Aimed at:- Professional trade users and confident DIYers in the know.
Pros: easy to use, strong and flexible solution. Replacing nails?
Every time I go on site these days I see yet another way in which builders’ adhesives are being used. From worktops to skirtings, adhesives are clearly replacing mechanical fixings where possible. If used properly, adhesives can be quicker and as effective as nails or screws. They are especially good where a nail might be close to a pipe or electricity cable embedded in a wall.
So the case for builders’ adhesives has been made and proven – now we are onto the second stage where the alternative and niche products are being rolled out.
Most of the builders’ adhesives I have seen or used have been a dull khaki colour or white. These colours are not a problem if the adhesive is going to be out of sight, but there are dozens of places where a clear adhesive would be invisible or nearly so – think mirrors, glass and metals for a start. Everbuild’s Clear Fix is the clear (sorry!) solution to the problem.
I was sent a couple of standard glue gun cartridges of Clear Fix to try out, and you can literally see through the plastic cartridge as though it were empty – so it seems almost invisible. Apparently, under most normal conditions, apart from extreme UV light and permanent darkness, the adhesive will retain this clarity so its look should not spoil as it ages.
We are now totally used to wonder adhesives, so we probably have high expectations of the adhesive’s bonding strength. What can also be important is that the initial “grab” should be good and the glued tile or whatever should remain in place after the adhesive has set in other words “no slump or slip”. Clear Fix, in my experience has excellent grab and no slip after the adhesive has gone off. I glued a heavy mirror into a frame with Clear Fix, supported it in place with masking tape while the glue went off – and the result was a permanent strong fix.
What makes Clear Fix even more versatile is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors and can also be applied onto slightly wet surfaces without affecting its ability to set and grip. Once set, Everbuild claims that it is weatherproof and waterproof. I have to rely on this because my test isn’t long term enough to prove it one way or another, but I doubt whether Everbuild would make a claim that they haven’t confirmed in their own research and trials.
Clear Fix relies on a chemical reaction to cure so is free of solvents and can be overpainted by most paints if needed – but a quick trial of a small corner would probably be wise with some paints.
Another claim I couldn’t test is that Clear Fix can resist temperature extremes from – 40 degrees C up to +150 degrees C. However, since the glue is silicone based, this is not unusual.
Another thing that silicone is very good at resisting is a wide range of chemicals and petrol – hence its use in petrol feed pipes in cars for example. Clear Fix is resistant to many, if not most, commonly used domestic and light industrial solvents and chemicals so can be confidently used where these might be present.
Despite all of its many hi-tech virtues, application of Clear Fix is easily done with a common sealant gun. Most users will know that you have to carefully cut off the seal at the end of the cartridge and screw on the nozzle. The nozzle can then be cut to size to deliver a bigger or smaller bead according to the needs of the job in hand.
A normal range of working temperatures found indoors and out in the UK is good enough for applications, and even a little bit of damp shouldn’t stop you.
In use I found that Clear Fix has quite a reasonable body, so if needed, it can be used as a filler in small gaps. Because it is so clear it doesn’t really show up the gap as a glaring white or brown adhesive might.
Its use is also indicated on a really wide range of substrates from relatively porous plasterboard, bricks and sheet materials, to smooth materials like metals, fiberglass, tiles and glass. To me, it seems as though the Clear Fix adhesive is about as strong and versatile as it is possible to make an adhesive without being very difficult to use and apply in most situations.
I was able to do what I thought would be a good test of Clear Fix’s capabilities with a simple test. The editor’s outdoor metal postbox has lost a few panels due to age and insensitive handling from the postie. The metal surfaces to be rejoined are relatively smooth and shiny, and the resulting repair will be hung on the wall outside the front door in all sorts of weather and temperatures. Also, the metal has been bent in some places, leaving some small gaps to be filled in order for the postbox to retain its watertightness.
Applying the adhesive onto the metal was pretty straightforward with the sealant gun, but I did get a bit messy as I tried to push the panels into place. I clamped the panel into position with spring clamps once the box was reassembled. After an hour or so at room temperature the glue had cured and the result was a rigid postbox again, slightly battered, but as good as new in terms of its ability to do its job.
Cleaning up was easy – I simply used an industrial wipe to clean my hands and the box after I had finished the job.
I will be able to check on how the joints are doing on my regular visits to the ToolBusiness and Hire office.
For retailers, Clear Fix adhesive is available in a standard box of 12 cartridges and has a good shelf life of twelve months in standard conditions.