Bathroom caulk or sealant is meant to last a long time, just like any brand will tell you right on the tube itself. So why is it that bathroom caulk needs to be repaired or completely reapplied so often? Whether you’re a homeowner tired of looking at peeling caulk or a contractor getting calls from customers to re-caulk their bathroom yet again, you’re most likely frustrated that things aren’t working as they should!
Just as with anything else around the house, the well-paved road to long-lasting bathroom sealant is regular maintenance. While caulk is meant to be a long-term solution, using the wrong caulking product or forgetting to clean the caulk regularly will just lead to leaks and problems with mildew. Let’s take a closer look at bathroom caulk to learn how to maintain it over time.
But Isn't Bathroom Sealant a Long-Term Solution?
A well-applied bathroom caulk is supposed to last five years. If you’re only a few years in and are seeing water where it shouldn’t be or if you have gummy, cracking caulk, you know that something’s afoot. To prevent caulking failure, it’s important to have a quality caulking product on hand that repels moisture and stands up to cleaning. Learning how to properly care for the caulking in the bathroom after it’s applied is just as important to ensuring its longevity and effectiveness.
Finding a Durable Bathroom Sealant
To make your way to a long-lasting caulking job, start by finding a good product. There are plenty of “all-purpose” caulks that fall short when it comes to long-term elasticity and mildew-repellent properties. Here are some of the most common problems that you’ll face as a contractor or homeowner when it comes to caulk in the bathroom:
The Mildew Problem
Because bathrooms are often dark, damp, and poorly ventilated, they become perfects homes to mold and mildew. Caulk along the tub, shower, and sink becomes a landing pad for water, conditioners, and the natural oils from our skin, all of which act as food sources for mold and mildew! When a space is left damp, these nasty organisms grow and spread to other bathroom surfaces and may even contaminate the air over time.
To discourage mold and mildew from making a home along a tub or shower, keep your bathroom well-ventilated, whether by making sure a fan is installed in the space or by simply propping open the door and a window whenever possible. More importantly, remember to clean your sealant! Because it takes up relatively little surface space in the bathroom, caulk might not take highest priority on the bathroom cleaning schedule. To keep it from yellowing, cracking, or becoming a new home for mold and mildew, it needs to be wiped down regularly.
A mold-repellent caulking job for contractors:
As a contractor, positioning a tub or shower carefully is also important to avoid standing water. Make sure that the tub is placed evenly on a level surface so that moisture doesn’t slip and accumulate along the bathroom walls or tile.
Thanks to modern engineering, we’ve created a bathroom sealant with technology that repels mold and mildew buildup. CleanSeal® has active enzymes which dissolve the oils found in the shower that mold and mildew enjoy so very much. Between proper ventilation and a product that helps do the work for you, mold and mildew should stay well away.
The Cleaning Problem
When is cleaning a bad thing? When it damages the sealant itself! While most sealants can easily withstand regularly soapy water, the chemicals found in most bathroom cleaners are abrasive and often breakdown caulk over time. In addition, brushes and sponges made of harsh materials can scratch caulk or cause it to break. A good bathroom sealant will be specifically engineered to withstand years of constant scrubbing and cleaning with strong chemicals.
It’s possible to test out cleaning products on the caulk you’re planning to apply in the bathroom before regular use to see if they break down the surface, but it’s also important to keep a clean bathroom, which is what these strong cleaners are so helpful with. We recommend finding a sealant that’s strong from the get-go and that can easily withstand years of cleaning sprays and harsh materials. That way, no one has to sacrifice cleanliness for a well-sealed bathroom.
Lexel® is one example of a product designed specifically to hold up under a harsh cleaning regimen so that homeowners don’t need to worry about moisture buildup or mold growth in the bathroom. It also serves as an excellent alternative to silicone sealants, which come with their own host of complications in the application process. Best yet, Lexel® can be clear or painted to match any color! It comes clear in the tube, doesn’t become yellow, and can be painted right after application to match its surroundings.
Finding a Product that Fits the Bill
Caulk is applied in the bathroom to seal off the gaps and joints that could accumulate moisture over time. It needs to hold a watertight seal, but it also has to maintain elasticity. As temperatures change throughout the season and as the tub or shower is used, gaps and joints will expand or shrink under weight and pressure. If the sealant isn’t made to accommodate those changes, it will zipper the seal apart and crack down the middle, letting in moisture and mold.
Finding a tried-and-true sealant made explicitly for bathroom application will help homeowners fight off dirt and mold while withstanding regularly cleaning and moisture. We created CleanSeal® just for this purpose: it’s a product engineered specifically for bathrooms that holds a watertight seal and repels mold and mildew. It also maintains that important elasticity over time so that its seal won’t break under the constant shifts in pressure on the tub or shower.
A Well-sealed, Mold-free Bathroom
If the caulking in a bathroom fails in just one area, homeowners will either experience mold growth and moisture problems or will be faced with the task of removing and reapplying the sealant all over again. Keeping the bathroom well ventilated will discourage growth and help moisture evaporate more quickly. To clean your bathroom without fear of damaging sealant with regular cleaning, use a caulk that’s made specifically to stay strong and hold its seal against strong chemicals.
Here at Sashco, we design products thoughtfully to ensure that they don’t fall short of what each contractor needs for bathroom and shower application. Whether it’s Lexel®’s ability to withstand years of abrasive chemical cleaners and brushes or CleanSeal®’s active enzymes that repel mold and mildew growth, our caulk and sealant’s properties help you do a quality job and guarantee that a homeowner will have a hassle-free and clean space with sealant that lasts a long time.
Try out CleanSeal® or Lexel®
We know the importance of finding a product that works perfectly for your needs. Find a supplier near you to try CleanSeal® or Lexel® today. Have any questions or concerns about the product? Reach out to us any time; we’d love to hear your feedback.
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This month's training tip comes directly from a question we received recently.