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How to: Remove Leaking or Mouldy Shower Silicone - Part Two

How to: Remove Leaking or Mouldy Shower Silicone - Part Two

Silicone doesn’t just look good in a bathroom, it plays a vital role, preventing water from seeping out into the wall or floor behind the tiles. As it is constantly subjected to water and products, silicone can quickly become stained or build up mould. At this point, it no longer looks clean and fresh, but grubby and dingy. There is a point at which no amount of bleach, elbow grease or specialist products can save your silicone; you will have to replace it.

Last week, we looked at the importance of getting rid of limescale before you start removing the existing silicone. Assuming you have recovered from one of the most boring jobs known to the DIY-er, and have removed every trace of the previous silicone, even the most stubborn specks, you can proceed with the job.

Clean surfaces

Your surface prep isn’t done when the silicone is removed. The next step is to thoroughly clean and dry the surface before giving it a once over with methylated spirits to get rid of the most stubborn grime.

Getting ready to silicone

Before you start, make sure that every surface you will be working with is completely dry. Even the tiniest bit of moisture will repel your silicone and prevent you from getting an effective seal. Once it is dry, you are ready to get going! You will need your silicon, and a silicone profiler or profiling kit. A sealant gun will help you to get the sealant where you want it, minimising mess and wastage.

Before you start, read the instructions on the sealant. You may think that you have got everything covered but it is really important that you know how long you need to cure your sealant for. If you get it wet too soon, all that hard work will be wasted and you will have to start again.

Applying sealant

If you are using a sealant gun, make sure that you have the right aperture size for the job. Apply a steady band of sealant around the shower tray or bath tub, stopping as often as you need to keep the flow even. Once you have completed a small section, use paper towels to wipe away the excess, before carrying on the next section. Once you have completed a full length, use your profiling kit and apply steady pressure, dragging the profiler along the length of the tray or tub. Don’t push to hard or you may create a break in the silicone. If you notice a bubble or gap, go over it gently until you have a smooth finish. Once you have finished, leave it to dry for at least as long as recommended in the instructions (usually 24 hours at least), and you should have a clean, mould-free, leak-free silicone! Need help? If you are not confident doing DIY yourself, head to our directory where you can find local, rated tradespeople in your area. And don’t forget to follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter.

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