Replacing Silicone Caulk in my shower

Old 02-25-18, 01:41 PM
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Replacing Silicone Caulk in my shower

Hi All,

I had an issue with the caulk in my shower. If failed where the tile meets the shower pan resulting in a slow leak that damaged the ceiling below. See pictures (note, I started to remove the caulk before taking these pics).

So, I am seeking advice on a couple of fronts;

1. Removal of the old silicone caulk - darn! this stuff is tough to remove!!! any tips or advice on how to remove it all and get a clean surface to start from would be appreciated.

2. Should I use silicone caulk again, phenoseal or grout to seal the gap between the wall tile and the shower pan? A local hardware guy said phenoseal is much better, but I am unsure.

3. I had installed the caulk on this shower myself about 6 years ago after the guy who installed the glass panels butchered the caulk job and I could not get him back here to re do it. The caulk probably started to fail last year but we did not notice it. I am tempted to hire someone as I really want this done right this time and, I want avoid further damage to the room below. If I hire someone, do i just hire a handyman? I can't seem to find "caulk replacement" as a service offered by anyone.

Thanks for taking the time to review my post.
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Last edited by gianni; 02-25-18 at 01:50 PM. Reason: pictures
Old 02-25-18, 02:03 PM
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I can't imagine how a failed caulk joint in that area would allow water leakage below. There should be a lip on the pan that the tile should overlap, thus directing water in to the pan. Additionally, there should be backerboard with a waterproof barrier on the interior surface or as it used to be done, a plastic sheet behind the backer, also directing water into the pan. If one of these methods isn't used, water can go right through the grout joints and soak the backer.

All that said, there are caulk softeners available which will allow easier removal of the old stuff. You apply it, let it sit for a length of time, then scrape off the old, clean the area well and apply new caulk.
I would stick with a good quality 100% silicone, though I've never used Phenoseal.
Old 02-25-18, 02:30 PM
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Yeah something sounds fishy there. Caulk is not what waterproofs a shower pan so if that is really where the leak is coming from you have bigger problems than that. Unless this is from water that was getting past the glass (your middle picture) and getting out beyond the shower pan. The tile near the floor on the outside of the shower looks like it is in bad shape.

As for removing the silicone it is not easy. You usually want a variety of knives and scrapers. Lowe's has this set... the blade that is kind of handy is the "linoleum" blade that is long, hooked, and flexible. The scoring blades are good too. But you will also want plastic scrapers, plastic putty knives and silicone remover. Rags. And you can even rub some off with your hand or fingernail. It's a frustrating job and is one of the reasons I hesitate to use silicone unless it is really the right sealant for the job.

Personally, along the bottom edge of the tile, I would probably use a tile caulk that matches your grout. They are sold in the tile aisle and come in sanded or unsanded.

On the glass, yes you want to stick with 100% silicone. Be careful using razor blades on the glass... tempered glass scratches easily so you always want a lubricant on the glass and be gentle. Soap or glass cleaner.
Old 02-25-18, 02:41 PM
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Definitely not grout, you need a fllexible sealant and it seems you used the wrong one last time. If you know the grout manufacturer and the color, you can get a grout matching caulk to redo what is there. Be careful scraping as you can scratch you base if not careful.

If the seal is not good at the pan, and water gets behind it can migrate to outside behind the door area where you can not see. There are also areas on the door frame itself that need attention and may be causing water infiltration. Show us pictures of where the horizontal frame of the door meets with the vertical portion and we can direct you better in waterproofing that.

Please use a photo editing program that properly orients your photos so they are not sideways or upside down when you post.
Old 02-25-18, 02:50 PM
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Be careful scraping as you can scratch you base if not careful.
Yes... I guess I mentioned the plastic putty knives but didn't say why. Just like on the glass, you have to be careful with the razor blades on the pan initially but once you get the majority of it off you can switch to the plastic putty knives and scrapers as you get closer to getting it all off.
Old 02-26-18, 02:46 AM
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I like to use liquid soap as a lubricant when scraping caulk off of tile. The main thing is take care and not to get in a hurry.
Old 02-26-18, 08:45 AM
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Dont use silicone in a shower, it just turns into a nasty mess.

Siliconized latex with micorban is the best material today!

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