It’s important to properly caulk around bathtubs and shower enclosures. Improperly caulked areas are subject to damage caused by moisture. Water can seep behind showers and bathtubs, ruining floorboards and walls. Also, dangerous forms of mold and mildew can form. Prevent damage from moisture by replacing missing and worn caulk around bathtubs, showers, and other areas where water can cause problems.
It’s important to know why caulk sometimes fails so you can avoid future problems. Caulk can fail because of improper application as well as repeated contact with solvents and humidity. It can also fail because the wrong type of caulk may have been used, to begin with. It’s important to use waterproof caulking made especially for applications around bathtubs and showers. Doing so will ensure a long-lasting waterproof seal.
Before you begin, it’s very important to completely remove old caulking material. New silicone caulk will not stick to old silicone caulk. Also, the finished job will look much nicer if all the old caulking material has been properly removed. Solvents are available to aid in the removal of old caulking material. Follow the directions on the solvent, and use an awl or a scraper to remove the old caulk. If necessary, carefully scrape off any remaining caulk with a razor blade. Use caution when scraping off the old caulk so you don’t damage the surface you are working on.
After most of the old caulking material has been dislodged, remove any remaining caulk using a non-abrasive cleanser. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the areas where the new caulk will be applied. Dry the areas, and go over them with rubbing alcohol. Use paper toweling or absorbent rags to dry the areas one last time.
To make the caulk line as even as possible around a bathtub or shower, mark off the area to be caulked with masking tape. Doing so will ensure professional looking results, and clean up will be a breeze.
If you’re caulking a bathtub, fill it with water before beginning. The added weight will pull away the seams where the tub connects to the wall. Without the added weight, the bathtub caulk will crack and pull away from the wall the first time it is filled with water. When applying the caulk, it’s also a good idea to get into the bathtub to increase the weight.
You can apply either caulking material designed for use with a caulking gun, or you can apply the type that comes in a squeeze tube. Carefully cut the tip off the caulking material so the bead will be appropriately sized. Using continuous steady pressure, follow the seams around all areas where water can seep through. Make the size of the caulk line as even as possible. Applying gently pressure to the caulking gun handle or tube will help keep the bead uniform in size.
When all areas have been caulked, use a wet finger or smoothing tool to fill in any remaining gaps. Allow the caulk to dry for at least 24 hours before getting it wet.When all areas