Regardless of what type of shower you have, sealing the joints and the corners is a critical task in order to prevent water from getting underneath the surface, leading to a favorable environment for growing mold or even damage the wall structure. To make sure that the water does not seep through the joints, you should inspect them regularly and reapply fresh caulk as needed. The following sections are a step-by-step guide on how to caulk a shower!
The 3 Steps to Caulking a Shower
First things first, the tools and materials you need to caulk your shower are:
- A caulk gun
- Putty knife and utility knife
- Razor scraper
- Oscillating tool
- Caulk that contains additives to prevent mold and mildew growth
- Caulk remover
- Mineral spirits
- Masking tape
- Paper towels
1. Remove the Old Caulk
If you want to refresh the caulk you already have, you must remove the old one first. You can scrape it off using a razor scraper or a caulk removal tool. Make sure you clean all surfaces that will get in contact with caulk – including the tiles, wall panels, tub surface, joints on shower valves, and even the showerhead arm. Caulk leftovers can be easily removed using an oscillating tool or utility knife to scrape off as much as possible.
Caulk does not adhere to the surface unless it is smooth and clean; to make it easier, you can also apply a liquid caulk remover. If you encounter any mold or mildew, eliminate it using commercial cleaners or combine one part of bleach with two parts of water. Use a sponge and a household cleaner to clean all the caulk surfaces and rinse them away with a damp cloth or rag. Before applying the fresh caulk, make sure that all areas are completely dry.
2. Set Limits With Masking Tape Then Apply Silicone
You can apply caulk using a tube, but a quality caulk gun can be a major help because you can easily manage the flow and the direction of the caulk, resulting in a better-looking line. If this is the first time when you load the caulk gun, make sure you don’t cut too much of its tip because a large opening will release too much caulk, resulting in very thick lines.
Before starting the actual process, use painter’s tape to cover the surface next to the bead. Then, start caulking by applying pressure on the gun. There is no right or wrong technique when caulking – you can either hold the gun at 90 degrees or push it forward or backward from your starting point. Use the method that makes you comfortable, so you won’t do a sloppy job.
3. Remove the Excess
Once you fill the gaps with caulk, wipe the line with your wet finger to take off any excess. This also helps to round the bead and make it smooth. While the caulk is still wet, remove the tape and then move on to the next section of your shower. Once you finish, make sure you wait 24 hours before using your shower again.
Caulking a shower is not a difficult process. Even more, it is a must if you want to protect your home from mold and mildew. Once you practice a few times, caulking shouldn’t take much time, so you don’t need to call a professional if you follow the steps above!