Exactly how much does "all" mean when removing old silicone

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by watson524, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. watson524

    watson524 Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hi all,

    We have our glass framed shower door out because of mold forming at the silicone seal (we found out it's because water gets in the bottom piece and the weep holes are a bit too high to let it out so it seems the mold formed inside that bottom rail and then came out into the silicone (install almost 9 years ago when house was built).

    Anyway, we have scraped all the old silicone off VERY close to the shower itself with a scrape blade and have been going over it and over it with a variety of products and scotch brite type pads and paint scrapers. One section I have down to literally nothing, run your finger over it, can't feel a thing. In the next area, there's still a FINE FINE film left. When folks say "ALL" silicone needs to come off, how anal do I really need to be about it? Seems like at this rate I'll need another week just to get things cleaned up. There's no stickiness or anything left, but if you run your finger on it, you feel the line a bit. I actually contemplated taking my buffer that I use on the boat (either rotary or regular one) and some compound to see what that did but opted for some Bon Ami and a damp scotch brite pad to see what that did before I took power tools to it.

    thanks in advance!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    As a speaker said last Saturday, "I researched the word 'ALL', using all the ancient texts, and modern dictionaries, and came up with the definition of 'all'. It means ALL." Some silicones will not adhere to existing silicone and therefore might start leaking again.
  3. watson524

    watson524 Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    ugh.... ok. The good news is I have one side done and about 1/3 of the bottom... so I guess we just keep working at it. I'm starting to wonder if the difference I'm feeling is shiny where it was protected vs where it's been exposed vs actual silicone left but.... Then I have to figure out how to get it off the actual door itself.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A single edge razor blade is effective in removing old caulk.
  5. watson524

    watson524 Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yep, we used that for the first few passes but I didn't feel enough was off to equal "all" (maybe I really am being paranoid). So then we got some goo gone and we're working through the "skim" layer of the silicone with a plastic scraper and then we got some Motsenbocker's Lift Off gel that seems to be working well and taking off the very final, very thin layer. After I'm done, I plan to wash the shower down and then hit the silicone areas with some alcohol just to make sure all the cleaners are off there.
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