond in tough environmental conditions. There is a diverse range of products on the market; selecting the right waterproofing tape involves identifying what important factors you’re looking for in a simple solution that will hold up in cold and inclement conditions. Some considerations include:
- Tape Application
- Service Temperatures
- Tape Backing
- Surface and Treatment Prior to Application.
Cold Weather Tape Application
Our 4EvaSeal products use an aggressive elastomeric adhesive that does not need a primer when applied above 40°F. In colder temperatures, 4EvaSeal Primer is used to help provide initial adhesion or green strength. The tape can be applied at temperatures as low as -20°F. The only requirement is that the surface is clean and dry before the application of a primer. Some will use a heat source to assure the surface is dry before application, but the surface temperature does not need to be maintained during the tape application. Lower surface temperatures will cause the primer dry time to be longer, so it is important to ensure the primer is dry to the touch (no transfer to finger) before applying the tape.
Related Article: Cold Weather Tape Application Performance Study
When comparing tapes, some of the most overlooked physical attributes are the thickness of the backing and the thickness of the adhesive. The backing (the part of the tape exposed to the elements after installation) protects the adhesive from damage and the environment. UV (ultraviolet) rays and weather can cause the backing to slowly break down and fail in some tapes. This causes the adhesive to degrade quickly. These failures are usually not detected until the water leakage has already done damage, resulting in costly repairs. A thicker backing will take much longer to yield to the effects of the sun, rain, snow, wind, ice, and dirt. A thicker backing provides superior protection for long-term performance.
The adhesive thickness also plays an important role in the performance of the tape. When pressing, or rolling, the tape into the surface, the adhesive is forced into tiny valleys, holes, and irregularities depending on the surface. Tapes with small amounts of adhesive will struggle to fill these irregularities, allowing pathways for water and air to fill the voids.
With all applications, the most vital step is surface preparation. The surface must be clean and dry, with no oils, grease, or loose debris. Remove salt and other contaminants by pressure washing with a suitable detergent followed by a freshwater rinse. Rust and other adhered foreign matter should be removed by scraping or wire brushing followed by a solvent wipe. Proper surface preparation will ensure the adhesive will provide a watertight seal with any difficult surface.
Related Article: Essential Surface Preparation Tips for Waterproof Tape
When faced with cold and inclement applications, it may be necessary to select a waterproofing adhesive tape for improved protection against water intrusion and exterior weathering factors. This will vastly improve the waterproofing system and ensure quality performance with a strong, durable UV Stable backing and pressure-sensitive elastomeric adhesive that will provide ease of application and a long-lasting lifespan.