The paper explores the relationship between elevated moisture in sealant substrates and the ability of sealants to develop and maintain adequate bond strength. Documented sealant adhesive failures, due to moisture conditions of substrates, and the use of various sealant primers and surface treatments on new construction and renovations of existing buildings are reviewed. Laboratory and field tests reveal that, typically, a low adhesive bond develops when elevated moisture levels are present, even when substrates feel dry to the touch, and particularly when certain primers are used. Laboratory tests further show that the use of certain primers, even when the sealant substrate is very damp, can greatly increase sealant bond strength and the ability of sealants to remain bonded even when sealants are immersed in water for extended periods after initial cure.
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