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paintdrying 04-01-2013 12:49 PM

Fiberglass tub poping the caulk
Mother in law has had aproblem with the caulk not sealing with her tub. It is tile to fiberglass. She lives out of town so I can not see it for a few days. She tells me that the guys that fix the caulk do not fill the tub up before caulking and that the tub leaks after 6 months. The only seal that leaks is the one between the lip of the tub and the tile. All the other caulk lines are still good after 20 years. I asked her if the tub was set in concrete and she does not know. I am betting the tub is free floating, that is too say not installed properly. I have this urethane caulk that is water curing and never fully hardens. Very strong stuff, I have the color to match the tub. What do you guys say as far as the type of caulk to use? Or how to approach this problem

retired guy 60 04-01-2013 02:36 PM

Urethane caulk and polyureathane caulk are both strong but neither one was designed to support the weight of both a tub full of water and a person. It sounds like you are correct. The tub is not properly supported and moves a bit up and down. Any fix would have to correct the structural issue. I will assume you can't remove the tub and set it in mortar or structolite (I think that's the spelling). So you have to get access from below or through a wall beneath the tub. Then see what you can do to stop the flex. It is also possible that the tub has legs and does not require mortar but the floor is not level. In that case a well placed shim or two would do the trick. You will need to get the make and model of the tub and see what the installation instructions call for. This will point you in the right direction as far as a fix is concerned.

mj12 04-01-2013 03:51 PM

Hard to believe their could be a leak between the tub and tile. Most people complain of rot or mold, if she is complaining of a leak I would think maybe some hack installed a tub that does not have the lip. The lip would prevent the water from getting behind the tub. Is this a whirlpool by chance? I saw a tub that was set against the drywall instead of behind it, it took my floor and outside wall out with rot.

joecaption 04-01-2013 04:49 PM

There's about a 1% chance of trying to retro support a tub once it's install.
Best you can hope for is filling the tub like you suggested and using a better caulk.
One like this may work.

paintdrying 04-02-2013 12:29 PM

The tub had no lip, when I was scraping off the old caulk the scraper went all the way into the wall. Thanks mj12, my mother in law thinks I am a genius because of you.

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