The average Canadian homeowner doesn’t have a lot of choices for sealant on the inside of their home, according to a new report from CIBC World Markets.
The report says one of the most common uses for sealants on the outside of a home is for roofing.
“The average American homeowner does not have a choice in terms of sealant because they have a sealant system that is designed for the home,” said Mark Rehfeld, a senior analyst with CIBC.
He said many of those systems have “trouble getting out of the way.”
“You’re going to have a window that is going to be able to get a sealer through the window, so you’re going for that window, but it’s not going to do anything on the roof,” he said.
That means sealants like those used on roofs are designed to seal the window and seal out air in the event of an accident, but Rehfield said there’s no guarantee the sealant will get through.
Even if it did, there would still be a risk of leaks, he said, because air can’t escape from the roof without hitting something.
There are three main types of roofing tape: roofing adhesive, roofing waterproof tape, and roofing watertight tape.
Most roofing tapes come in two different lengths: a “soft” and a “hard” one.
Soft tapes are made from plastic that is flexible and can be bent and squeezed to make it easier to seal in water, and are more commonly used in conjunction with watertight tapes.
Hard tapes are much more durable, and can even be used to seal gaps in a roof.
But the problem is that some of the tape can crack.
“There is an ongoing debate in Canada, and we’ve seen it in the U.S. as well, about what is the right kind of waterproof tape to use,” Rehstein said.
“A lot of times it’s hard tape, but you can also put tape that is waterproof.”CIBC has done a lot more research on the subject, and the firm has concluded that there’s a very good chance the tape will crack in the heat.
“When you put tape over your window, the tape itself will probably not crack, but if you do have an accident in the house, there’s going to inevitably be damage to the roof if the roof gets cracked,” he added.
“And when you add that to the fact that the tape is designed to be watertight, then you get to the point where you’re just going to put it on the wall and hope that the water won’t be leaking out.”
While Rehbach says the use of sealants for roofs is not widespread in Canada right now, he expects more to come.
“The more people that buy the roofing materials, the more likely it is that the roof sealants will be in use in their homes,” he noted.
“And the more the demand is there for those sealants, the less the demand for the soft tape will be available.”
This story was first published on CBC Toronto on Jan. 12, 2018.