Note: This DIY article is provided as a general guide only and is not intended to take the place of product-specific installation procedures; always follow applicable manufacturers’ instructions. Depending on your home’s age and condition, location within the home, and other potential factors, repairs and/or upgrades or other services may be necessary prior to the beginning and/or completion of your project that may involve the services of a home improvement professional. This article does not include advice pertaining to local building codes and/or any related inspections.
It’s no secret that bathrooms are constantly exposed to moisture and humidity. For that reason, these areas can also be at risk for mold or mildew growth and water damage. But did you know using a sealant is an easy way to help protect bathrooms from these issues? Here are 5 easy steps to start you sealing DIY project.
Choose the Right Caulk or Sealant
To stand up to the daily demands of a bathroom, you can choose either a 100% silicone, paintable silicone, or acrylic caulk or sealant.
For surfaces most at risk of water exposure and mold growth, 100% silicone is ideal. Advanced Silicone 2* Kitchen & Bath sealant is a 100% silicone sealant that is 100% waterproof with 10-year mold-free product protection1. It offers excellent flexibility and strong adhesion and can be water ready in 30 minutes2.
If your project needs to be painted but is still at risk of water or humidity, you’ll need a paintable silicone. These products offer the durability and water resistance of a silicone as well as the paintable attributes of an acrylic latex. Paintable Silicone Supreme Kitchen & Bath sealant is 100% waterproof and offers 10-year mold-free product protection1. It is permanently flexible and paint-ready in 30 minutes3 to keep projects on schedule.
If the surface will need to be painted but is seldomly exposed to moisture or humidity, consider siliconized acrylic latex caulks and sealants. Max* Shield Ultra Seal sealant is a best-in-class4, paintable product, offering Tri Shield protection: 100% waterproof, lifetime mold-free product protection1 and exceptional flexibility.
Clean the surface
Remove old sealant from your shower, bathtub, sink or countertop. Typically, it needs to be cut, scraped or chipped away from these areas using a utility knife, putty knife or painter’s multi-tool. To assure proper adhesion, remove soap scum and other residue from the surface prior to application. Thoroughly rinse the area with soap and wipe away excess water.
TIP: Wiping the joint with alcohol or window cleaner ensures no soapy residue is left behind.
Open the Tube and Seal
Cut nozzle of your bathroom cartridge to the desired bead size. Pierce inner seal with seal punch found on most caulk guns. Insert cartridge into caulk gun. Squeeze with even, consistent pressure to control the rate the sealant leaves the tube. After laying your bead of caulk, smooth sealant into the joint with a gloved finger
TIP: Apply masking tape or painter’s tape to either side of a joint to create a straight edge before applying caulk to your surface.
Before caulk cures, wipe away excess sealant on surface, hands and tools with a dry cloth.
Want to learn more DIY tips and tricks? Visit our Projects & How To’s page for more.
1Fully cured sealant is resistant to stain-causing mold and mildew. Regular cleaning of sealant is required, however, as soap and other residue may cause secondary mold and mildew growth.
2Exposure to water possible in as little as 30 minutes with bead size max 3/16"", temperature min 65°F and humidity min 50%. Otherwise, sealant should not be exposed to water for 8 hours. Do not touch or clean sealant for 24 hours
3Sealant can be painted in as little as 30 minutes with bead size 3/16"", temperature min 65°F & humidity min 50%. Otherwise, seals should not be painted for 2 hours. Spray paint can be applied immediately. Apply paint with reduced applicator pressure to avoid disturbing the caulk. Not recommended with oil-based paints. If oil-based paints are used, first test by applying an acrylic primer and paint in a small, inconspicuous area.
4Based on comparison of publicly available manufacturers’ specifications, products meet or exceed the flexibility performance of any commercial siliconized acrylic sealants in their respective category and ASTM C-920 class (or lower).