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Question DetailsAsked on 12/19/2017

i caulked tub with tub & tile caulk 1 week ago, can i go over it with new caulk

the tub dropped and broke the seal, is repaired now and I wonder if I need to scrape the 1 week old caulk before I recaulk, shower was used twice and everything is dry

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1 Answer


Maybe, but I would not count on the result. The "right way" to do this, especially with cured caulk (over an hour or few curing) is to remove it - which for caulk only in place a week should be an easy thing to do with a combination of a dull scraper and grabbing the raised and and peeling it free, so I would say go ahead and do it - take the 15 minutes or so to do it and the $5 or so in caulk to get a good, permanent result. Be VERy careful not to scratch the tub, because cut through the enamel or percelain with a razor blade cutter and it will rust over time, eventually bleeding out rust under the caulk and eventually, over the long run, rusting under the finish and causing finish popoffs and rust blisters.

Once the caulk has skinned over it has a glossy, shiny suface - so even though you wash off any soap scum from the couple of uses to provide a "clean" surface, the new caulk will not bond over it well - and caulk does not really sand well to provide a rough bonding surface. This surface glazing is much more pronounced with silicone caulks - latex caulks like Dap Tub and Tile tend to stick to themselves better so you MIGHT get away with overlaying it. But you are still going to have a bad time getting a visibly acceptable result unless the first layer was laid in with a concave or "cove" shape using a shaper or wet fingertip. On a raised or "quarter-round" bead i would not expect acceptable results.

Also - while a nicely formed bead is an aestheticaly desireable thing, the real thing you need the most is good caulk bonding at the interface between the tub and the surround or tile - and putting an additional layer over the top of one that might be partly peeled free from the settlement is not going to reliably do that.

One thing if you did not remember to do this originally, you now have a chance to make sure you do it - you should leave a small (typically about 1/4" wide) gap several places around the tub/surround perimeter as weep holes - in places where water does not accumulate, so typically about 6 inches in from each corner on each wall. This allows any water coming down the water barrier behind the surround/tile to run out onto the tub rim rather than getting trapped and eventually overflowing the rim and causing an in-wall or in-floor leak. (The water barrier, usually visqueen sheeting, should have been overlapped over the rim of the tub and terminted at the horizontal part of the rim so any water running down it ends up inside the tub).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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