How long does silicone take to dry? It’s a good question. After all, when you are carrying out repairs around your home, or in someone else’s home, knowing how long that work is going to take to fully complete can be crucial.
The quick answer to the question of silicone drying time is about 30 minutes. That’s the simple answer. And it’s accurate too. However, don’t be fooled; just because your silicone is dry, that doesn’t mean you can assume your job is done – you must also factor in the curing time. So, in reality, the answer to the question of how long does mastic take to dry is around 24 hours. That’s quite a difference!
Let’s look a little closer into why this is.
How Long Does Silicone Take To Get Dry?
As mentioned above, silicone will be dry to the touch in approximately 30 minutes. Drying means that first – and fastest – stage of applying the mastic, during which all the moisture evaporates and, if you put your finger to the silicone, it would come away completely dry.
Silicone is a rubbery, flexible plastic which often begins life – at least as most users will see it – as a thick liquid. Silicone has high heat resistance and low toxicity, making it ideal for use around the home. It is also water-resistant, which is why it is used to such great effect in bathrooms and kitchens.
Read also: How Much Sealant Do I Need?
Once the silicone reacts with the air, it starts to dry out, and this is a rapid process which is why the initial stage of drying is quick, and why the technical answer to the question of how long does sealant take to dry is approximately half an hour.
How Long Should I Leave Silicone To Dry After Use?
If we’re being pedantic (and sometimes in home renovation this is the best way to be), the question of how long you should leave silicone to dry after use is a better one – one that will give you a better outcome – than how long it takes to dry. This is because of the curing time that is required, meaning that you should leave the silicone to dry for 24 hours after initially placing it.
Curing is a much slower and chemically more complex process that takes place within the silicone once oxygen reaches it. The first stage of curing is the drying stage, and although the silicone seems to be dry and therefore usable after this time, it won’t be completely watertight until after 24 hours has passed.
Again, 24 hours is an estimate, and some factors need to be taken into account since they can influence the curing time one way or another. These include:
- The type of silicone used (specialist silicone sealant may take longer than 24 hours since its structure is slightly more complicated)
- How pure the silicone is (impure silicone takes longer to cure)
- The humidity of the room or climate (strange as it may seem, a more humid climate generally shortens curing times)
- Temperature (the hotter the better for curing)
For the best results, leave your silicone for at least 24 hours before use, and ideally in a warm room for optimum curing.