When it comes time to use silicone, you will want to consider how it’s going to be applied and how long it’s going to take to cure.
Silicone as a material is resilient, well-established, and effective for a wide array of situations. This is why it’s important to have it as a part of your ongoing setup.
While this is true, you also have to think about how well silicone can handle moisture. This includes asking, will silicone cure underwater?
Silicone will not cure underwater. It should always be cured with exposure to air. This helps solidify the curing process and ensure it does not crack or develop certain weaknesses.
It’s a common mistake to assume the silicone will do well underwater. This is due to how waterproof it can be once it has been cured.
While it does handle moisture well, it is not going to do so when it is curing. You have to let the process finish and then use it as a way to protect against leaks.
This article will explain the reasons you cannot cure silicone underwater.
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Reasons You Can’t Cure Silicone Underwater
1. Requires Oxygen To Cure
When it’s time to dry silicone underwater, you are not going to see good results.
For the most part, the silicone is not going to settle at all. You will start to notice it strip away from the surface, become clumpy, and simply not work.
This happens because silicone requires oxygen to cure.
If there is no oxygen in the environment, it will begin to lose its shape. This makes it unstable and ineffective.
You have to use an underwater sealant that is specifically designed to handle such conditions. Traditional silicone is not going to cut it nor will it work the way you want it to.
When you are drying silicone, you want to give it as much time with oxygen. This includes increasing the airflow in the space.
This can’t be done with excess water around the silicone. It will not settle and is likely going to fall apart after a few minutes.
2. Creates Cracks And Instability
The first thing you are going to notice with silicone underwater are the cracks.
This will happen within minutes.
The cracks are going to form as the silicone begins to clump up and lose its shape. This is natural because too much moisture gets into the silicone causing it to lose its structural integrity.
Before silicone is cured, it is not as stable as it needs to be.
This is why oxygen is required and that only comes with hours in the right environment during the drying process.
If you don’t account for this, you are going to have unstable silicone on your hands that is not going to dry.
This is one of the simple facts of drying silicone underwater.
When you attempt to cure silicone underwater, you will be going at things without purpose. It is not going to work because the water is immediately going to get into the silicone causing it to lose its shape.
Even if you manage to get it to settle, you will end up with an inefficient hold.
This causes the silicone to eventually strip away, lose its shape, or crack. The best approach is to remove the water, apply the silicone, and then add the water once it has cured.
4. Will Not Stick To The Surface
Let’s assume you have water everywhere.
You are going to apply the silicone as you normally would hoping it works. It won’t because the first thing you are going to notice is the silicone not sticking to the surface.
It will continue to fall away.
This happens because there is water between the silicone and the surface. When there is water, the silicone is not going to have anything to hold onto.
This is why you need the surface to be dry before applying the silicone. If you can’t do this, you need to go with a specialized underwater sealant that is made for that specific purpose.
Will silicone cure underwater?
Silicone is not going to cure underwater. This is due to excess moisture causing the silicone to fall apart, become clumpy, and remain unstable. The best strategy is to remove the water, apply the silicone, and then add the water later. If not, use a specialized underwater sealant instead.
This is the only way to make sure you get the results you are after and the seal is perfect.
If you attempt to use silicone underwater, it will be a failed effort. It is never going to dry and you will end up wasting silicone.
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