Monday, January 02, 2012


I hate gross caulk. The stuff in my tub was gross. Plus it was not adhering in places. It looked like the mold was coming through from the back for the most part, and the places that weren't adhering definitely had mold on the backside of the caulk.

So, I bought supplies, fetched my caulking gun from my mom's, and ripped out the old caulk. (Yes, I probably *could* have asked my caretaker to do it... but then it wouldn't be done on a schedule convenient to *me*, and I wasn't confident he'd do a decent job, given the muck-up of the previous caulking.)

For some reason, there was large quantities of *sand* behind the tub surround:
(In this spot it was clean sand, in other places it was black and muddy.)

After cleaning out what I could, I made a paste of borax, packed it in everywhere, and let it dry. Then I washed it off, and let everything dry again.

I had bought some tub surround adhesive to reattach the loose portions of the surround, and rigged a method to get the adhesive behind the surround:
Unfortunately, squishing adhesive behind the surround appeared to have *no* effect. (I suspect whatever backing board *might* have been there once was now the sand I had swept out.)

The caulking gun also had problems when I tried to apply the adhesive:
I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the handle goes all wavy back by the pin... basically it crumpled. (WTF?!? This is the first time *I* used my caulking gun! Did I break it? Or did it get messed up when my uncles borrowed it this past summer? It certainly worked fine for the first pull, it was the second that it ceased to work.) Well, since I still had the whole tub to caulk, and I want to have a shower tomorrow, I found a way to fix it: vice grips and various devices to "unmash" it, then a piece of wood to reinforce the handle:
We can't forget the duct tape, to hold everything in place. Much better!

Another disaster when I took down my clothes-drying (aka shower curtain) rod from over the centre of the tub:
Yup, it stuck to the wall. On one side, the rubber piece is still stuck to the wall, on this side the wall stuck to the rubber. Curses. I'll have to patch that, or my caretaker will have a fit. (I wish my landlord had given me some of the leftover paint like I had asked!)

Since the adhesive wasn't doing squat, I ignored it's curing time. I braced the sides of the surround as best I could, and caulked everything:
It is definitely *not* my best caulking job... but it was hard to work around the braces. :(

This is not too bad:
(There hadn't been *anything* there before.) Yes, I left the bottom open so that any water that did get in there would come out below. I had planned to do stuff to the handle area, but my patience gave out... I'm just going to hope that the caretaker used the correct gaskets and plumbers putty properly. (I did tighten the loose screws as best I could... there wasn't much clearance with the handle.)

I also did the spot behind the kitchen sink faucet:
All that was back there before was plumbers putty, and it was getting mildewy from splashed water.

Now my apartment smells like curing silicone caulk. I've closed the bathroom door now, but I should have closed it earlier. Of course, the smell is just going to come pouring out when I open the door the next time I need to use the washroom. (The question is, can I get away with not using it tonight? I don't think so... perhaps I'll use my respirator for that.) I think I'll crack the window open in my bedroom as well... too bad it wasn't warmer out! (The forecast low tonight is -14 C.) At least it's not as cold as it sometimes is at this time of year!


jess said...

huh, that's odd about the sand. did you fill the tub with water before caulking it (doesn't look like it in the photo)? I hate it when caulking guns break that way :/ good work!

noricum said...

Doh! I forgot about filling the tub. (I guess I was too "caulky" about my knowledge? ;) )