What caulking or other material can I use to seal an aluminum Florida room to a concrete slab to water-seal the room?
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Room has an aluminum frame that is bolted to concrete slab with caulking along inner and outer wall to seal out rainwater, but it manages to leak a small amount into room during a heavy rain. Floor of room is the slab with indoor-outdoor carpet on it.
Caulking is a maintainable joint and consistently requires inspection and repairs. In your situation there are two items working against you in keeping the water out.
- First is expansion and contraction in the aluminum Florida room frame. Aluminum is susceptible to extreme amounts of expansion and contraction due to solar heat gain. It is this expansion and contraction which will continuously pull the caulk away from the concrete slab, creating gaps and allowing the water to infiltrate the interior of the room.
- Second is that certain caulks do not adhere to concrete. This lack of adhesion aids the ability for gaps to become present during the movement in the aluminum frame brought on by the solar heat gain.
The best way to stop future infiltration is to properly install flashing, if possible, along the exterior parameter of the room. If this is not feasible, I would recommend removing all of the caulk, installing backer rod (neoprene foam cord) between the aluminum frame and concrete creating a compression seal. After the backer rod has been installed apply a premium polyurethane adhesive sealant to both the interior and exterior joint between the frame and concrete slab following the manufacturer specification for sizes of bead and tooling.
Finally, keep in mind that an applied sealant will require yearly inspections and repairs as needed.