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Bathroom Caulking Key to Preventing Premature Shower, Tub, Tile and Sink Damage

Proper Bathroom Caulking Prevents Expensive Bathroom Repairs

Caulking your bathtub, tile shower or sink may be a hassle.  But trust me, it’s much easier and less expensive than spending thousands on mold and water damage repairs. Watch below to see how you can easily caulk your sink, tile, tub or shower to prevent future mold and water damage repairs.

Watch Bathroom Caulking Video

Failed Bathroom Caulking Causes Mold and Water Damage

Bathroom caulking’s contribution to mold and water damage in your bathroom is usually a result of one of two failures.  Understanding these two failures will help you take the appropriate action to avoid an expensive home repair to your bathroom.

First, is the failure of old caulk that needs to be replaced with newer, more advanced products.  Maintaining your shower, sink, tub and counter top caulking is a critical home maintenance task, as caulk typically has a lifespan of no more than 10 years.

Bathroom Caulking

Silicone Bathroom Caulk

Second, and more common, is the failure to use the correct type of caulk designed specifically for bathrooms.  Vinyl and latex-based caulks are often incorrectly used in bathrooms because they are inexpensive and readily available.  But they aren’t nearly, flexible, durable or waterproof as silicone based caulk.  In almost all instances, you should use a silicone-based bathroom caulk for showers, tubs, sinks and any other fixture in the bathroom.

You Might Need to Caulk Your Bathroom If…

  • If your current caulk shows signs of mold or discoloration
  • The caulk shows signs of cracking
  • Any section of caulk is missing or damaged
  • Any part of the bead of caulk no longer adheres to the surface

Taking action quickly of you note any of these signs will prevent water damage from water intrusion behind the gaps and seams in your fixtures.

What Type of Bathroom Caulk Should I Purchase?

There are many great brands of silicone-based bathroom caulk on the market today.  I prefer GE products, but many are similar in price and quality. You will want to make sure to use silicone caulk that is water and mold resistant and rated for bathroom use.

Silicone bathroom caulk comes in a variety of colors to choose from, including clear, to match your decor.  You can even find “grouted” shower caulks sold at tile supply stores that are designed to match perfectly to an associated tile grout.  In either case, use a caulk that is less noticeable and blends well with your bathroom’s surroundings, as it will provide a more professional and pleasing appearance.

Caulk Bathroom

Caulk Gun

A typical tube of silicone-based bathroom caulk costs around five dollars.  In addition to caulk, you are will also need a caulk gun which will run you about another five dollars. $10 and a few hours of your time is a small price to pay to save you thousands of dollars in future repairs!

How to Apply New Bathroom Caulk

Learning how to apply bathroom caulk is much easier accomplished by watching a video.  So take a few minutes to watch the DIY video we have made for this purpose.

In the video, I will show you how straightforward and simple the process of applying new caulk is.  With a little practice, it is a home maintenance task you can do yourself.

  1. To apply a new bead of caulk, you must first remove the existing caulk. You can use a screwdriver or plastic putty knife; anything that will get in the crack and remove the scraps.
  2. After you remove the caulk, rub the area with isopropyl alcohol to get a clean workspace.  Cleaning the crevice to be caulked with alcohol is essential to obtain a proper bond between the new caulk and the surface.
  3. Next, tape off the area to avoid getting caulk in places where you don’t want it.  In addition, it will give you a sharp bead of caulk like the professionals do.
  4. Then apply the caulk with the gun starting closest to your body and working away. This will help push the caulk further into the joint.
  5. After you apply the caulk, use your finger to smooth and compress the caulk and remove the tape before the caulk begins to dry.
  6. Finally clean up any mess you may have made and allow the caulk to dry.  Silicone caulk takes anywhere from 3 to 24 hours to dry, so plan accordingly!

Need Help With Bathroom Shower, Tub, or Sink Caulking?

Replacing caulk is a great way to save money on home repair and is easy for you to do yourself.  However, if you have neither the time nor inclination to perform your own bathroom caulking, invite of our master craftsmen to come out and re-caulk your bathroom for you. If you have any questions, give us a call at 513-724-0539, visit us at www.MasterMyList.com and check out our new Facebook page, keyword “ProMaster Craftsmen.”

Call (513) 724-0539
or Click Here To Get Caulking Done Now by ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman

Comments

  1. Nice Bathroom Caulking Key to Preventing Premature Shower, Tub, Tile and Sink Damage I am always searching online articles for home improvement that can help me. Thank you

  2. Useful information and excellent design you got right here! I would like to thank you for sharing your ideas stuff you post! Great work!

  3. Broco Brem says:

    Hi,

    Before seeing your video, I called GE about an expiration date on a tube I had bought it and left on the shelf for almost a year. They said do put a bead down on something like a used plastic milk carton, wait a half hour, and if it was still tacky (ie. won't skim over), it should not be used. Turns out mine was so old (my fault) it wouldn't even come out of the tube. Ha! I then bought a new tube and put the old one in the haz waste disposal bin in the garage for later drop off.

    They also suggested to use 99% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for the tub/tile preparation. It dries faster than the standard 70% because it has almost no water in it. My local pharmacy had a new bottle of 99% for me in about a day. 99% also leaves almost no residue. Fyi – we use 99% in the PC business to clean the CPU chip surface before applying silver heat sink compound and then the heat sink fan assembly.

    Nice production work. Thanks!

    Regards,
    Brcobrem

    • HandymanCincy says:

      Broco-
      Thanks for the excellent input! Glad to hear the GE actually responded to your request… I had never hear of the “plastic bottle test” before.
      Take care,
      Don

  4. Broco Brem says:

    Hi Don,

    Just a follow-up for the community if I may: I finally did the job a couple weeks ago. I had taped up the tub top left & right sides, back, and horizontal back corners all the way to the lowered ceiling. So that's five seams.

    The hardest part of my job was getting the old sealant out. The person who installed the tile had used some kind of non-silicone seal that had set up like epoxy. It took me many hours to get that stuff out. Since I had significant hours into the removal of the old stuff and tape-up for the new silicone, I decided to go for GE's 10 year product.

    Here's tips (?) from my experience for other DIY'ers:

    Use disposable latex gloves so your index figure/thumb can “smooth” the silicone into the seams (and have several pairs available). “Smoothing” makes it look real pretty (especially if you’re caulking wide seams like I had to do). I had one seam under the faucet that had almost a 3/8” gap between the tub and tile in one area. Before caulking, I stuffed some slightly oversized rubber tubing (automotive vacuum line) in there to fill up the gap. That created a surface (and not a 3/8” void) for the silicone to be applied over.

    Have a bunch of little cloth squares and your alcohol bottle in the tub with you for immediate touch up and cleanup purposes. Do not use the alcohol on the new silicone, except to remove it. Alcohol causes it to shrivel up.

    Apply the 10yr silicone to only one or two seems at a time and remove the tape slowly as soon as you put the caulk gun down. That GE 10yr product starts to set really quickly; and I'm talking minutes here. This means that when you apply your tape, you need to think about how it's going to be pulled off, In other words, the seam that’s going to be sealed last, and thus the have the tape pulled off last, should have the tape put on first.

    I had my silicone on all five seams in less than 10 minutes. Yet on the last two seams that I pulled the tape off of, both had already started to surface cure. One seam (ie. the verticle seam from the tub to the lowered ceiling) had some ripples where the tape was grabbing the cured surface when I pulled the tape off. To fix: I let it cure, then re-taped that one later in the day, “smoothed” on a light fresh overcoat of silicone in the rippled areas, and pulled the tape off slowly as soon as I put the caulk gun down. It looks perfect now.

    The other seam (ie. the one under the faucet) was really messed up on the first attempt because of that ultra-fast curing. To fix: Before it cured any more, I used the alcohol rag to wipe off as much as possible, let what remained cure for a couple hours, used a razor blade to shave off the mess on the tile from the silicone wipe-off (remember that the tape was no longer there when I used the alcohol rag to wipe off the messed up seam), then applied silicone again and “smoothed” it in, and pulled the tape off quick.

    Here’s a link to a pic of the finished job (and this is the area that I had to redo). Btw, that’s an Americast tub and ceramic tile. Keep in mind that I had some fairly wide gaps to span in some places and I wanted a uniform width of the silicone on all seams. All things considered, I think it looks pretty good! (if you have to copy and paste, there are no spaces in the link) : https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=0ba9610c

    Hope that helps someone . . .
    Brcobrem

    • HandymanCincy says:

      Broco-
      You are the man! Great job taking on this DIY project. I appreciate you feeeback and insight on tub caulking.

      So… what’s the next home repair project for you?

      Don

  5. 1% Handyman says:

    Your video on caulking was great; gave me what I needed to know. What was really impressed on me was how much more prep time in relation to actual "caulking" there is and knowing that, and knowing what to do, really made the difference. Thanks!

  6. Lupe Hudecek says:

    Great blog! Sorry to get off subject, but I recently had some hail damage to my house, so I’m looking to find a great roofing company in Nashville TN. Have you heard of any good ones? There’s a roofing company in Hendersonville, right outside of Nashville, called AE Roofing & Exteriors who could be good, but I’ve only seen a few reviews. Here’s the address of these Nashville roofers, 108 Midtown Court #203 Hendersonville, TN 37075 (615) 431-2283. Thoughts? Thanks!

  7. Great video calking tomorrow great tips. Am doing bath with a shower stall and tiled floor, walls and ceiling hoping for the best. But thanks again for the info. Feel free to stop by and help lol

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