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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bathroom Sealant

When Graham had the side of the bath off to lay heating pipes etc, we discovered that the sealant around the bath was letting water through.  It also looked quite minging.  It was mouldy sealant covered up with that sealant tape stuff that never (in my opinion) works.

So, I decided to replace it.  Now, I should point out that I have re-sealed a bath once before, and it went fine *smug*.  Here's proof:

So, I knew what I was doing.  I was confident.  I even had some leftover sealant from the last time!

Well.  We all know that pride comes before a fall, don't we!

 Before: (scuse hair)

I made various crucial errors as I went along, most of which I didn't realise were errors until a little way down the line...

Fail #1: I used WD40 to remove the old sealant.  I definitely did this last time but for some reason it worked fine then.  Basically, as it is a water dispersant, it left a film on the bath that meant the sealant didn't stick.
Fail #2: I totally forgot about the need to masking-tape off the area to be sealed, which ensures a neat line.
Fail #3: I couldn't get some of the sealant out (it became very very sticky, like super-gooey chewing gum or something), so I decided I would just...er... seal over the top of it.




I knew it looked bad but decided I didn't care, since we'll be replacing the bathroom soon.  As long as it kept the water out, right?!

Yeah.  Well.  The next day, I noticed it was peeling up at the edges and water was getting underneath it.  It had barely stuck at all.  It was at this point that I realised this was probably due to the WD40 residue.

Sealant needs to dry for 24 hours before you get it wet, so this wasn't a job I could re-do one evening, so it's had to wait a whole week - a week of me worrying about how much water was getting through :S  It was part-way through this week, as I stood in B&Q buying more sealant, and I said to Ian "that's funny, this one says "bathroom sealant" but the last one just said "all purpose sealant" that my Fail #4 occurred to me like a lightbulb above my head.

I'd used the wrong sealant.  I had forgotten that we'd bought the all-purpose stuff to seal around the edge of the lino we laid in the bathroom in the flat, and that was the stuff we had leftover! Urgh.  What an idiot.

So (thanks to my Dad for doing lots of Google research for me), today I stripped off the old (new) sealant with a stanley knife, then put Unibond sealant remover on the remaining gunk, left it for 3 hours (get me, reading the instructions!), scraped it all off, cleaned the surfaces with Methylated Spirits (get me with my 7 Ps! (Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)), laid masking tape, sealed, swiped the bead along with my finger, and removed the masking tape.  Phew.


I am slightly concerned about posting this, in case I go to it tomorrow morning and find it's all a total disaster again, but I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it!

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