Products lower in volatile organic compounds–chemicals that may cause headaches and dizziness, as well as contribute to ozone break up–remain the biggest trend in the caulks, sealants, and adhesives industry, with most manufacturers offering low-VOC options.

However, other products have made their way to the forefront, including ones that protect window and door openings to make a building more energy efficient, wider color varieties, and quick-drying technologies.

Low-VOC Titebond concrete joint sealant closes gaps in concrete floors and decks. It contains no solvents and uses no isocyanates, compounds that cause eye and respiratory irritation. The sealant flows into horizontal cracks and gaps and is self-leveling, says the maker, Franklin International. 800.669.4583.

StoGuard Tape from Sto Corp. is a self-adhering, waterproof, air-barrier material for multiple substrates. The tape sticks to most clean, dry, smooth surfaces, the manufacturer says, including most housewraps, asphalt-saturated felt, prepared concrete, plywood, and OSB sheathings. The tape is designed for above-grade vertical surface applications, such as rough opening protection at windows and doors. 800.221.2397.

From Benjamin Obdyke comes Gap Guard, a low-pressure, closed-cell, expandable foam sealant that insulates against small cracks that surround window and door cavities during installation. It helps prevent mold growth and optimizes energy efficiency, the maker says. The sealant's R-value per inch is nearly double that of some competitors, and its closed cell density protects better than open cell varieties, the manufacturer says. A Gap Guard gun applicator that works with aerosol foam and a Gap Guard cleaner to remove foam are available. 800.346.7655.

Dow Window & Door 1000 Sealant by Dow Building Solutions is made to seal window and door framework and exterior and interior trim, as well as finish joints and interfaces. It resists moisture and mildew and has a non-yellowing formula. A rust inhibitor reduces the potential for corrosion. 866.583.2583.

OSI Pro-Series QUAD Advanced Formula sealant from the Henkel Group is a low-VOC product that meets new state and federal regulations. The product provides all-weather adhesion and easy extrusion, the maker says, even through water and in temperatures below 20 degrees. When cured, it resists mildew and will not crack or yellow, the manufacturer says. It comes in more than 89 standard colors, including ones that match exterior siding from major manufacturers. 888.445.0208.

Mapei expands its grout color palette to include 36 colors, with more midtone and pastel-type shades and new hues of blue and green. 800.426.2734.

DAP's Kwik Seal 3.0 kitchen and bath adhesive caulk can be exposed to water and moisture after three hours of drying. The caulk includes anti-microbial product protection from Microban that fights the growth of bacteria and mold. This means the product will be easier to keep clean and will stay cleaner, the maker says. Paintable and with a low-VOC content, the caulk comes with a lifetime guarantee. 888.327.8477.

–Victoria Markovitz