What's wrong with my caulk?
February 29, 2012 11:34 AM Subscribe
Why is the caulking coming off around my bathtub? Am I somehow showering wrong, as my property manager suggests?
posted by Sternmeyer to Home & Garden (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just moved into a new rental suite February 15. The property manager had a new tub and surround put in sometime in the first week of February. I know this is the case because we viewed the unit Feb 1, and returned February 7 to measure for furniture, and the nasty old yellow bathtub and cracked surround had been completely replaced. The new tub looked great and we were glad to see the work done.
Fast forward to today and for the third time I have had to call the manager because the caulking around the tub has gone all soft and come away. The first time it happened (Feb 18) it was a small area in the corner around a splash guard. The second time (Feb 22) it was the same area, plus the back end of the tub where your head is if you lie in the tub. This time it is a large chunk about 50cm long on the long axis of the tub, as well as the areas previously recaulked.
My manager is getting irritated with me for calling and today suggested that I must be doing something in the shower to damage the caulking. I am not doing anything untoward, just showering and getting out. I do not take long showers and neither does my partner. The manager then asked me if I am toweling dry the surround and tub after I shower. I said no and she immediately told me that was why the caulk was going soft and coming off.
The original caulk sat for at least ten days before we used the shower, so I assume it was dry/set/whatever. The new caulking we allowed to dry for 24 hours before showering, but it still came off. I told the manager this and she told me that new caulk has to set at least a week to set properly.
My questions are as follows:
1. Is it actually a thing that people should towel their tub and surround dry after showering? I've never done that in over 30 years of showering and this is the first time I have ever seen caulking come off.
2. Why does the caulk keep getting soft and gooey and coming off? Is it actually because I didn't let it set a week?
3. My plan is to just keep calling them if the caulking keeps going bad, but is there a point where this becomes my fault? Is there some kind of caulk care protocol that I somehow missed learning about while growing up? What's my due diligence here regarding taking care of brand new caulking?