Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to NOT caulk your shower

I've caulked bathtubs and showers before.  I really have.  It's fairly simple.

STEPS:
1.  Open caulk.
2.  Press against area that needs to be caulked.
3.  Wipe finger across to keep it smooth.
4.  Clean up any excess with paper towel.

Voila!  Easy.

Except today's caulking job.

It should have been incredibly simple.  But alas it was a typical experience for me.  I used this caulk (please note I am NOT saying the caulk was deficient in any way or that this product is bad... I think I must have just used it wrong):  GE Silicone Caulk for Kitchens and Bath

Typically there is a cap on the tube that you screw off.  Mine refused to budge.  I couldn't in any way figure out how to get it off.  So I used scissors to cut it.  While that worked, the container said to puncture the silver cover.  I couldn't see a silver cover so I stuck the end of the scissors inside, but it didn't make a difference.  Nothing was coming out.

I noticed it must have to be cut further down.  I used a knife to cut further down.  I did this one more time as I wasn't far enough down to see the silver cover.  Finally it worked.

At this point Riley came in to watch me as I worked.  She looks to see if the caulk is coming out and as I press the tube to the towel to test it, she says "I see it coming!  It's coming out!"

It was coming out from the top, but barely.  I felt something on my leg.  In looking down, I notice that the bottom of the caulk has now pooled into a pile of caulk on the tile floor of our bathroom as well as on my skirt, shirt, counter, and is dripping from the sink.

I quickly grabbed paper towels to clean up the mess as fast as possible before we had caulk permanently covering where it wasn't supposed to go.  Riley made a comment about how I was doing it wrong so I told her that she was being rude and asked her to leave the room.  Yes I was doing it wrong, but needed to concentrate to get it all cleaned up.

As soon as I picked it all up and had it in a bag, I was even more determined to get the shower caulked.  We have a clear separation between our wall and the floor of the shower where water is seeping out of the shower every time we take one.  I had purchased the caulk to fix it and I was even more determined to get the job done.

Leaning down, I used my finger inside the bottom of the tube.  After all the top was useless at this point.  I put the caulk into the separation and began to seal it.  The caulk smeared up and down and inside the crack.  I used paper towels and my finger to get ride of excess caulk.  The job is now officially finished (for today... will need to get back to fixing it better soon).

I cleaned what I could off my cute outfit (tears of sadness internally as I've been pairing down my wardrobe and only saved my good clothes that I like...hoping to not have to part with the skirt or shirt).  I told Riley I was cleaning my clothes and that I hoped it would come out.  She responded encouragingly by telling me that it probably wouldn't.

At least it is now caulked and fits with some of the other semi-great jobs that have been done around the house from the previous owner.  And hey - at least I can rest knowing that I now have two ways to caulk a shower.  I just hope to not repeat this one.

**In sharing this story with my dad while laughing incredibly hard, he asked if I had a caulk gun.  Turns out that I hadn't bought the caulk with the easy cap to open.  I'd purchased one that was meant to be used in a caulk gun which explains why the bottom pushed out when I put too much pressure on the front end.  This realization resulted in laughter and tears from the laughter.**

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