When you are working in bathrooms or kitchens you will need to use sealants in order to prevent water from leaking. Sealants are materials that prevent water and other materials such as dust and sound from passing through to surfaces or joints. This makes them vital in rooms where you can expect a lot of damp and water.
Therefore most builders will use sealants when fitting fixtures such as sinks into your bathroom as well as tiling. However, if you are remodelling your house or bathroom then you may have to remove old sealants and replace them. You can not use the old sealants for new features.
Removing old sealants
Over time your bathroom will likely get dirtier and more worn and consequently, the sealant will need replacing. This may seem like an intimidating job however if you follow the right steps you can complete your task successfully and with little stress.
- Check to see if you have all the tools you need for removing the sealant. The key items are sealant remover, a smoother and remover tool as well as a dry cloth. Additionally, in order to complete this task, you will need to wear suitable clothing. Please don’t try this in your favourite pair of trousers or shirts as you risk damaging or staining them permanently.
- Apply the sealant remover to your chosen area.
- Wait for 3 hours. This gives the remover enough time to adequately bond with the old sealant and will make removing it much easier.
- Using your smoother & remover tool, scrape the sealant away. If you leave it for 3 hours it should come off fairly easily.
- Use your dry cloth to clean any remaining sealant of the area.
- If you are reapplying for a new sealant then you will need to clean the surface with methylated spirit before starting.
What if there’s sealant residue after?
In many cases, the above steps work well and you should be able to complete your task effectively by following them. However, in some cases after removing the old sealant (Step 3) you might face some trouble due to sealant residue.
Fortunately, this is an issue that can be resolved comfortably. Firstly, you will need some protective gloves and the area in which you are working needs to be ventilated well. Using your sealant remover you can weaken the residue. If you have used all of your sealant remover an alternative is soaking a cloth in white or methylated spirit. This should be equally effective. To remove any concerns about the remover causing damage or staining the surface you should test it on a smaller surface first.
Once you’ve completed these steps you can leave the room for a few hours. Once you’ve returned use your scraper to remove the residue and if any still pieces are being stubborn try pillars to pull it off. With a mix of warm water and bleach (store-bought is fine), clean the surface area. Then let the space dry before applying the new sealant.
It is vital that you properly remove sealant before re-applying it. If you were to reapply but leave some of the old and worn sealants you could potentially undo all the hard work you had put in. The older sealant might allow more water to leak through to the surface and therefore the process you’ve undertaken would be undermined.
Applying the new sealant
Having prepared the space you can add the new sealant to your kitchen or bathroom. Simply, add the sealant into the mastic gun and cut the tip. You will carefully squeeze the silicone into the desired space, removing any excess liquid as you go.
To complete the job, create a solution made up of water and washing up liquid – split evenly. Place your finger in this mixture and then use it to clean the area around the silicone and make it smoother. This will create a more aesthetically pleasing finish.
If you have any questions or concerns about removing sealants and applying new sealants then feel free to ask any of our team. We will be happy to provide answers and advice, whether in providing details about how to remove sealants or which solutions and products will be more effective during the process. Importantly, if you follow the steps and prepare properly you will be able to do this job yourself!