Seal A Wall Joint Around A Tub Seal A Wall Joint Around A Tub

What You'll Need
Putty knife or razor blade
Flathead screwdriver
Utility knife
Silicon caulk
Caulking gun
Masking tape
Hair dryer

Occasionally, check each wall joint in your shower area for signs that it needs new caulk. Silicon caulking is relatively inexpensive, and the cost of maintaining a smooth, water-tight bead in every joint in the shower is much less than repairing the damage should water leak out.

With a few tools, sealing walls joints aroudn a shower or tub can be done in an hour or two. A good portion of the work will be breaking off and removing the previous caulk, but it is necessary to lay down a new seal.

Step 1: Remove Old Caulk

The old caulk must be removed before any new bead can be applied. At each wall joint, use the putty knife or a razor blade to break up the bonded caulk. Holding the knife or the blade at an angle, firmly press into the bonded material until it breaks up. Around fixtures there is often an excessive amount of old caulk. This too should be removed.

Whatever is broken up can be scraped out with the flathead screwdriver. Have the vacuum on hand to suck up all of the mess. If you have a narrow slit attachment, run it over the wall joints to get at stubborn pieces. In the worst case, the caulk will be too dry to be scraped off. If that happens, you can apply a chemical to soften the caulk, like 3M Caulk Remover.

Step 2: Dry Out All Joints

Use the hair dryer to thoroughly dry out all of the wall joints. Run it over each area from where caulk was removed. Run the vacuum again over any trouble spots or to pick the last vestiges of caulk.

Step 3: Tape Off Adjacent Area

With the masking tape, tape off the entire surface area adjacent to where the new beads of silicon caulk will be applied. This is a precautionary measure that will reduce cleanup time at the end.

Step 4: Load and Prepare the Caulking Gun

Load the silicon caulk tube into the caulking gun and secure it. On a cutting board, use a utility knife to cut off the tip of the tube at a 45 degree angle. Plan to remove about ¼-inch of the tube.

Step 5: Apply Caulk

Hold the gun at an angle at the joint where it is to be applied. Squeeze the handle hard enough to fill up the conical tip of the tube and, keeping pressure on the trigger, run the gun over the joint–confidently but not too fast. If you can caulk the entire joint in a single pass, great. Likely, you will have to make several passes.

After the caulk has been squeezed into position, run a wet finger over it to smooth it within the joint. If you have missed any spots, squeeze enough caulk to fill them and smooth it out in the same way.

Repeat this procedure for every wall joint that needs sealing.

Step 6: Clean-up

Remove the masking tape after the caulk has had a few minutes to set. Smooth the caulk once more with a wet finger and let the sealant bond over night before using the shower.

The wall joints around a tub or shower are now sealed. This is a job that only needs to be done every few years, as the sealant does break down in time and can let water leak through. Use this procedure to apply caulk in other areas of the house that need sealing.

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