The open cell backer rod is known for its property to compress greatly. It can be used in all applications where it will be covered with chemical sealant, caulking, cold sealant and all other sealants and hot pour. It is available in one color, yellow, and it is basically odor-free. Open cell backer soft rod is chemically inert and uses polyurethane in the manufacturing process. In applications where it will be heated, it can stand up to 500 degrees F. Hot pour and chemically treated sealants are also compatible with this kind of backer rod. During the curing process, the sealant is able to cover both sides of the rod because of its open air property resulting in a bubble-free and faster process. The result is also more uniform. Because of its open cell characteristic, it is able to contain the gas and cold flow – a common problem in other materials.
For joints that require concrete expansion, the backer rod should be combined with self-leveling sealants. Here’s how to apply the backer rod:
- It is important that the opening or the joint to be filled is thoroughly cleaned before starting the task. Make sure there is no water present, frost or any loose materials.
- After you have made sure that it is dry, put the backer rod inside the joint while compressing. For proper installation, it is recommended to use a roller or any blunt tool.
- The depth of the rod should be based on the sealant’s manufacturer’s instruction. The most common is that it should be forced up to half of the width of the joint. In order to get the right depth, use a roller or a template.
- While installing, be careful that you don’t tear, stretch or damage the backer rod. It must be forced inside the joint gently for a tight fit. Again, use a blunt tool or a roller for this step.
- After making sure that the backer rod is properly sealed into the joint, pour the self-leveling sealant.