Proper Caulking of Showers and Tubs
A small leak from a bathtub or shower can cause extensive damage, especially when the leak goes unnoticed for a long time. The water gets inside the walls or into the floor and causes wood
to rot. Often times, th
e homeowner doesn’t realize there’s a problem until a wall starts to bow or the floor gets spongy. At that point the repairs can be extensive, requiring removal and replacement of parts of the floor and/or walls and the affected finishes. Most insurers do not cover these types of losses and the repair costs become the homeowner’s responsibility.

     To avoid such a mess and inconvenience, routine inspection and some preventive maintenance are needed. Homeowners should look for the following early warning signs:

¨       Look for cracks or homes in the caulking at the top of the tub or shower base.

¨       Look for mildew and mold on the walls, especially at the intersections of vertical and horizontal surfaces and at caulked joints. The mold and mildew may be a sign of water getting behind the surface.

¨       If the bathroom is able an unfinished space, such as a basement, look at the floor structure from below for any water stains. If there are old stains and you know there are no leaks, look for changes in the stain.

If any of these problems are found, re-caulking of joints may be required. The most important thing to remember when caulking a shower or tub is to have a continuous, watertight seal along the top edge of a bathtub or shower base. Tube-and-tile caulk can be purchased at most hardware stores. It takes less than 30 minutes to repair a caulked joint.

¨       First scrape out the old, dried-out caulk using an awl or narrow-bladed screwdriver.

¨       Use a sponge or cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol and clean the surface to remove all soap scum and greasy grime.

¨       Let the cleaned surface dry a few minutes.

¨       Cut the tip off the nozzle of a tube a tub-and-tile caulk.

¨       By squeezing the tube apply a thick line of tub-and-tile caulk along the joint.

¨       Smooth the line with a wet finger or a caulk finisher hand tool.

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Jena Furman
PO Box 221
La Vernia, Texas  78121
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cell:  210-632-3740

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