Learn everything you need to know about what it takes to reseal a shower in this guide. How often and how should you do it? Find out.
No matter how clean and well-maintained your shower is, the truth is it’s still a hotbed of bacteria. Due to the fact that it’s subject to constant wetting and drying, this makes for the ideal environment in which bacteria can flourish.
Sounds gross, right? But this is just the reality of a bathroom environment. And that’s why regular cleaning and maintenance of all its nooks and crannies is so important- especially shower tile and grouting.
Learn more about when it’s high-time to reseal your shower and how to master the task at hand…
When and Why Should You Reseal Your Shower?
Resealing your shower achieves a number of things for the integrity of your shower and overall bathroom hygiene. But how do you know when its time for a deep clean or a complete resealing of your shower?
Here’s how to tell you may have underlying issues with your shower sealing:
- Consistent mold and mildew build-up
- Cracked shower joints
- A smelly and consistently wet carpet
- Swollen wall skirting and door frames
- Discoloration of your shower walls and floor
These bathroom defects could all be caused by one simple issue: under-maintained shower grouting and sealing. See more here on why to hire experienced professionals to do it for you…
Why Should You Replace Shower Sealant?
If you neglect to maintain or replace shower sealant, this can lead to a number of issues in terms of shower integrity, bathroom hygiene, and your overall health.
Failing to replace your grouting and shower sealant could lead to:
1. Unpleasant Smells
Does your bathroom consistently smell like urine, no matter how much you scrub down the shower and toilet? While no one really likes to admit it, most people are guilty of peeing in the shower, and this comes at a cost over time.
While fresh grouting in your shower may be non-permeable, it can break down over time and begin to absorb smells. If you fail to maintain and replace your grouting, this can lead to persistent smells that linger in your bathroom.
2. A Build-Up of Bacteria
Do you find yourself constantly scrubbing away a slimy, pink-ish substance from your shower walls and floor? Beware, because this is a bacteria that can cause illnesses such as meningitis, pneumonia, and other infections.
Known as Serratia marcescens, this bacteria is similar to mold and definitely poses a health hazard. It breeds due to a build-up of bacteria over time due to poorly maintained shower grouting and sealing.
3. Micro-Organisms and Mildew
Mildew is basically the early staged of mold- and while it’s not as hazardous as mold, it’s still an indication your shower needs maintenance.
The fact of the matter is that no one really has time to fully wipe down their shower after each use to remove excess moisture. But old grouting and caulking create a haven for mildew and other micro-organisms to burrow, hide, and flourish.
Maintaining the seal between your grouting, tiles, and caulking is the best way to prevent the build-up of mildew and bacteria.
4. Unnecessary Wall Damage
Your health and wellbeing aside, there’s also the integrity of your shower and the rest of your home at risk. If you have large amounts of wall grout and caulking missing, this means that water is permeating your walls and causing all kinds of damage.
Depending on how old your home is, this moisture can spread and damage other materials susceptible to moisture. This can lead to expensive wall and electrical repairs down the road.
A Simple Guide on How to Reseal a Shower
The first thing you need to inspect is your shower grouting. If it shows signs of crumbling, weakening or cracking, you should replace it as soon as possible.
The same goes for caulking which is generally used to seal the area between your shower floor, the doors, and around fixtures. If caulking is peeling or cracked, it should be removed and resealed.
1. Removing Sealant
If you’re going to be removing sealant and caulking, you need to remove it all at once- a half-and-half job just won’t cut it. Basically, this will save you from missing a leak somewhere down the line.
Use a sharp knife, chisel or box cutter to remove old shower sealant, grouting, and caulking. Just be extra careful when it comes to fiberglass showers as you could damage the surfacing.
To remove shower sealant, run your knife blade parallel to the wall to loosen the old seal from the wall itself. Then you have to tackle the ”skin coat” of the shower too. Finally, use denatured alcohol to remove any remaining residue.
2. Sealing Your Shower
As a general rule-of-thumb, your shower tiles should be resealed every one to two years. But this also depends on how often the shower is used. For a guest bathroom, this could be considerably less.
Make sure to always use latex-based products to seal your tiles, tile grouting and caulking. Some tiles could be a little too thick to absorb the sealant, so just test out a small area first.
If the tile fails to soak up the sealant, just seal your shower grouting and areas of caulking. If it soaks up the sealant, make an effort to seal your entire shower- this pays off in the long run!
To make your life a whole lot easier, use a sealant gun to apply the sealant. Then use a wet fingertip to smooth the sealant out across each area of application.
After each application, wait a few minutes then wipe off the excess sealant with a damp cloth. Repeat the process again the following day to make sure the sealant has dried properly.
Always allow the sealant to dry thoroughly before you use the shower.
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