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Don't Think Your Building Needs a Backer Rod? Think Again

October 28, 2019

Before we set things off, it’s important we get into what a backer rod actually is. Let’s set the scene with a question…


Ever wondered how gaps between most building materials are filled?


This conundrum is exactly where backer rods come in! They are most aptly described as long cylindrical foam that are served for this very purpose; construction engineers are reliant on premium quality backing rods when erecting a building.


So, back to the titular question at hand. The reasons as to why backer rods improve the structure of a building can be summed up in a series of three simple reasonings:


1) Preventing Three-Sided Sealant Adhesion

A natural cause of concern may be around the sealants administered between building materials. After all, you want the sealant to bond with the building materials and nothing else. Not to fret, the material composition of backer rods imbue them with bond breaking properties, meaning they do not bond with the sealant.


2) Putting Control in Your Hands for Sealant Depth

A top-grade polyethylene foam backer rod, much like the ones we provide at Alcot Plastics, are non-absorbent in nature. Why is this important? The material properties allow for it to be both compressible and non-absorbent - this is crucial when looking to control sealant depth, ensuring a robust bond between the sealant and back-up material.


3) Giving Your Sealant Integrity

Before sealer caulk is applied, the partial filling of concrete expansion joints and/or cracks is a perfect opportunity for a pliable backer rod to shine due to its closed-cell structure. The benefits of this are two-fold; one, unnecessary sealant usage is minimized; two, a watertight seal is produced. To get the most from your backer rods, check that it rests below the concrete pad surface.


There you have it, the three reasons behind why the use of backer rods cannot be understated, not only for the structural stability of a building, but also their overall aesthetic.


If You’re Sold …

For your convenience, if you now find yourself, by happenstance, in the market for a backer rod for your next construction project then look no further than Alcot Plastics. Remember those high-quality backer rods we mentioned previously? We’ve been making them for more than 30 years! Renowned for our dedication to quality throughout North America, our closed-cell, polyethylene foam backer rods come available in a range of diameters for any project imaginable. Get in touch for more information!