problems Caulking my tub, help!


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Old 03-17-06, 08:32 AM
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Unhappy problems Caulking my tub, help!

Hello,

I've tried several times over the last year to fix my bathtub caulking. The caulking seems to be ok at first but always splits and discolors after a few months.

I filled the tub with water before I caulked it, but I think the gap is too wide to hold the caulking. I've included pictures below to help illustrate my problem.

Does anyone know a solution to this problem? Should I fill the crack with something else before caulking?

Please help!

tia,

gungus

Tub 1
Tub 2
 
  #2  
Old 03-17-06, 09:52 AM
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gungus, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
Movement of the tub will cause cracking so filling the tub with water is a great idea. You need to THOUROUGHLY clean the surfaces where the caulk is to be used. Remove all those rust stains and then clean again with denatured alcohol. Caulk will not stick to soap residue. The gap, while good sized, can be filled in with caulk. Make sure you get it pushed all the way in. I like to use a spoon dipped in water to smooth out the final coat. This smooths and pushes the caulk in. Use a caulk that is made for wet areas and has a mold and mildew inhibitor in it. Make sure it cures completely before using the tub. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 10:06 AM
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Thank you and thanks for the reply.

I have tried all of the things you suggested. One problem is the tub porcelin is cracked a bit and that extends out from the wall underneath any caulk I put down (See Tub_2 image). Water then gets in there. I guess I would have to seal the porcelin crack as well? But not sue how to do that.

But back to the original request...should I use regular caulking to fill the crack deeper? It's just that I've tried that and it hasn't worked. The gap has proved too large. And I get pin holes that eventually allow water to get in there.

Thanks again for your assistance
 
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Old 03-17-06, 10:36 AM
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You MAY be able to seal the crack with some appliance paint. The gap between the tub and wall needs to be filled with a substance that will "move" so it does not crack. You may want to try filling in the majority of the gap and let it cure. Then do the finishing touches. Just make sure you clean and dry the filler before applying the final coat. Let the filler dry for 24 hours and then if you must use the tub, tape some plastic over the caulk and gap. Give the filler a few days to completely dry. Then remove the plastic and finish.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 02:45 PM
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Thanks, I'll give it a shot!
 
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Old 03-20-06, 02:43 PM
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Looking at those pictures I'm wondering if you don't have other problems. Is this the only side of the tub having this problem or is it the whole tub? It could be that water is entering from the back of the wall. Whats behind the tile? Sheetrock, plaster, cement board? If it's sheetrock or plaster, this could be the problem. When water gets into the joint at the tub and wall line and reaches the sheetrock, the sheetrock wicks up the water and gets saturated. When you caulk that joint, you trap the moisture behind the tile and the moisture is working its way underneath that damaged porcelain on the tub from the wall out. If this is the case, you have to leave that joint uncaulked until it is completely dried out. What is on the other side of that wall? If a closet or someplace inconspicuous, you could cut a hole from the back and see what it looks like. If its wet, the hole in the back will help to dry it out.

Clean the tub area as dragon suggested and repair the damage with a porcelain repair kit.

I like to use silicone where the tub meets the tile. I use GE Silicone II for kitchen & bath (it has a mold inhibitor). Silicone is messy to work with but it stays flexible and lasts a long time. If you are not very good with a caulk gun you could tape off above and below the joint with masking tape, apply the silicone, tool it with a wet finger and then remove the tape. It will look real neat. Let the silicone set for a day or two before using tub/shower.
 
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Old 03-25-06, 06:50 AM
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I want to recaulk around the tub. It is cracking a little and turning brown. Nothing major in my opinion. I am trying to clean out the old caulk. This is tough. I am just using as sharp object (dentist tool thingy). Old caulk is not coming out very easy. What is best tool/method to remove old caulk?
Thx
 
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Old 03-25-06, 07:12 AM
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jimmgriffin,
I like to use a plastic putty knife. They do not scratch surfaces and are pretty tough. They can also be sharpened to remove thin areas that tend to stick real well. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-25-06, 08:15 AM
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Use a utility knife with a sharp blade to cut out as much as you can. Use a straight edge razor blades to remove any caulk on the face of the tile and tub. Take you time. If your concerned about scratching the tub or tile, you can tape it off.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 04:10 PM
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Hey, just getting back here. Thanks, HeresJohnny! I'm afraid of it being damp behind there as well...I'm finishing up the caulking tonight (I taped everything off) and am hoping for the best! I appreciate all of your help!




Originally Posted by HeresJohnny
Looking at those pictures I'm wondering if you don't have other problems. Is this the only side of the tub having this problem or is it the whole tub? It could be that water is entering from the back of the wall. Whats behind the tile? Sheetrock, plaster, cement board? If it's sheetrock or plaster, this could be the problem. When water gets into the joint at the tub and wall line and reaches the sheetrock, the sheetrock wicks up the water and gets saturated. When you caulk that joint, you trap the moisture behind the tile and the moisture is working its way underneath that damaged porcelain on the tub from the wall out. If this is the case, you have to leave that joint uncaulked until it is completely dried out. What is on the other side of that wall? If a closet or someplace inconspicuous, you could cut a hole from the back and see what it looks like. If its wet, the hole in the back will help to dry it out.

Clean the tub area as dragon suggested and repair the damage with a porcelain repair kit.

I like to use silicone where the tub meets the tile. I use GE Silicone II for kitchen & bath (it has a mold inhibitor). Silicone is messy to work with but it stays flexible and lasts a long time. If you are not very good with a caulk gun you could tape off above and below the joint with masking tape, apply the silicone, tool it with a wet finger and then remove the tape. It will look real neat. Let the silicone set for a day or two before using tub/shower.
 
 

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