Proper Sealing Prevents Water Seepage
Bathroom renovations come in many different forms, some jobs are big and some are small but can be time consuming. It seems that its sooner rather than later that your shower needs its corner and tub seams re-caulked.
An important thing you should take into consideration is the formation of cracks in your shower caulk. What most people don’t realize is that if you repair the seams right away, the job itself will take you less than half an hour and maybe cost you around five dollars for a tube of caulking.
If on the other hand you wait until dry rot sets in, the resulting repair bill could run you up several hundred dollars when you have to repair mold and mildew damage.
What should be noted here is that this is a naturally occurring phenomenon. The cracks are a result of the contraction and expansion of your bathroom walls due to the rising and falling changes in temperature and humidity in your bathroom through regular use.
Most people don’t know this, but your tub actually shifts minutely every time you step into it. Using a highly elastic silicone or water-based caulk offers a flexible seal that allows your tub and wall to breathe when you step in reducing tearing or cracking of the caulking material.
Depending upon the size of your shower, using a 2.8 fluid-ounce caulking tube is faster and more manageable than a larger sometimes clumsy handheld cartridge caulking gun.
The Steps for Priming Your Shower to be Caulked
One. Clean away all soap residue and mildew from the walls and use a knife or similar tool to remove the old caulk from the tub and shower seams.
Two. Cut the caulking tube end so that you have an opening about one-eighth in diameter. Keeping even pressure, apply a continuous line approximately three feet in length.
Three. Since silicone has a tendency to become tacky, it’s a best practice to smooth out the line of caulk with your finger or a caulking spreading tool as soon as you squeeze it out. Immediately wipe away any excess caulk with a soft cloth.
If necessary use warm soapy water along with your finger to re-form the joint from where you left off. Repeat the process until your tub or shower is completely resealed. You must wait however, about twelve hours before you can use your shower again.
Here’s a trick that the professionals use: before applying the silicone between your wall and bathtub, fill your tub with water which will cause your tub to expand. This effectively keeps the caulk from cracking due to the tubs movement.
Another tip is to use rubbing alcohol to successful remove mildew and other unsightly stains from silicone caulking around your tub or shower install.