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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DO IT YOURSELF




MICHELLE HELPS WITH THE CAULKING

Okay, Thanksgiving might not be the best time to stalk and attack strangers, but I'm giving it serious thought!

This past month, I re-caulked my shower.

Don't EVER do that!

Oh, you'll see ads and U-tube videos showing how "easy and fun!" it is to do.  Don't fall for it!  Don't do it!

Here's my story (and I'm sticking to it).
GIDGET AND MICHELLE HELP INSPECT THE SHOWER


Our shower was leaking.  It got so bad that we had a puddle in the basement.  I kept smelling mold or mildew and eventually Ray (my husband)  reported dampness in the basement.  We could turn on the water in the shower all day long with no leaks.  But if we took a shower, it leaked!!

What's up with that!

I patched a little spot in the shower and thought the problem was solved.  But, NOOOO.  Next shower, drips in the basement.

So I watched a video about re-caulking the shower.  Ah!  That didn't look too hard.  Easy, if not fun, right?

I sat cross-legged in the shower floor for HOURS each day (I am not exaggerating) digging out every particle of the silicone caulk.
YOU HAVE TO BE SMALL TO DO THIS
I cut and dug and pulled out caulk with needle-nosed pliers.  I rubbed and wiped with alcohol.  I scraped the tiny bits that clung to the shower.  Whoever built this house should be shot! I discovered that the sloppy builder left big cracks between the bottom and side of the shower (in some places) and put gobs of caulk in there.  All the instructions on the caulk and videos say silicone caulk WILL NOT STICK TO ITSELF - YOU MUST REMOVE EVERY VESTIGE OF THE OLD CAULK!
SOAK WITH ALCOHOL AND SCRAPE
REPEAT
REPEAT
You could have performed surgery on the shower floor by the time I finished.  Except I wouldn't have let you mess up my clean field of operation!
THERE IS NO COMFORTABLE POSITION IN HERE
Then I let that rascal dry for days!  We put a heater and fan in there and waited.  And waited.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the alcohol has WATER in it and it stayed damp inside the cracks forever. I check by sticking a Q-tip in there every few hours. Finally I began to caulk.

I put painter's tape down, c a r e f u l l y drew my caulk along the seams, s m o o t h e d the caulk and removed the tape.  It looked great!

Then I waited several days for the caulk to "cure".  No way was I going to jump the gun and wet my caulking prematurely.

I checked my caulk daily.  I got down on my knees with a flashlight and examined every inch.  To my horror, I discovered what could be a couple of tiny, microscopic lesions in the caulk!  Oh No!  I felt dizzy and sick.  What could be done?  What could be done?  My mind echoed with threats of silicone caulk NOT STICKING TO ITSELF!  "It will stick to everything, except itself," the video guru intoned somberly.

The little cracks might not leak, might not go all the way through, but how would I know?  Back to the computer - trying to find some way to fix things without suffering through all the agony again.  No help.

I called a friend who was socializing with friends who were plumbers.  He passed on my questions and concerns to his friends.

"Just go ahead a lay another bead of caulk down," the nice man said.  "If it's totally clean, it will stick."



I CAULK, THEREFORE I AM . . . . TIRED
NOTE THE DARK CIRCLES UNDER THE EYES
Yea!!!  "Okay, I told my friend, I'll take his advice, but get his address before he leaves, because if this doesn't work, I'm hiring someone to take him out!"

My friend passed on this threat and added, "Isn't she sweet!?"

Well, it worked!  So far as I can tell there is no leak from the bottom of the shower and the caulk is sticking perfectly.  BUT - - -

There is still a leak!  After the shower is over, water is pooling on the floor in front of the shower!  About a quarter of a cup of water comes out, apparently from under the shower!  What the heck!

I'll keep you posted on the repair.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

POOR, TIRED, OLD BETH!
And if you know how to hunt down the makers of the "fun" videos, let me know -- I'll take care of THAT little project.  "Do it yourself" - my motto.