We recently came across a classic problem of the seal between a bath and the wall-tiles leaking water behind the bath, and not only creating nasty-looking black seal along the bath edge, but in this case water then leaking into the living room directly below.
Not good, and infact beyond just a quick clean but needing a proper DIY repair to stop this. We therefore worked with a handy man and soon got to the bottom of it, and as a result came up with a handy little 7-point check-list on how to do this kind of repair in future:
1. First detect how bad the problem is. So take the bath sides off and look underneath and you’ll often see how the water drips behind and maybe down into the room below. You can also then ‘squeeze’ the bath down and across near the seal to get it moving, and in this instance you could then see water squelching out in the seal gaps!
2. Take the old seals off. With most they are a concave-shaped tile piece or plastic trim, which can be prized off carefully with a chisel or screwdriver. If there is any additional rubber-feel sealing though, then first cut this with a craft knife to ‘un-stick’ before then prizing away.
3. Scrape all the excess sealant off. Maybe with a chisel or scraper, and making sure all those rubbery-bits get nicely off the bath top and wall finish.
4. Give a thorough wipe and clean to the bath and wall surfaces. So not only wipe excess water off, and in this case nasty looking mould, but also make sure every droplet of water is off and it is as dry as a bone (often several dry-wipes needed to finish).
5. Fill the bath with water to weight it down. This sounds strange, but it will act like someone is sitting in there so when you place the new seal on, it will be the best match for a full-bath.
6. Place new sealing along the edges. So even if you’re placing plastic or tile trims back, these need to be ‘glued’ on the wall and bath surfaces, so get a special mastic-gun and ooze the sealant along it. The transparent sealant is often the best as it tends to be hidden from view afterwards.
7. Wipe any excess sealant off. So once everything in place, quickly wipe it all away, making sure all gaps are filled, particularly towards the ends.