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Old 09-28-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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Caulk Frustration


Over a year ago I had glass doors installed for my bathtub. They caulked it but missed a little spot on the bottom horizontal frame, towards the corner - this is the door frame that is against the tub. I thought it would be an easy fix, but I've had problems. Since so much time has passed, I feel funny calling the glass door installer and asking them to fix it.

I used basic clear caulk from home depot to patch it up. I caulked the inside of the door and the outside of the door that was missing some caulk. On the inside of the door the caulk is always white because the moisture from the showers always makes it damp and the caulk is never completely dry (it is clear when dry). On the outside of the door where I caulked, I see a little pink mildew growing. So occasionally, I remove the caulk on the outside of the door, clean the pink mildew, and recaulk. When I remove the caulk during this process, I always have a *little* water run out from under the door frame. So water is still getting into the frame somewhere.

I want to purchase a clear caulk for bathrooms that won't turn white to moisture. Maybe the moisture is getting through the caulk I am using and is accumulating under the door frame?

Any suggestions of a caulk brand that is better than the stuff they sell at home depot?

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Old 09-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
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Caulk Frustration


There's nothing wrong with good old GE 100% bathroom clear silicone, or most any other name brand bathroom caulk. I imagine that the caulk is being applied too thick, or incorrectly. Nearly all clear silicone goes on white, but should dry clear and remain that way, regardless of moisture. Just be sure to get bathroom caulk...Some do have mildew inhibitors, but not mildew proofers.

I suggest that you remove all of the offending caulk and start over.

Thoroughly clean the surfaces and let them get completely dry. Cut the caulk tube tip off leaving a very small hole so a 1/8" bead comes out. Install a 1/8" bead without lumps or gobs. You're going to remove the bulk of it in the next step.

Next, get a wet rag or two handy.

Next, wet your finger with the rag. Drag your finger across the caulk, flattening it into the corner and tooling the surface at the same time. Do about 4" at a time and clean your finger off with a rag and re-wet it. You'll have a lot of caulk on your finger every time. Some people use a damp sponge, but I find it harder to control.

A lot of people, including installers, use too much caulk. Extra caulk is never better.

Once you're done, don't use the shower until the caulk has turned completely clear. It may take up to two days depending on the thickness.

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Old 09-28-2008, 03:01 PM   #3
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Caulk Frustration


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
There's nothing wrong with good old GE 100% bathroom clear silicone, or most any other name brand bathroom caulk. I imagine that the caulk is being applied too thick, or incorrectly. Nearly all clear silicone goes on white, but should dry clear and remain that way, regardless of moisture. Just be sure to get bathroom caulk...Some do have mildew inhibitors, but not mildew proofers.

I suggest that you remove all of the offending caulk and start over.

Thoroughly clean the surfaces and let them get completely dry. Cut the caulk tube tip off leaving a very small hole so a 1/8" bead comes out. Install a 1/8" bead without lumps or gobs. You're going to remove the bulk of it in the next step.

Next, get a wet rag or two handy.

Next, wet your finger with the rag. Drag your finger across the caulk, flattening it into the corner and tooling the surface at the same time. Do about 4" at a time and clean your finger off with a rag and re-wet it. You'll have a lot of caulk on your finger every time. Some people use a damp sponge, but I find it harder to control.

A lot of people, including installers, use too much caulk. Extra caulk is never better.

Once you're done, don't use the shower until the caulk has turned completely clear. It may take up to two days depending on the thickness.
100% correct. there is moisture behind the track and the caulk will never adhere. remove and clean then install when dry then caulk.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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Caulk Frustration


I don't see any where in his post that he is using silicone. If he isn't in my experience that may be a large part of the problem.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:00 PM   #5
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Caulk Frustration


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I don't see any where in his post that he is using silicone. If he isn't in my experience that may be a large part of the problem.
Agreed. That's why I made it clear that bathroom silicone should be used.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:03 AM   #6
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Caulk Frustration


Another tip: After you remove the old caulk, let the area dry thoroughly. Then wipe the surfaces generously with denatured alcohol. That will kill anything still hanging around in crevices. Alcohol is the primary solvent in silicone caulks so you won't harm the caulk. You can use the alcohol to tool the surface after you run the new bead (wet finger or toothbrush handle or whatever). Denatured alcohol won't attack the finishes on the tub like other solvents could. It won't leave a petroleum residue to conflict with the caulks ahesive properties either.

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