Caulking


I'm caulking the tub in the bathroom. What a mess. Whoever did it before must not have taken the time to clean out the mold and mildew. The more I tear out, the more I find.
Other than bleach, what should I use to clean the mold?
Please recommend the EXACT caulk that you would use to caulk a bathtub. There are lots of types of caulk, and the all look the same to me.
As far as a I know, I don't want to use 100% silicone, but you tell me!
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Why wouldn't you want to use 100% silicone?
The preparation is paramount, so you'll be taking the bathtub out of service for a couple or few days at the least. Removing all of the old caulk, carefully scraping all accessible surfaces, use an old paint brush to brush a bleach/water mix to spray into the gap and letting it dry, do that several times, wear a rated respirator and have the window open with a fan blowing out in the window so you won't damage yourself.
Then mask off the tile and the tub edge with blue tape so you'll have a nice looking uniform caulk line, apply GE Silicone II for bathrooms (or approved equal) in the color of your choice. _Don't_ fill the gap as you want the caulk to be thinner in the direction that you want it to stretch (vertically), so either use backing rod (round foam used in caulking and weatherstripping) or some other method of bond breaking. Apply the caulk uniformly and quickly, use you finger or a plastic spoon dipped in a cup of water with a few drops of liquid soap to smooth out the caulk and remove the excess, remove the tape, lightly spray down the caulk with water and strike off the caulk one more time to flatten out the ridges that were created when you removed the tape. Don't overwork the caulk and don't try to remove more caulk after you've removed the tape.
R
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On 1/17/2010 12:43 PM, RicodJour wrote:

I don't understand. I've always been told to use my finger to push the caulk into the joint.
The sides of the tub are cheap, plastic surround. There is no tile. The area I'm caulking is between the tub and the surround. The gaps are very small.
The caulking between the linoleum and the bottom of the tub needs to be replaced, as well. It is not coming up well. In fact, linoleum has started curling on the edge since I've been messing with it. What kind of adhesive do I use to glue the linoleum back in place?
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That's because you were instructed by someone who didn't know what they were doing. Caulking is an art form and nearly all of the time the stuff is just smooshed into a joint and people call it good. Those caulking jobs fail.

I was assuming that you were talking about tiled walls. The same concept I mentioned about making the caulking narrower where you want it to stretch still applies, but the method is very different, and it is a method that you may not want to use. In your situation the correct caulking job would be to apply a bond-breaker tape along the lower edge of the tub surround to prevent the caulk from sticking where you don't want it to. Frankly, it's probably not worth doing in your case.
The same meticulous attention to cleanup and mold-killing is required, and I'd still use tape to provide a neat joint. If there's no appreciable gap left for the caulking, then the caulking will separate from the contact where the bond is weakest - usually where there is the least amount of caulk adhering to the surface.

Contact cement applied to both tile and substrate, or vinyl tile adhesive with weights to hold it down while it cures.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Caulk is flexible. I cannot imagine a tub that moves enough to break the seal...if the tub moves that much, caulk is not the major issue. If I'm caulking around a tub, I don't want it to be full of water ... I've begun to think that is an urban legend or left over from days when folks didn't realize what a squishy floor indicated :o)

Tape is good, and must be removed immediately so the caulk, if it spreads a tiny bit, will form to the tub edge and not to the height of the tape. After redoing several messy caulk jobs, I did without tape. Cut the tip so the diameter of the caulk bead is close to the width of the line you need to seal up - if a tiny bit oozes out alongside the tip as you run the bead, leave it alone until it cures. Then take a razor, cut the film between the bead and the "ooze" and pull up the excess. Pays to practice :o)

Might try a hair dryer - very carefully - to soften the curled edge so that it lies flat. If the flooring is sound, you may have to resort to nailing down a molding to cover the edge and hold down the lino. If you do so, be sure to prime and paint the molding, let it cure well, nail down and put fine line of caulk all around it. Probably would end up being neater than just caulk...be sure the ends of molding and all sides are painted to keep moisture out. I suspect that if the lino is curled, the floor has been wet enough that it might not grip fasteners.

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snip
Not sure if this would work as well on your project.
I got one of these but you do have to put the caulk down SPARINGLY.
It has a stiff rubber working end. Got it at HomeDepot.
http://www.wdiyc.org/catalog/vancouver-a.jpg
Basically works just like your finger but leaves a neater line.
Best outcome I've ever had with caulk.
Used it with GEII Silicone 3 hr caulk. Dried fast and looks just like silicone caulk.
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On 1/18/2010 1:27 PM, Master Betty wrote:

I started to pick on up yesterday, but I decided to try my finger first. Tonight's the night.

I think I know why it looks just like silicone. It is silicone. Seriously, I got the GE II with 1 hour drying time. Now I wonder if that's a good idea.
Why are there so many variations in caulk???
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donno but the 3 hour stuff has some drying agent mixed in that works. So it's not 100%. But it's still just as messy. Those quick drying ones are nice for kitchen work cause no where else to wash dishes!
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mcp6453 | 2010-01-18 | 2:32:21 PM wrote:

They're catering to guys like me. I don't want to make two trips to caulk your tub if I can get it done in one.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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Use Silicone or a mix with silicone. I just used the GE 3 hour stuff and it worked pretty good on my kitchen counter and I going to redo the shower with it. I bought a caulk finishing tool at HD and it came out the best caulking I've ever done.
If it's molded past the caulking joint and into the wall board you may have a problem. If it's tile, and they are holding, then is probably okay. I'd clean the mold with some soap and a stiff brush. Bleach is too caustic but you can use it. Again I wouldn't get too crazy with tile or your cleaning job can turn into a giant tub rebuilding project. Regardless, rinse thoughly before applying caulk.
It's a crappy job. I hate it.
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mcp6453 wrote:

The tile shop I get advise from says you definately do want 100% silicone in shower areas.
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On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 12:30:11 -0500, mcp6453 wrote:

Bleach'll probably do fine.

Silicone. It should be labelled as being designed for bathrooms / kitchens.
Clean out all the old crap. Fix things as needed so that there's a minimum of flexing (if you have panelling etc.). Make sure everything is completely and utterly dry (no moisture lurking deep within joints).
What's the joint between the tub and wall like? Baths always move a little when full compared to empty. If you've got overhanging tile, I'd say fill the tub completely (or just weigh down with concrete blocks) because caulk doesn't like being stretched too much, but does OK under compression, so you want the gap at its widest when you fill it. If you have tile / wall running down behind the edge of the tub though (i.e. a sliding joint) then you're probably better "half filling" the tub so it's in the middle of the two extremes of travel (full and empty) as that'll put the least amount of stress on the caulked joint during use.
I just use my finger to run caulking normally. Some people swear by tape, others by those little shaped scraper things.
cheers
Jules
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mcp6453 wrote:

I would use only silicone for a shower or tub, white or clear depending on location. I have no favorite brands....GE, DAP, whatever. As was explained to me by a professional installer, clean the surfaces with full-strength bleach after removing old caulk and soap scum. I use razor blade scrapers to remove the caulk and soap scum (even when it doesn't LOOK like there is any there), scrub with 3m scrubber (carefully so not to scratch) and dish deterg., rinse, dry, bleach, dry, caulk.
A lot of the problems with mildewy caulk - other than having a rank, unventilated bath - can be from either mildew spores on surface when caulk applied or from caulk that is gloppy and traps water, soap scum and debris.
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wrote:

I am facing the same *&^%$%^& job, and benefited a lot from the answers on this thread, esp. re: silicone which was NOT used last time around by a nogoodnick.
Also found a good step-by-step here:
http://homerenorepair.suite101.com/article.cfm/caulking_a_bathtub
Note that they don't cover cleaning and mold removal; I guess it's assumed. Some good confidence-building tips.
HTH
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