Caulk, slightly different question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2009, 10:35 AM   #1
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Well, after 5+ years of reading this forum you all have convinced me that silicone caulk is a no-no on fiberglass trailers. So now my mother-in-law wants me to re-caulk her shower stall in her home. (Aluminum frame to ceramic tile & molded base.) If silicone is bad on trailers, would it not also be bad in a home shower? trailer shower?

Is silicone caulk still the best solution there? Would butyl caulk be better? Latex w/ silicone?

If this has been covered already, my apologies, I don't recall seeing this discussed.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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So now my mother-in-law wants me to re-caulk her shower stall in her home. (Aluminum frame to ceramic tile & [b]molded base.) If silicone is bad on trailers, would it not also be bad in a home shower? trailer shower?
If the base is molded out of fiberglass, then yes, I would avoid using silicone there, too. If the base is something else, I'm not sure...
I used the same C-10 self-leveling caulk in the Fiber Stream's shower as I used on the penetrations through the roof.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Good morning.
Types of silicone can vary greatly.I use the standard clear stuff to make molds for my business.Can't afford the tin-type,supposed to be superior in every way.
As to problems with silicone removal,DAP has created a product called"Silicone Be-Gone"which apparently makes it a simple task to remove previous sealants.Have not used it,merely reporting on its existence!
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Ahhh, so is the heart of the problem the long term adhesion of silicone to fiberglass / gel coat and not the adhesion to ceramic tile or aluminum?
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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I'm thinking it could also be because of weather related issues and silicone along with UV damage which makes it doubly bad on a trailer. Doubt you have excessive heat extremes in a shower and hopefully no sun.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Good morning.
Types of silicone can vary greatly.I use the standard clear stuff to make molds for my business.Can't afford the tin-type,supposed to be superior in every way.
As to problems with silicone removal,DAP has created a product called"Silicone Be-Gone"which apparently makes it a simple task to remove previous sealants.Have not used it,merely reporting on its existence!
I used the DAP Silicone Be-Gone this past weekend, overall it didn't work as well as I thought it would. It comes in a jar with a brush, consistency is a brownish gel. You brush it on, wait 30 minutes then wipe off the gel/silicone. Before using, you have to use a razor to shave off the silicone as close as possible to the underlying surface. If there's any kind of thickness at all, it won't loosen it, so you can forget about thinking this will remove a bead of silicone caulking. Also, even after I had shaved the silicone down to the fiberglass, it wasn't as simple as wiping off the residue, I still had to use a non-scratching scouring pad to really get everything off. In short, it's useful for removing remnants of silicone caulking residue, but it won't remove silicone beads or anything of any thickness. It cost me about $9 for the jar from Lowes.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
I used the DAP Silicone Be-Gone this past weekend, overall it didn't work as well as I thought it would. It comes in a jar with a brush, consistency is a brownish gel. You brush it on, wait 30 minutes then wipe off the gel/silicone. Before using, you have to use a razor to shave off the silicone as close as possible to the underlying surface. If there's any kind of thickness at all, it won't loosen it, so you can forget about thinking this will remove a bead of silicone caulking. Also, even after I had shaved the silicone down to the fiberglass, it wasn't as simple as wiping off the residue, I still had to use a non-scratching scouring pad to really get everything off. In short, it's useful for removing remnants of silicone caulking residue, but it won't remove silicone beads or anything of any thickness. It cost me about $9 for the jar from Lowes.
Thanks for posting some first hand experience

I've had the best luck removing caulk by using a plexiglass ice scraper, a non-serrated plastic knife and my thumbnails. None of those things will damage the gel coat, unless ya gouge at it! A razor knife, putty knife and the like (containing metal) must be used judiciously to NOT damage the gel coat.

YMMV
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:13 AM   #8
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Donna, that could very well be the issue with silicone, it's ability to hold up in outside conditions, especially sun light.

When I bought my U-Haul it had several places with layers of silicone but it still leaks.

Not sure what the caulk is in the shower stall now but the silicone removers might be a help.

All the input is most appreciated. Anyone else have any info on using silicone caulk in a shower stall (while not using it on trailer exteriors)?

Craig T.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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I have used white silicon caulk to seal the aluminum shower door frames to the (non-fiberglass) tub and painted wall areas. I've not had any leaks in the last dozen years or so. The tub is still late '60s purple, but that's not anything I can blame on the silicon.

Outdoors on the trailer, I spent a lot of time picking out the silicone bits the various previous owners had used like it was a magic cure-all. These areas were resealed with either the butyl caulk (windows, etc.) or epoxy putty (pinhole rock punctures, etc).
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:12 AM   #10
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Another vote for C10. It's formulated for fiberglass and works extremely well!
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:18 AM   #11
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Will the C-10 form a nice fillet between the vertical wall and horizontal floor, or will it self-level itself down onto the floor?

I have not used it but would like to try it if it is not too runny.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:17 AM   #12
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It's thinner than typical caulk, however, it is not runny and should form a nice bead if applied in a small amount! I'd try a small area and be sure it gives you the look you want before you do an entire area..
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:31 PM   #13
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Will the C-10 form a nice fillet between the vertical wall and horizontal floor, or will it self-level itself down onto the floor?

I have not used it but would like to try it if it is not too runny.
I would do multiple <sub>small</sub> beads, waiting for the first one to set before applying the second... and so on, building it up from the bottom up. Hopefully, your wall surface is in contact with the shower pan. If you are trying to bridge a gap between the two, then I think it would self-level down onto the floor.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:31 PM   #14
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I promised myself not to say anything about the silicone , but regarding the depth of the area to be filled, if it's as deep or deeper than it is wide, don't forget to put some kind of backer in there at the bottom. The backer (often a closed-cell, foam "worm" that you can cut to length) keeps the caulk from pulling away from the sides. I woudl recommend that over multiple layers for a deep caulking job (if that's what you have). Otherwise, it will always pull away from the sides first.

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