Caulk Talk: OPC’s One-on-One with DAP

December 19, 2011 | by Ethan (email) |

DAP is headquartered right here in downtown Baltimore and a couple weeks ago, they had me out for a “caulk talk.” It was a visit for just me, and we had a great time talking about caulks, sealants, adhesives, foams, and drywall repair.

DAP was born out of the merger between the Dicks-Pontius and Armstrong companies in 1957. DAP was based out of Ohio but moved to Baltimore 14 years ago. They have five manufacturing plants in the United States, Mexico and Canada including one in Baltimore. Besides being an industry leader, DAP is also involved in standards committees to ensure product claims meet certain specifications and Federal steering committees to drive innovation.

I found it interesting that DAP faces a huge challenge to educate professionals and consumers on the right product for specific applications. All the ingenuity in the world won’t help if users don’t understand where and how a product can be used. Inroads with initiatives like the Seal Your Home website have helped to convey “this is what product X was intended to accomplish.” A great example of this is the difference between caulks and sealants. Many people don’t realize they are not necessarily interchangeable. Caulks are mostly for aesthetic purposes like filling gaps. Sealants are designed to bend and expand to
fill joints.

DAP is really excited about their new Spec Line, a full line of sealants and adhesives purposed to identify industry specifications and provide the product that meets or exceeds minimum qualifications. They’ve even incorporated it into products names. For instance, DAP Dynaflex 920 meets ASTM C920 which sets down guidelines for the properties of an elastomeric joint sealant applied to exterior siding, windows and doors.

My visit also gave me an appreciation for all the different properties DAP works to optimize in their products. They juggles characteristics like paintability, elasticity, flexibility, cure time, anti-microbial protection, weather-ability, and how well it adheres to different substrates.

I’m thankful to DAP for having me out. Unfortunately, the manufacturing plant wasn’t a part of this visit. Maybe next time.

4 Responses
  1. I’ve been following DAP products for awhile and used a number of them on my projects. They work exactly as they should. They do a pretty good job of engaging their followers on social media too. Every Thursday they have a trivia question on twitter with the winner receiving a 5 gallon pail full of about 20 different products (ask me how I know!). Also, they are running a contest on their site where one can have their energy bills paid for a whole year.

    On your tour did they show you a color chart at all? I’m trying to figure out what colors the 920 (spec line) comes in. I’m looking specifically to match James Hardie Cobblestone and Khaki Brown. Also, have you seen the spec line in the big box stores? Where is it sold?

  2. Steve Padgett says:

    Thanks for asking Jeff,

    Color Development work to match siding and window manufacturer colors is on going. The DAP Spec Line will have both a printed color chart, as well as an on line color cross reference database, that will allow you to look up your Dynaflex 920 color by manufacturer.

    We do have color matches developed for all of the James Hardie Color Plus colors, including Cobblestone (CL503) and Khaki Brown ( CL500). Look for dealers to begin stocking these products in February 2011.

  3. Icarus says:

    When I walk in the hardware store and see all the DAP products, I have to admit I’m intimidated. Fortunately, their website is very helpful.

  4. HANDYMAN51 says:

    I’m one of those homeowners who isn’t very educated on the appropriate type of product needed for specific applications, Thanks for the ” Seal Your Home” website info.

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