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Design Guides

Laws and Regulations Relating to Joint Sealants

  • U.S. Federal:  40 CFR 59, Subpart D - National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Architectural Coatings.  Search online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/ for a free copy of this document.
  • U.S. Northeast: OTC, Ozone Transport Commission, Model Rule for Adhesives and Sealants; the OTC is a multi-state regional body which has published this Model Rule for adoption by individual states. Requirements are similar to SCAQMD. www.otcair.org.
  • California:  SCAQMD, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Rule 1168 -- Adhesive and Sealant Applications; prescribes limits on VOC emissions of many organic compounds used in sealants. This rule is referenced by LEED-NC Version 2.2 and is apparently the most stringent in the U.S. Many manufacturers now simply say "SCAQMD compliant," which should be good enough for most purposes; to verify, get VOC data from manufacturer and compare to limits prescribed. (Note that products not containing any VOC's are also "SCAQMD compliant", by definition.) www.aqmd.gov/rules/reg/reg11/r1168.pdf.
  • CAL (CDPHSM) - Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions From Various Sources Using Environmental Chambers; State of California Department of Public Health; v1.1, 2010. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/IAQ/Documents/cdph-iaq_standardmethod_v1_1_2010%20new1110.pdf.  This is a test for VOC emissions from installed products, rather than VOC content of uninstalled products. This document is not just a test method.  It contains the allowable emissions limits for numerous chemicals and includes several scenarios for calculating the results.

Elastomeric Sealants

  •  ASTM C920 - Standard Specification for Elastomeric Joint Sealants (covers any type of sealant with movement capability of at least 12-1/2 percent); www.astm.org.
  • ASTM C1193 - Standard Guide for Use of Joint Sealants; www.astm.org.
  • ASTM C1472 - Standard Guide for Calculating Movement and Other Effects When Establishing Sealant Joint Width; www.astm.org.
  • ASTM C1481 - Standard Guide for Use of Joint Sealants with Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS); www.astm.org.
  • Sealants:  The professional's Guide; Sealant, Waterproofing, and Restoration Institute; http://shop.swrionline.org/Sealants%3A-The-Professionals%27-Guide-28.htm.

 Solvent-Based Sealants

  • ASTM C 804 - Use of Solvent-Release Type Sealants; www.astm.org.
  • ASTM C1311 - Standard Specification for Solvent Release Sealants; www.astm.org.

Latex Sealants

  • ASTM C 834 - Standard Specification for Latex Sealants (covers only water-based acrylic latex); www.astm.org.
  • ASTM C 790 - Use of Latex Sealing Compounds; www.astm.org.

Sample Data Sheet Source


Tips for BSD SpecLink-E Users

SpecLink-E includes joint sealants of all the types described in this Spec Guide, in Section 079005 - Joint Sealers.  The section number is different from this Guide because the SpecLink-E section also includes preformed gaskets and preformed compressible foam sealers, which are in MasterFormat 079100, not 079200.

The entire discussion of Chapter 4 - Implementation in the Construction Documents, is relevant to SpecLink-E Section 079005.  However, the Schedule at the end of PART 3 is only a sample -- you will need to construct your own schedule for each project.

Cross-referencing joint sealant work that appears in other sections is also going to be necessary.  We recommend that when the project spec is substantially complete (or all relevant sections have been added to the project), you do a "Find" on the project, looking for the word "sealant".  This will find all sections where such a paragraph is either already included in the specification or could be (i.e. it is an available statement in a section included in the project, but is not active).  There are almost 150 master sections that contain the word sealant.  These statements fall into 2 categories:

  • Sealants that are to be installed by the installer of the main product specified in that section and ARE NOT explicitly or implicitly included in the 079005 Schedule description.  If you want to cross-reference them, simply include the section number and title and the statement "sealants for X".
  • Sealants that are to be installed by the installer of the main product specified in that section and COULD BE considered as part of the work of Section 079005 because they are included in the 079005 Schedule description. 
    • To be sure there is no confusion as to who is to do the work, you need to use one of the methods described in Chapter 4 -- either include an exception in the Schedule or cross-reference them in PART 1 under RELATED REQUIREMENTS.
    • For these sealants, the product specification can be included in either that section or in 079005.  The easiest way is to include all product specifications in 079005 and cross-reference using Type designations.  If you do that, be sure you don't change the Type designations in 079005 after assigning them in other sections.

VOCs:  The easiest way to specify VOC limitations is to use Section 016116 Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Content Restrictions.  That section is comprehensive and includes LEED v4 requirements.

End of Appendix