The caulking on the iron tub where the tub meets the plastic panel is
growing mold, cracking and leaking ad under a year old. Water has
already penetrated the panels. I'd like to fix this problem myself but
annually the manager sends the plumber in to strip the old and put in
white caulking. The plumber hasn't come and I have a GE 100%
silicone that I will use. Is this the right caulk and what's a practical
step to fix this?
Clean out the gap. Make sure all dirt and loose material is removed.
Wash and rinse it well, let it dry. If there is any mold, use some
bleach mixed in with the cleaning solution. Fill the tub half full
with water. Then use any of the kitchen/bath type caulks, of an
appropriate color. The GE silicone will work fine. Spread a bead,
then use your finger to smooth it out.
Very good advice and let me double up on the Kitchen/bath stuff, and
don't be afraid to pay an an extra dollar or Euro for the best. It will be
worth it. The good stuff does not mold nearly as quickly.
All good suggestions. Keep in mind that the old caulk should be
competely removed down to the tile/porcelian and then the area should
be cleaned with alcohol and allowed to dry.
Note well that if the old caulk was silicon caulk, new silicon caulk
will not stick to it, so the old stuff MUST come off completely.
Is it OK to strip off caulking part way along the height of the wall,
and caulk upto it? I mean will it stick where the new caulking
(silicone) meets the old one? I'd hate to strip out the old good
caulking just because it's so time consuming.
Also, is it better to finish and smooth one side at a time, or finish
the entire tub, then smooth?
If I use grout instead of caulk to seal the gap between the wall tile
and the rim of the tub, am I asking for trouble.
I noticed in the above reply to fill the tub half full of water. Is that
to ensure the gap is at it's widest?
The typical way of caulking - laying down a bead and smoothing it with
your finger - looks nice but will not last as long as it should.
Basically you're placing the caulk in a way that guarantees that it
will open up at an edge.
Read my recent reply to Chuck B's post regarding a similar situation.
Then look at the diagrams on this page:
http://www.scofield.com/Trafficalk-3gTD9-03.html You don't have to
read all of the technical stuff.
If you use a GE silicone, make sure it is meant for bathrooms - there
are mold inhibitors in that caulk. Make sure the surface are CLEAN. I
mean clean. Bone dry, shiny like new, and wiped down with alcohol
prior to taping and caulking. Place the backer rod and/or bond breaker
tape, tape off the surfaces to be protected with blue painter's tape,
and then start caulking.
Run a bead in the joint slightly overfilling it, smooth the caulk with
your finger pressing it into the joint. When you've finished a
section, pull the tape. Llightly cut the corners at a 45 degree angle
if necessary, so you won't pull up tape in an area that hasnt' been
Lightly spritz the smoothed caulk and surrounding with a spray bottle
of water that has a few drops of liquid soap in it. This will prevent
the caulk from sticking to the area that had been under the tape. Wet
your finger in a cup of water with a couple of drops of soap, then
smooth the caulk once again - this will flatten the edges that were
raised when the tape was removed. Wipe your finger dry and wet it in
the cup of water every stroke or two so that no caulk sticks to your
It usually takes me a full day to caulk a new bathroom installation.
Most people might spend an hour, but as the number one complaint in a
bathroom is leaks in showers and tubs, and the most expensive repair
(often problems don't show up right away and they've already become a
much bigger problem to repair), it's silly to skimp on the first line
of defense in waterproofing.
There's a plastic strip that I've been seeing at the HD, etc. for bath
tub edges. It has a fold along the length, and one side of the fold
goes olong the tub, the other along the walls. The inside has adhesive
to stick to the tub and walls. Unlike caulk, this would not be affected
then the tub is cleaned with an abrasive cleaner and brush. Any
experiences with this?
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