Author Topic: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub  (Read 2964 times)

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Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« on: February 02, 2017, 01:44 PM »
Hi, I hope I posted this in the right section.  My plastic shower surround has a gap in it and every time I go to caulk the gap it peels right off after it cures.  There is also some flexing but because I'm renting I cannot very well take the bath tub apart to fix the problem.  I just want to fix my mistakes.  I tried using silicone caulk and filling the bath tub half way and letting it cure, but didn't work.  What am I doing wrong?  The bath tub is acrylic or fiberglass I believe, and the shower surround is plastic if that helps.  The bath tub is probably an American Standard.  Maybe I'm using the wrong caulk?  It's hard to say at this point and I wish I never went to redo the caulk in the first place because it's causing a huge headache for me [eek]

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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 432
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 02:03 PM »
Not necessarily the right forum, but there is a lot of experienced folks on it. There are DIY home forums too.

Pictures always help.

How big is the gap?

What type of silicon are you using? Link?

How much flex is there? I wouldn't expect anything to stick if there is major movement. You may need to glue the surround back into place to make it more stationary.

Often if it is a larger gap you need to put a backer rod in, which is a grey foam you can buy at big box stores.

If the silicon is releasing that fast there are probably contaminants on tub area. Take it all back off, use a scuffy pad to remove the remainder, turn the fan on at the least, but a respirator would be better, put neoprene gloves on, then get out the acetone and do a quick wipe of the area. Be careful the chemicals do not melt the surround. Cleanliness is probably the biggest factor here.

There also comes a point you let the landlord deal with it...

Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 02:09 PM »
The gap is at least two inches wide.  I used GE silicone 2.  Don't have pictures at the moment. I didn't try cleaning with acetone, no but I will try that next.  Landlord is known for doing things as cheaply as possible so she will have to deal with it later down the road one or two years later when I move out. 

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 432
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 02:19 PM »
There is NO WAY you are filling a 2" gap with silicon.  [eek] 

Something is not installed correctly, and the proper fix is probably to move the surround down to the proper level. Post a few pictures please, although you may need a couple of more posts here before doing so, unless you host it somewhere else.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 449
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 02:58 PM »
We definitely need a picture. I am hoping that it is 2" long and no more than 1/4" wide because if it is 2" wide there is serious problem that can't be fixed with caulk.

If it is 2" long and less than 1/4" or so wide use some acetone or Goo Gone (or similar products). If it does not stick when the surface is cleaned with one of those you could very lightly scuff the two surfaces knowing that the scuff marks cannot go beyond where the caulk will be. I think you want the GE Silicone II and when you apply it be generous, don't go with a thin line for two reasons: It won't hold and it's not your house. You need it fixed and the landlord is not pulling their weight. You are doing the right thing fixing it versus just letting it go like many people would.

Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 06:48 PM »
Got pictures.  It's a little hard to tell because the gap is covered with caulk, which started out smooth and perfect and is now peeling and giving out again.  This is after 6 days.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1942
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 08:14 PM »
Got pictures.  It's a little hard to tell because the gap is covered with caulk, which started out smooth and perfect and is now peeling and giving out again.  This is after 6 days.
. Whew, NOT a 2" wide gap then.... Follow the above, sound advice , and you should see better results
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 08:58 PM »
Okay thanks so I was wrong about how big the gap was.  There is some flex that pulls the tub down a bit, so is the best thing to do still filling the tub with water and getting inside it while caulking?  I need the seal to be able to handle my weight.  There are some joints in the tub that are uncaulked but am leaving it that way since that was the condition it was in when I moved in, don't want to be held responsible in the off chance something goes wrong.  I do need to fix the areas that I did attempt to caulk though so goo b gone looks good and still GE silicone 2?

Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 09:00 PM »
Or maybe I can sit in the tub for a certain amount of time before the caulk dries?  I can't see myself sitting in the tub for 24 hours though until the caulk cures.

Offline copcarcollector

  • Posts: 1338
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 09:31 PM »
Is this leaking into your unit or another unit? While I think it's good that you want to fix it, it's the landlords problem, not yours. I suggest taking and keeping good photos, and write the landlord a letter describing the problem, but don't attempt any further repairs yourself. Keep your documentation in case the landlord tries to come after you for damages after you move out

Offline bluemonkey

  • Posts: 6
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 09:51 PM »
No leaks into the neighbors unit.  We had one leak in the downstairs apartment weeks ago due to the shower faucet being installed incorrectly.  The only reason I'm addressing the problem myself is because she only repairs things when she has to, and I just don't like being in my tub right now so it's only for my own sanity.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 432
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 11:34 PM »
Might I recommend a tool to help spread the caulk out.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Workforce-3-in-1-Caulk-Tool-CT31HD/202251544

Also blue tape will help keep the caulk from getting where it shouldn't. I always use blue tape. See video for where to put tape.

Water and vinegar make a good dip for your finger or the tool to smooth out the caulk. A roll of toilet paper works well for cleanup of said fingers, tools, pants and everywhere else you seem to get caulk.

This is what backer rod is, and it does come in different sizes. You want to push it in with a drywall type knife, and it should fit tight, and just past the tub surround so it is deeper than flush.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-E-O-3-8-in-x-20-ft-Caulk-Saver-C21H/100067266

I would HIGHLY recommend watching a few of these videos.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+caulk+a+bathtub

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2532
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 01:23 AM »
Everything @Peter C said, especially about the water or vinegar and using backer rod. These are usually found where the gap/weather strips area at your hardware store. If using water add a few drops of dish washing detergent. Some silicone products may prefer meths. Read the label.

There are also some silicone products that are mixed with adhesive. In your situation these might be applicable because they tend to be able to  work across a wider gap.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 06:06 AM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 146
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2017, 04:59 AM »
I think you need a thicker bead and a thoroughly clean, and very dry, surface.  I get on better with this sort of finishing tool - https://www.amazon.com/GRIVER-4-Piece-Caulking-Caulk-Finishing/dp/B01L7DHR5Y - which are probably easily available at Home Depot or somewhere similar.

Clean the surfaces thoroughly but be careful of something as strong as acetone which could melt the bath surface.  I use meths in UK, maybe some similar sort of alcohol is available in the US.  Then make sure they are thoroughly dry - leave it for enough time and/or use a fan heater if it is cold or damp.  Half filling the bath is useful if there is any movement  - you don't need to sit in it, just add more water!  Tape will help to give a straight edge but will leave a (small) lip at the edge.  Then use good quality, mould-resistant silicone. 




Offline Jim Metzger

  • Posts: 54
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2017, 08:51 AM »
Good advice here. Silicone will not stick to silicone, even a very thin layer. Proper cleaning is key, you must be down to the original surface. Cleaning in the gap between the tile and tub may be problematic.


Advice I got a few years ago from a tile forum was to use Sashco Big Stretch caulk. http://www.sashco.com/products/big-stretch/. I have been very happy with their products. They also make a water clear caulk, it does not dry milky white.


Jim








Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 432
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2017, 12:02 PM »
I use meths in UK
Never used meth myself, nor cocaine, heroin, LSD, not even mushrooms. It is bad for you, ya know?

When using nasty chemicals like MEK or Acetone it is good to always wear the correct respirator and even more importantly gloves.

maybe some similar sort of alcohol is available in the US.
We have many alcoholics in the USA, so I usually recommend folks stick to beer when performing home projects and only in moderation. No alcohol is best when operating power tools, especially not a sander ;)

There are lots of places to buy isopropyl alcohol in the USA, even on Sundays!

 [big grin]

Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 146
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2017, 01:27 PM »
 [wink]

In UK, methylated spirits or 'meths' is alcohol with added methanol to make it undrinkable and therefore non taxable.  Unfortunately it is still drinkable by those who really want to do it but is poisonous, so it has other added smells and colour (it is purple) to make it more obvious and less palatable.  I think your isopropyl alcohol is similar in nature with different additives.

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2532
Re: Caulking keeps peeling off bathtub
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2017, 05:48 PM »
For removing old silicone a multitool with a blunt scrapping blade can be useful. In this case some care with the shower base will be needed, but still could be good for removing stubborn bits.

____________
[wink]

In UK, methylated spirits or 'meths' is alcohol with added methanol to make it undrinkable and therefore non taxable.  Unfortunately it is still drinkable by those who really want to do it but is poisonous, so it has other added smells and colour (it is purple) to make it more obvious and less palatable.  I think your isopropyl alcohol is similar in nature with different additives.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isopropyl_alcohol
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 05:52 PM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values