How To Remove Silicone Caulk From Fiberglass Shower Stall in Your Bathroom
One of the most common complaints you will hear from homeowners is the growth of mildew along the edges of tiles in their showers and bathtub. Ideally, bathrooms are nesting sites for mildew mainly because the spores produced by mildew thrive on moisture. Because of the unsightly and stubborn growth, many homeowners often remove the replace the silicone caulking. This task might seem time-consuming, but not difficult for a beginner. Here are a few simple steps.
How To Remove Silicone Caulk From Fiberglass Shower Stall
Clean the shower or tub thoroughly with a surface cleaner that can remove soap scum. Make sure that all the surfaces you will be dealing with are clean and free from substances that will come between the new caulk and the surface.
How to remove old caulking from the fiberglass shower. Check to see the kind of caulk that is already in your shower or tub area. Use a sharp knife to cut into the caulk. If you find that the caulk is soft and rubbery, then it is silicone-based, but if it’s hard and crumbly, then it’s water-based PVA or latex. You can also use a silicone caulk remover to make the work a lot easier for you.
Determine the best way to remove the caulk based on whether it is silicone-based or water-based. You can remove silicone-based caulk using a razor blade scraper and other types can be removed after warming with an ever-moving hairdryer and then scraped off. You should also learn how to remove silicone from metal.
Scrub the areas where the caulk had been with rubbing alcohol. This is important in removing any remaining pieces and bits of caulk left after you have scraped.
Vacuum out any remaining pieces of caulk that may have stuck between the tile and the shower pan or tub to give a perfectly clean area. Read how to remove silicone caulk from a tile.
Spray a solution that is 10% bleach and 90% water to kill mildew and mold that may have grown as a result of water getting stuck in the loose caulk joints.
Allow this to sit for some time to take effect against the mildew and mold for about 5 minutes before scrubbing down with clean water.
Allow the shower area or tub to dry for at least 12 hours. You should apply new caulk on the joints with the dampness that result from the cleaning or the dampness that existed in the joints when the old caulk was in use. This is important in helping the new caulk to adhere to the joints and stay in place
Choose the right type of caulk to use. Acrylic later and PVA are the best materials for caulking ceramic fixtures that come in contact with tile because the caulk is hard, yet it can be easily removed. For fiberglass fixtures that meet tiles or another fiberglass, you should use silicone-based caulk because is relatively soft after drying. You may also want to check out how to remove silicone caulk from the fiberglass shower stall.
Cut off the tip of the caulk tube. When cutting the tip of the caulk, make sure that you don’t name the hole at the tip too large because the tips are supposed to control the amount of caulk that comes out, and a smaller tip will make this a success.
Some people prefer filling the tub with water before applying caulk and keep drained plugged so that water remains until the caulk is dry. This comes in handy in allowing for the flexing that usually happens when the tubs are in use when the caulk is dry.
Others believe that this will only add potential moisture to the area that can affect the caulk; therefore, the tub should not contain any water during the calling process. A tub that has been properly installed moves very little, so any of the above methods will work.
Squeeze no more than 0.6cm of caulk on the vertical joints
Use your finger to smooth the caulk into the joint. By doing so, your finger will catch any excess caulk that you can wipe off on a piece of cloth or damp cloth.
Squeeze no more than 0.6cm of caulk onto horizontal joints around the shower or tub
Again, use your finger to smooth caulk into the caulk. Your finger will capture excess caulk and you can wipe it off using a damp cloth or sponge
Look at places that look thin and apply more caulk to balance out
Give the caulk some time, preferably 24 hours to dry, and drain the water once completely dry
Rinse the shower area or tub before using it
I was told by an old plumber that using a bare finger to smooth the silicon is not recommended. Always use a rubber medical glove to smooth out the product. This way no contamination will occur producing mildew.
Cheers from New Zealand