519 767 2899


5 Signs It Is Time To Replace Soft Backer Rods

October 14, 2022

Backer rods are an essential part of any joint sealant system, but they don’t last forever. In fact, over time they will degrade and lose their effectiveness. So, how can you tell when it’s time to replace your backer rods? In this blog post, we will explore 5 signs that it is time to replace your soft backer rods. From cracks and gaps to loss of flexibility, read on to learn more about when it’s time for a change.

5 Signs Indicative of Backer Rod Replacement

It has been more than five years since the last replacement

If it has been more than five years since the last time you replaced your soft backer rods, it is probably time to do so again. As a rule of thumb, it is essential to replace backer rods when they display signs like crack or crumble. Even the flexibility gets compromised after one point affecting its structural integrity.

Peeling and Cracking

When caulking or sealing expansion joints in concrete surfaces, you need to use a soft backer rod to fill the joint before applying your sealant. Over time, these backer rods can deteriorate and need to be replaced. One of the common signs that your soft backer rod needs to be replaced is when you start to see cracking or peeling on the surface. This is a sign that the material is breaking down and will no longer provide a good seal.

Unknown source of odour

If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your backer rods, it is likely that the material has become contaminated. This can happen if the rods are left in a damp environment or if they come into contact with chemicals. If you are not sure where the odour is coming from, it is best to replace the backer rods.


Deformation of the backer rod is one of the primary indicators that it is time for a replacement. When installed correctly, the backer rod should maintain its original shape and size. However, over time, the material may begin to soften and lose its rigidity. This can cause the rod to become misshapen, which can in turn lead to issues with the sealant joint. If you notice any deformation in your backer rod, it is important to replace it as soon as possible.

Noticeable air drafts

If you notice any air drafts coming from around your windows or doors, it is likely time to replace your soft backer rods. These drafts can let in cold air and make your home less energy-efficient. Replacing the backer rods is a relatively easy process that will help to seal up your home and keep it more comfortable.


If you notice any of the signs mentioned in this blog, it's probably time to replace your soft backer rods. Alcot Plastics Ltd. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of polyethylene foam products, including backer rods and foam screening splines. Contact us today to lear abo