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HomeownerNewby 10-27-2012 10:23 PM

How to seal to existing clear silicone caulk?
What is the best way to seal a tub shower door leak where the three planes meet in a corner where the metal door frame abuts the tiled wall, both of which sit on top of the enamel tub? It appears that the tiles were grouted, then the metal door frame sealed with clear silicone caulk to both the tile wall and enamel tub, then the angle between tile and tub sealed over the grout with a colored caulk (unknown type) which abuts the clear caulking around the shower door frame. Water is wicking under the tub to tile angle at the shower door, then wicking behind the metal door frame between the tub surface and the overlying grout, and dripping down the vertical tub panel to the floor and eventually through the ceiling below.

I have removed the colored caulking from tile to tub along the three walls of the enclosure, but was hoping not to have to disturb the clear silicone caulking around the door frame which appears to be watertight. Is there a way to seal some sort of new caulking product applied to the angle between tile and tube to the old clear silicone caulking around the door frame to keep water from getting behind the frame under the tiles that pass behind it on the wall where it is currently leaking? I was thinking of using bright white mildewcide silicone caulk. Will this stick to the old clear silicone caulk around the metal door frame? Or is this a larger job requiring removal of all the caulk along all three sides (bottom and sides) of the door frame facing inside the tub and recaulking this as well. The door frame caulking seems intact and watertight.

Blondesense 10-29-2012 10:47 AM

I'm having a hard time picturing how enough water is leaking to soak through the floor to the ceiling below unless the shower doors were installed backward!
Is this a new install?
How about a pic?

HomeownerNewby 11-03-2012 07:15 PM

Picture attached to illustrate problem
1 Attachment(s)
Construction was 2005.
Shower door was not installed backwards.

I'm most interested in whether anyone has had success getting new silicone caulk to seal to old silicone caulk so I don't have to go through the additional work of removing the intact and still sealed clear silicone when I apply my white silicone to the tub/tile junction over the grout, and butt this up against the metal shower door and existing clear silicone remaining from door to tub.

Since this picture was taken, I have already scraped off the "thin overlay of colored caulk" and filled the grout cavity with new grout level to the old grout on either side.

DannyT 11-03-2012 08:55 PM

you need to remove all the old silicone and anything else that is there and clean all the gunk off that is under it before you will be able to seal it correctly. i saw many of these in fla when i was down there. they would never seal in the inside of the track in the corner where the wall and the bottom track met. the water would just run down the track and into the wall or on the floor.

joecaption 11-03-2012 08:57 PM

Well there's the problum, the tile was installed wrong.
There never should have been that much gap there in the first place.
Trying to use that much calking to fill that big a gaps not going to work.
Tile needed to be about 1/4 above the tub.

DannyT 11-03-2012 10:15 PM

can you take a picture a little farther away?

HomeownerNewby 11-06-2012 01:20 AM

More Pictures To Clarify
2 Attachment(s)
Here's a wider angle picture together with current close up after I patched grout cavity and removed the last of the caulk over the old grout. I trimmed the clear silicone even with the edge of the metal door frame vertically, and just above the hole that passes behind the frame horizontally.

The clear silicone caulk originally placed 2005 looks intact from shower door frame to tub and tile. I am wondering if there is a way I can preserve that and use white silicone from tub to tile and into the hole, bonding it somehow to the clear silicone, or if I need to remove all the clear silicone too and redo it as well to prevent recurrance of water leaking behind door frame and outside tub.


Tub Refinisher 11-08-2012 04:03 PM

I could be wrong, but I've been told that NOTHING sticks to silicone, EVEN MORE SILICONE. You can test that theory easily enough by applying a small amount of new silicone to the existing silicone in an inconspicuous area and let it cure, or dab some new silicone on a piece of scrap material, let it cure fully, then try to apply some more to it, let it cure, and see if it bonds. To make matters worse, removing the old silicone almost always leaves a residue that must be removed thoroughly, otherwise the new caulk won't adhere. What I generally do is remove as much as possible with a sharp utility knife and razor scraper, then apply some WD-40, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and scrape some more. The WD-40 helps break the bond between the silicone and the substrate. Nothing will dissolve it. Good luck!

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