Back-To-Basics: Seam Sealer

Sometimes going back-to-basics can make the difference between a quality repair and a failed repair. When it comes to seam sealers, there are some common mistakes that are easily avoidable and can have a huge effect on the durability of the repair.

When using seam sealer to complete repairs, it is important to know how to prepare the substrate for proper application. Improper preparation could lead to corrosion protection issues, adhesive failures, or cohesive failures. While most one-part seam sealers can be applied over bare metal, most two-part seam sealers are recommended to be applied over a corrosion resistant primer (unless specified as able to be applied over bare metal). If not properly applied, the sealer cannot keep moisture and air out of panel joints, leading to corrosion. How to properly prepare the substrate for application can be found in the product information.

Seam sealers are designed to have flexibility to move with the vehicle, which can lead to paint failure in the area of sealer application. This is because some seam sealers are not designed to be refinished. If the seam sealer allows for refinishing after application, it is important to check the product maker’s product sheet on how to properly prepare the sealer and the minimum cure time before refinishing.

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