How to Apply Silicone Sealant
There are many kinds of sealant available for you to choose from, but the best type for many types of jobs is silicone sealant. Silicone is commonly used in bathrooms to seal bathtubs, as well as other surfaces. It is also used to seal off corners in many situations. This is because silicone is very water resistant and durable. While installing silicone sealant can be a little bit tricky, it requires no special training. The article which follows should give you all of the information you need to do it yourself.
Step 1 - Preparing the Silicone Gun
In order to apply a silicone sealant, you will need to load your tube of silicone into your silicone gun. Doing this is more complicated than it might first appear. However, once you know how to load the silicone gun, it is relatively straightforward.
First, press down on the gun's release tab. Then, pull the pressure tab. This will allow you to insert the tube of silicone into the gun freely. Next, you will need to adjust the tightness of the trigger so it is calibrated to the size of your tube. Squeeze the trigger slowly and lightly until the mechanism is touching the silicone tube. Finally, lock the silicone tube into place.
Step 2 - Preparing the Surface
Before applying silicone sealant, you should make sure that the surface you plan to apply it to is free of dirt, dust, and other particles that can lead to a weaker seal. Simply washing the surface off before you begin can lead to a better looking and more efficient finished product.
Soak a sponge in soapy water and use it to wipe off your work area. When you are done, use your sponge again to rinse the surface. Finally, dry it off with a towel. Leaving the surface wet can cause problems, because silicone sealant is waterproof. Be sure you remove all water completely.
Step 3 - Applying Sealant
Use scissors or a utility knife to cut a hole at the tip of the silicone tube. Cut it at a 45 degree angle, and as close to the tip as possible. This ensures that the hole will be as small as possible. Test out the silicone on an available material—preferably scrap or waste, but you can use a paper towel if necessary. If you require a larger opening, you can gradually snip more off of the end of the tube.
Finally, use the silicone gun to apply sealant to the surface you are working on. Do your best to squeeze the trigger evenly and steadily. If you are unsure of your ability to do this, practice on your scrap material first.
Step 4 - Finishing Up
Once you have applied sealant to your surface, get your finger wet, and keep a supply of water handy. Next, use your finger to spread the sealant evenly. As you work, keep applying water to your finger. If you do not do this, the silicon sealant will stick.
When you finish, allow the sealant to dry.