Vulkem 45 SSL Vs. Sikaflex: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between Vulkem 45 SSL Vs. Sikaflex is that Vulkem 45 SSL is a semi-self-leveling, single-component, moisture-curing, low-modulus, polyurethane sealant. It is suitable for use in expansion in parking decks, sidewalks, floors, plazas, and any other horizontal surfaces. It is also suitable for use in continuous water immersion; Sikaflex is self-leveling, but it is also available in a textured version. It is suitable for construction and civil purposes and has premium quality.

Vulkem 45 SSL Vs. Sikaflex

Vulkem 45 SSL Vs. Sikaflex: Specs & Uses

☀️Moisture & UV rays

Vulkem 45 SSL: More resistant

Sikaflex: Less resistant


Vulkem 45 SSL: Semi-self-leveling

Sikaflex: Self-leveling

🛠️Common Uses

Vulkem 45 SSL is expansion joint sealant for parking decks; Water-tight sealant for plazas and horizontal surfaces

Sikaflex is the sealant for sidewalks, driveways, balconies, garages, pavements, terraces, and civil areas; provides durable and waterproof adhesion for construction purposes.

Review of Vulkem 45 SSL

Vulkem 45 SSL
Recently, I took on a project to replace the rotted wood expansion joints on my Leisure Pools fiberglass inground pool deck. After researching various options, I decided to give Vulkem 45 SSL a try based on the positive reviews and its suitability for horizontal applications.

✅Larger Than Regular Caulk

Right off the bat, I knew this product was different from your standard caulk. The 28 oz cartridge is massive compared to the regular 10 oz tubes I’m used to handling.

A regular caulking gun simply won’t cut it – you’ll need a heavy-duty one designed for these oversized cartridges.

using Vulkem 45 SSL to reattaching some loose tiles around my pool

After removing the old expansion joints, I installed Owens Corning closed cell backer rod to provide the proper joint depth. Rookie mistake – I initially went with too narrow of a backer rod, causing the Vulkem to seep through any openings and create a mess.

Lesson learned, I switched to a wider Owens Corning rod that fit snugly, creating a clean channel for the sealant.

The application process for Vulkem 45 SSL takes some getting used to. The consistency is much thinner than regular caulk, so protecting the surrounding areas is crucial. It flows freely, self-leveling beautifully into the joints.

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Don’t be tempted to overfill, as it won’t level correctly once it starts skinning over after about an hour.

In terms of weather considerations, the quick skin-over time of an hour allowed me to apply it during a window of dry weather, even though rain was forecasted for later that day. However, I let it cure completely for 24 hours before any foot traffic just to be safe.

I love the paintability of Vulkem 45 SSL. After waiting overnight, I was able to apply a coat of Behr concrete paint over it with no adhesion issues whatsoever.

While the initial drying time was on the longer side (around 12 hours under moderate temperatures), I could comfortably use my Hayward pool and deck the very next day without any issues.

For those wondering about coverage, even with some overfill wastage, the 28 oz cartridge was sufficient for approximately 25 linear feet of 1/2″ wide expansion joints around my 16′ x 32′ Leisure Pools swimming pool.

Vulkem 45 SSL

❌Not a Product for Amateurs

A word of caution – this is not a product for amateurs. Proper surface prep and technique are essential to avoid a messy outcome. I found taping off the joint edges with masking tape, overfilling slightly, then removing the tape once it started setting (around 10 minutes) helped achieve those clean lines.

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💬 FAQ of Vulkem 45 SSL

Q: What is the recommended waiting time before painting vulcan 45 ssl?

A: I typically wait overnight before painting with vulcan 45 ssl, and have found that the paint adheres well.

Q: Is it possible to paint over Vulkem 45 SSL?

A: Yes, it is possible to paint over Vulkem 45 SSL, as with any Polyurethane Sealant.

Q: Can you provide the size of this tube? I’m having trouble matching it with the manufacturer’s packages and need to calculate coverage.

A: This is the Large size caulking tube, which is larger than the normal size and requires a larger caulk gun. I don’t have the exact dimensions, but I hope this information is helpful.

Q: What color does this product come in? I am not familiar with the “Misc” designation.

A: The color of this product could be described as a light gray. It matches well with most cement that is not bright white.

Q: How long should I wait between applying the product and exposing it to rainfall?

A: When I used this sealer to repair cracks in my concrete driveway, I found that it skimmed over in a couple of hours. However, I waited at least 24 hours before driving on it. Depending on the application, I would recommend giving the product at least a full day without disturbance.

Q: Can Vulkem 45 SSL be used to seal the backer rod without using Vulkem 116?

A: Vulkem 45 SSL is self-leveling and can be used for the entire job without the need to use Vulkem 116 to seal the backer rod.9

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What’s Sikaflex (Sikaflex-291)

Sikaflex (Sikaflex-291)
Whether you’re repairing a leaky pool skimmer, adhering solar panels to your RV roof, or sealing seams on your boat, Sikaflex 291 is the product you need in your arsenal.

✅Repairing Cracks and Seams

One of the first projects I tackled with Sikaflex 291 was sealing the roof seams on my 2015 GMC Sierra pickup truck. The self-leveling nature of the product allowed it to spread evenly and create a seamless seal that has withstood harsh weather conditions for years.

I’ve also used it to repair cracks in my Hayward pool skimmer, and it worked like a charm, providing a flexible and durable fix.

demonstrating the thickness of Sikaflex-291

Adhering Materials Sikaflex 291 is not just a sealant; it’s also an incredible adhesive.

I’ve used it to adhere rubber matting to the wooden and aluminum deck of my Bayliner boat, and it has held up remarkably well against the elements. I’ve even used it to secure solar panels to the roof of my Winnebago Travato camper van, and despite the 24-pound weight of the panels, the bond has remained rock-solid.

Underwater Applications – One of the most impressive things about Sikaflex 291 is its ability to withstand constant water exposure. I’ve used it on the seams of our Whitewater West water slide, which is underwater all the time, and it has shown no signs of degradation.

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It’s also been a lifesaver for sealing the plexiglass windows in the sides of my concrete swimming pool below the water level.

Versatile and Durable – Sikaflex 291 is incredibly versatile and can be used on a wide range of materials, including masonry, rock, glass, and even metal. I’ve used it to reattach frameless windows to the cabin of my Sea Ray yacht, and the bond is as strong as ever.

It’s also suitable for use in showers, although it doesn’t contain the same mold and mildew inhibitors as traditional tub and shower silicones.

Sikaflex (Sikaflex-291)

💬 FAQ of Sikaflex (Sikaflex-291)

Q: Is the finish of the black caulk glossy or more matte like a dull rubber?

A: The black caulk has a dark matte finish, not quite dull, but definitely not glossy.

Q: Can the black caulk bond to bare aluminum for sealing around rivets?

A: Yes, the black caulk can bond to bare aluminum. I have used it to seal my roof fans on my Sprinter and it adhered well to painted metal, wood framing, plastic shroud, and aluminum pressure plates. It’s an excellent product that shows no wear even after a year. Another great option is the 3m 4200 Marine Adhesive.

Q: Is the black caulk suitable for bonding to rubber?

A: I’m not sure about rubber, but I have accidentally gotten it on various surfaces and it has stuck like paint, such as my clothes, stainless railings, fiberglass cabin (works as perfectly as a fiberglass bonding epoxy), teak, cork fishing rod handle, and my leather wallet.

Q: Would the black caulk work well for adhering a spoiler?

A: Yes, it would probably work great for adhering a spoiler.