- What does PSUL consist of and where is it used?
- How to choose the right tape
- Installation procedure and features
Today we will talk about what PSUL tape is and why it is needed when installing windows. Often installers refuse to use it, but it has its own specific tasks. Let’s figure out in order how important it is, whether it is possible to do without it, and answer the questions of choice and correct installation.
Unprotected assembly seams of window and door blocks not only absorb moisture, but also retain it. Over time, excess moisture leads to destruction of the joint material. In addition, an increase in humidity of only five percent leads to a decrease in heat transfer resistance by half..
The solution to this problem is the use of pre-compressed sealing tapes (PSUL) when installing window and door structures. With the help of such tapes, moisture is freely discharged outside and does not linger in the seam cavity.
What does PSUL consist of and where is it used?
The tapes are compressed and rolled into narrow rolls of self-adhesive porous elastic material (polyurethane foam) of gray or black color, which looks like foam rubber. The material is impregnated with a vapor-permeable neoprene or acrylic compound. After installation, PSUL expands and thus occupies the seam space between the window or door block and the opening by filling in irregularities, as well as gaps due to high elasticity.
In addition to protecting against moisture retention, the tape creates an obstacle to the ingress of ultraviolet rays, noise, wind, cold, dust on the seams and ensures the reliability of fastening the frames in the openings. It enhances the view of the seam from the street, preventing the release of polyurethane foam outside.
The product is used not only for installing doors and windows – it is also used for sealing roof joints, concrete structures, gaps between various components of wooden buildings made of calibrated beams, sandwich panels. By and large, such a tape is suitable for sealing joints of any structures for which sealing issues are critical, including drains and ventilation communications.
The installation of such a tape, as a rule, is carried out when installing windows and doors by specialists without fail, which is regulated by regulations, including Russian GOSTs, which determine the procedure for arranging assembly seams – 30971-2002 and 52749-2007.
The high degree of protection of the seam from moisture and other unfavorable factors is due to the technical qualities of the tape, which is characterized by a high degree of wear resistance. So, PSUL:
- practically non-flammable;
- possesses water-repellent properties;
- retains good elasticity, since the impregnation does not harden;
- counteracts deformation;
- chemically neutral;
- resistant to solvents;
- not subject to decay;
- does not collapse due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation and fungi.
Such parameters allow using the tape without any problems in the temperature range from -50 to +90 degrees Celsius. The service life, according to the assurances of the product manufacturers, ranges from twenty to fifty years..
How to choose the right tape
Depending on the parameters of the structures in which the PSUL is installed, and the specific tasks during installation, the tape is produced in different lengths, thicknesses, degree of expansion, compression and water permeability. The length of the tape – usually in the range from 4 to 13 meters – is determined by the dimensions of the window or door blocks.
With a greater thickness (on average, this parameter is 40 millimeters), the reliability of the tape and its technical qualities increase. The expansion coefficient is selected depending on the size of the openings, and the compression coefficient – on the required degree of waterproofing. In the compressed state, the thickness of the tape ranges from 2 to 8 millimeters.
Obviously, a diverse assortment of belts requires careful selection of a product with specific characteristics. Unfortunately, the low quality of this sealant is not so rare due to the fact that many companies are currently engaged in the production of such tapes, among which there are unscrupulous manufacturers..
Therefore, when buying a tape, you should definitely demand from the sellers a product passport or a certificate of conformity. If this is the first time you are faced with the need to install a tape, you need to consult with specialists both on the choice and on the features of its installation.
When choosing a PSUL, first of all, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- Reliability of tape gluing depends on the width of the adhesive layer, which is chosen according to the dimensions of the structure..
- The degree of expansion of the PSUL, which determines the density of filling the seam, should not be excessive – it is quite enough to increase the thickness of the tape by 30% of the compressed state, and closer to 60% this value becomes critical.
- The width of the tape in the case of its installation in a window block should not be less than 20 millimeters. In the case of using a smaller sealant, such unpleasant consequences as leaks, aging of the tape, and even its squeezing out with polyurethane foam can occur..
Installation procedure and features
The full performance of the protective functions of the PSUL tape is possible only if not only the correct selection of its parameters, but also the correct performance of work on the installation of the product. Let’s look at the procedure for installing the tape in the most common version of its use – using the example of installing a window block.
Important! The dimensions of the installed glass blocks and openings should be specified in advance in order to determine the required amount of tape.
Getting started, first of all, you should cleanse the joints from contamination, then wipe with a damp cloth and degrease. The surface of concrete or brick is covered with an acrylic primer to prevent peeling of the coating layers.
After carrying out the preparatory work, you can start measuring the tape. About a centimeter is cut from the start point of the roll. The material is measured, while a centimeter of stock is added in height, and another one and a half centimeters in width. The cut tape is glued around the perimeter of the glass block, retreating from the outer edge up to 3 millimeters. The tape is first applied vertically. After that (and not earlier) the protective film is removed from it..
The tape should be glued to the areas of the foam, which are not affected by weather factors, including the sun’s rays, snow and rain, and strong winds. As a rule, these areas are usually located in the inner quarter of the window opening. Outside, you will have to install a strip (plastic casing).
Immediately after removing the protective film, the glass block must be installed in the opening as soon as possible. The urgency of this operation is due to the fact that after the protection is removed, the tape begins to spontaneously expand. Alternatively, unwind the tape from the roll as it is installed gradually, since gluing the expanded PSUL with the protection removed is quite problematic. In winter, for the fastest expansion of the tape, it can be heated with a construction hairdryer. At an air temperature of zero degrees, the sealant will expand in two days, and in the warm season – in about half an hour.
Remember – the correct selection and installation of the tape is the key to the long service life of windows and doors. Correctly selected high-quality PSUL tape, installed subject to the necessary rules or by trained specialists, is guaranteed to last for decades, protect glass blocks and door structures from moisture and other destructive factors. The service life of windows and doors without repairs will increase significantly.