BY El Hosni, MAY 27, 2015 11:00 AM
With leaking roofs, windows, pipes or gutters causing potentially hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of destruction, solutions like Flex Seal are an incredibly cost-effective prevention tool for homeowners worried about water damage or working with tight budgets.
This liquid rubber substance is an incredibly popular DIY product that can seal leaks, holes and cracks and provide a waterproof barrier that lasts for years - but many are asking whether it really works, and if it's as good as the hype suggests. We take a look at the ins and outs of Flex Seal to find out exactly what it has to offer.
Flex Seal is made from a very thick, mastic resin, among several other ingredients. To put it simply, it is a liquid rubber, but can be found in two different formats - in an aerosol can and in a thick, paint-like liquid. The formulation of Flex Seal differs slightly in each of these two formats, but the highly durable and waterproof resin ingredient ensures that each one provides a durable, watertight seal when the substance dries.
Although being waterproof is its most important feature, Flex Seal has been carefully formulated in order to be as convenient as possible to use and to offer excellent longevity against the elements. It won't melt, sag or drip during hot temperatures, or crack or peel in the freezing cold. Once dried, it remains pliable and flexible, it deadens noise, stops vibrations, and is even resistant to mildew and UV.Due to Flex Seal's versatile liquid form, it can easily seep into holes and cracks to provide thorough coverage and sealing even on very uneven surfaces.
Basically, it is a liquid rubber substance and has all the useful properties you would expect from rubber in the convenient format of a liquid.
The beauty of Flex Seal is that it has a really wide variety of applications, making it a handy DIY product to have around the house. Ultimately, it is designed to provide a watertight rubberised seal, so it can be used in any situation in which you want an area to be protected against leaks or water damage.
For example, you could fix holes and cracks in water pipes, hoses or guttering with Flex Seal, or apply it around window trims to prevent water damage during wet weather. It could be applied to walls in areas in which condensation is common to prevent damp, or, since it helps to deaden sound, it could be applied to floors to minimise noise. It could even be applied to wood fences or outdoor furniture to protect the wood from water damage.
Flex Seal is suitable for use on almost any surface you could imagine, including:
When using Flex Seal indoors, it's important to ensure the area you're working in is well ventilated, so open all doors and windows before you start and leave open during application and while Flex Seal is drying. It is also advisable to wear protective clothing, particularly when using the aerosol variety, to avoid ruining clothes from accidental contact with the substance.
To get the best results, you should apply Flex Seal evenly using a sweeping motion, and to cover an area just slightly larger than that which you want to make watertight. So, if you need to seal a crack in a pipe for example, you should ensure that Flex Seal covers the entire crack and a reasonable area around it. To achieve a smooth finish, you should feather the edges to achieve a slightly thinner coat around the outside of the cracked area.
The drying time of Flex Seal greatly depends on the thickness of the coating applied, as well as the temperature and humidity of the environment it was applied in. Usually, it is dry to the touch within just two or three hours, but it takes a full 24 hours for the substance to completely cure and be fully waterproof.
Humid and very warm environments can make it take longer to dry, as can very cold conditions. Flex Seal gets stronger with time, so if at first you're worried that it feels too soft and pliable even after curing for 24 hours, you've no need to worry as it will only become stronger as the days go by.Depending on the reason for you using Flex Seal, you may find it necessary to apply multiple coats.
To achieve the best, most durable results, it is usually a good idea to apply several thin layers, letting each one dry completely before applying the next. This is particularly important for deep holes or cracks that you want to seal; although it's tempting to apply a thick layer in the deeper crevices, thin layers which you leave to dry separately will provide you with a more even and much stronger finished result.
Flex Seal can be applied to wet surfaces, which makes it an excellent sealant choice in emergency scenarios such as burst pipes in which you may not have time to ensure a surface is completely dry before fixing the leak. It's important to be aware though that Flex Seal does tend to take longer to dry when applied to wet surfaces, so you may have to wait longer before applying a second layer than if you were to make the area completely dry.
For the best results, Flex Seal should be applied to clean and dry surfaces, but if this isn't possible then don't worry too much - just make sure the area is as clean as possible and you should still achieve great results. Flex Seal is often used to seal leaky tiled roofs or windows, and in these instances it's important to note that very strong rain may wash some of the substance away if it is not completely dry.
If you've noticed a leak during wet weather, Flex Seal is still an excellent emergency solution, as it will dry despite the wet conditions. However, for the best results and to minimise the need for repeat applications, try to avoid applying it in very heavy rain and check the forecast to ensure that a strong rainstorm isn't on its way.
Once Flex Seal is completely cured (24 hours) it can be painted any colour you wish. This is ideal for when you're treating areas that are visible in the home to ensure that repair work isn't obvious. For the best results, a latex-based paint is usually the most suitable option, but oil-based paint also works well. Often, though, it's best to leave Flex Seal to cure for longer than 24 hours - sometimes up to a week - to ensure that it becomes firm enough for oil-based paints to properly coat the Flex Seal surface.
Over the years, Flex Seal has had thousands of happy customers who are genuinely satisfied with the results that Flex Seal creates, so it's safe to say that it really does work. A liquid rubber coating is a simple but incredibly effective idea, and the careful formulation of Flex Seal ensures that if offers incredible durability whilst being quick to dry and with no risk of it dropping or melting out of shape in future. It is this that makes it such an effective and popular product for homeowners who want a quick, convenient and long-lasting solution that really works.
Flex Seal can be purchased from a wide variety of online stores and DIY stores for affordable prices. To ensure that you get the very best value for money, be sure to look out for multi-buy offers which let you get your hands on more Flex Seal for less - this is particularly handy for those who have big projects in mind, or those who simply want to stock up for emergencies or general DIY.Approve and download Or ask for changes!
With a wide variety of applications and its strong, durable nature, Flex Seal has plenty going for it - but it's not completely without downsides. Let's take a look at the full list of pros and cons.