I am in the process of re-doing two bathrooms. I needed to quickly get
at least one shower working so I installed an acrylic tub and a tub
surround. I caulked the thing once using ployseamseal tub & tile
caulk, but it failed. I figured I hadn't given the caulk enough time
to cure, so I took everything apart, cleand everything with bleach and
alcohol. Then I put it all back together, re-caluked, let cure for 48
hours, and it's failing again. There is six people in my family so I
am now thinking that that many showers in the morning is killing the
caulk job. Any recommendations on better brands of caulk?
I am amazed that you're having a problem with PolySeamSeal.
I've been using this stuff for over 20 years & I've never had it fail.
here is the link for the TDS
if you look at the limitations section
there are some words about "below the water line" & "constant water
if the six showers in the morning do not allow caulk to dry out maybe
that is the problem
or if the shower / tub configuration is such that water can pool or sit
on the caulk?
DAP DynaFlex 230 is also another possibility
or just bite the bullet & go with a silicone.
I'm not a big fan of Polyseamseal, particularly in wet areas. Silicone
caulk is my preferred beast at the tub/tile joint and for tub
surrounds. I do use latex caulk when I need color-matched caulk, but
in my experience Polyseamseal hardens over time and loses its
elasticity (it fails). BobK doesn't seem to have had the same
expereinces with it.
Latex caulk is easier to apply (a bit), easier to clean up, and is
affected more by water during its curing period. Some people use too
much water when smoothing latex caulk during application. It's also
possible that you have too deep of a caulk joint. The caulk should be
designed to move in one direction only, and there should be backing rod
and/or bond breaker tape used to control depth and adhesion to the
If you want the most tenacious caulk and can settle for a more limited
palette of colors, polyurethane would be a good choice - anything by 3M
All of my experience w/PolySeamSeal has been in SoCal so maybe it's a
environmental condition thing
even when stuff gets wet out here it generally doesn't stay wet for
I would agree about the urethane suggestion if you don't want to make
the jump to silicone.
If the area is not perfectly clean it can fail, bleach should be used to
kill any spores, after scrubbing use a razor blade to get it clean.
Silicone caulk is best but check the expiration date, old caulk never
In my experience caulk failure is usually the result of poor surface
prep. Everything must be clean and dry. Note: Bleach will kill mold, but
is does not clean anything. All traces of the old caulk must be removed.
Where are you using the caulk? Inside, between layers of plastic or
along outside of seam? Only time I have ever had caulk fail was when I
removed an aluminum/glass shower door unit to clean up and recaulk.
Being a newbie at that, I slathered latex caulk all along the edge of
the unit before I reinstalled it. The more, the better, right? :o)
Waited couple of days, and first shower had caulk running down outside
of tub :o) Ick!
Cleaned it all up. Went to pro installer for free advice, got sillycone
and did it the right way. Wipe with bleach first. I don't look for
particular brand, but it is usually DAP.
Never put in a plastic shower/tub unit, but what do install instructions
tell you to use?
Yes, everything is rock solid and stable. I did however use a lot of
caulk :-( I don't normally, but it failed so poorly the last time I
went with the more is better route. I laid a thick bead down, then
slid the panels in place over it. Then swipe the bead via a wet and
soapy finger. Everything is brand new so mold is not a problem, but I
did clean away old caulk with a razor, then scrubbed with bleach and
then alcohol. I was wondering if grout would bind to the plastic....
Also, I thought this polyseamseal was silicone....?
I've heard to fill tub with cold water while caulking (and for the two
days of drying time). This stretches the tub DOWN as best it's gonna
go. When it's empty it comes up, which compresses the caulk. Whic is
No idea if this works or helps.
Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
I can't see your setup, but it sounds like the same mess (mistake) I
made when I caulked around the frame of the aluminum/glass door unit
before I replaced it. Didn't know that caulk only went on the edge of
the joint after the unit is in place :o) Had a latex waterfall goin' on
first time I showered - water hit glass door and ran out under the
frame, taking the goo with it. :o)
After a day or two I notice that if I touch the caulk there is white
residue on my finger, which leads me to think it's not dry. Then when
I take a damp rag to wipe off the ledge, some strings of caulk come off
and float down the edge of the tub. It's not completely gone, but
some weep holes are devloping etc... I tore apart the whol tub and
surround, cleaned everything with bleach fantastic, then wipe down with
alcohol, dried, and re-caulked. Same difference. I was thinking
about tearing it back out and using the silicone that they use for fish
tanks. I don't know what else to do. I never had a problem with caulk
before. Same brand from two different stores so I assume that the
batches are different.
Stormin Mormon wrote:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.