caulking problems

Old 02-26-06, 08:21 AM
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Unhappy caulking problems

I had a fiberglass tub and surround installed 4years ago. My bathtub caulking was starting to peel away so my son in law took the old off and put new caulking on. Now a week later the caulking is mushy and there is water behind it. I peeled it off and have fans blowing on it. How long should I wait before we attempt to caulk again? Thanks!!
Old 02-26-06, 12:18 PM
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Basically until it is dry. You can't put a time table on it. But if you recaulk it wet, you will do it over again. Also, you shouldn't be using a latex caulk. Use something like GE SiliconeII for proper adhesion. Latex caulk, by its very nature is partially water, and will turn to jelly if constantly bombarded with water. Good luck with it!!
Old 02-26-06, 01:35 PM
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raj5361, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
Are the tub and surround 2 seperate pieces? It is possible that the tub did not have a mortarbed installed when the unit was put in. Fiberglass tubs will flex when filled with water or someone stands in them if there is not sufficient support under the tub when installed. You can test this by standing outside the tub and measuring a certain distance upward from the tub edge. (for test purposes, lets say 36"). Mark this on the wall with a pencil (so you can erase it later). Then step into the tub and re-measure to the same mark. Is it different? If the measurement is more (say 36-1/8") this means the tub flexed when stood in. It is also probable that the caulk gets pulled away from the surround wall when someone uses the unit. If this is true, before re-caulking, make sure the tub and surround surfaces are COMPLETELY dry (use a hair dryer if possible) and clean (I use denatured alcohol to clean) before doing any caulking. Now comes the fun part. Put some towels down in the tub. Find some heavy, waterproof objects (concrete blocks work well) and place them on the towels and fill the tub as far as you can with water. Make sure you didn't splash water on the surfaces to be caulked. Then do your caulking and leave the water and weights in the tub until the caulk has thoroughly cured (usually 24 hours) You can now remove the water and weights and should have a lasting caulk job. The reason for the weights and water is that caulk does not stretch and hold at the same time. By placing the weight into the tub, you have pre-flexed the tub. The caulk will retract well when the weight is removed and is capable of staying in place when the tub is used. Good luck.

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