Nowadays, showers are a very popular solution for the bathroom. Someone wants to save space in the bathroom, someone simply considers the presence of a shower cubicle convenient, and someone wants to save water in the context of increasing prices for hot water. In any case, shower boxes and cabins are quite popular, although they are not without certain drawbacks. It is about the issue of sealing the cabin.
After installing the cabin in a small bathroom, there is still space for some furniture, a washing machine, and so on. And sealing the shower stall is an essential element in protecting the room from moisture and its excess and, as a result, dampness in the room. The severity of the problem in this case is due to the fact that the cabin is a prefabricated structure. Namely, through the cracks between its parts, moisture and steam get out and increase humidity.
Moreover, this becomes the reason for the formation and extremely rapid spread of fungi, mold, and other harmful microorganisms in the bathroom, and then in the apartment. Their spores, which are thrown into the air, cause allergies, respiratory diseases, lungs, and so on. In addition, dampness can attract various creatures: cockroaches, rats, insects, wood lice and the like, which are carriers of dangerous infectious diseases. That is why it is strongly recommended that after installation it is necessary to seal and waterproof the shower cabin.
If we talk about the most frequent places of leaks, then most often these are the seams. This is the weakest point in any shower. Another reason may be the cab design itself. In a large number of models, thresholds of small height are installed through which water spills elementarily. Another reason for the spill of water may be the poor quality of the drain mechanism or the connection of its elements. In this case, the water simply accumulates under the shower. As a rule, it is enough to either tighten the fasteners or replace the system itself. Another fairly common cause of leaking shower stall is a crack in the shower tray.
Types of sealants
The sealing process is carried out by using special tools called sealants. They are produced as a paste of high density, which is applied to the seams at the joints of various surfaces. The specified substance consists of polymers having an adhesive base. When they dry, they simply fill the space and glue the surfaces together.
Today, two types of sealant can be used:
The latter is almost impossible to use in bathrooms and showers due to the fact that in these places there is high humidity. And acrylic under its action simply begins to decompose, in the process of drying, it simply cracks and slowly collapses. For this reason, various types of substances that are resistant to water are added to acrylic pastes. But even so, acrylic is not as durable as silicone.
Silicone is considered the best solution that is on the market at the moment for two reasons: it reacts calmly to the effects of water, and also reliably blocks all holes and openings. Therefore, most masters believe that it is better to use silicone sealant in this case. But he also needs to be able to choose. The main purpose of this composition is to create a reliable barrier to prevent moisture penetration. Considering that the consequences of its penetration can then result in serious expenses, it is better not to save on sealant from the very beginning. The fact is that some poor-quality compounds of this type can quickly lose their waterproofing properties, and after a while the work will have to be done again.
To determine if a sealant is of high quality until the moment of purchase and subsequent use, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the composition indicated on the label. The best option for a shower cabin is a composition that contains at least 45 percent hydrophobic type filler, 45 percent silicone-based rubber, a plasticizer, and various additives: thixotropic substances, catalysis, and fungicides. It is best to choose sealants from well-known manufacturers whose products have already shown their high quality when creating seams and sealing such areas.
The most popular today are special sealants of brands such as Somafix, Stern or Antia. Also, a fairly universal solution is to use transparent aquarium silicone, which can be used not only for joints with walls or tiles, but also for sealing plumbing joints.
How to seal?
In order for the self-sealing process to be carried out correctly, special equipment should be used, which most often comes with a sealant. This is a so-called pistol, in which a capsule with a sealant is inserted, and the force is transmitted from the trigger through a special design to the piston. This allows the application of the sealed mass in an even layer without tearing along the entire butt length. But before you do this, you need to degrease the surface, completely and very thoroughly clean it from particles of dirt and dust to ensure a reliable connection of silicone with the edges of a defatted surface. It will not be superfluous to apply an antifungal composition to exclude any kind of fungus or mold formation.
The following factors affect the speed of solidification:
- thickness of applied sealant;
- moisture level in the room where work is carried out.
Given the last two factors, you should not use the bathroom for some time, so as not to increase the humidity and temperature in it before working. When it was possible to seal the required area, experts for some time did not recommend using a shower. As indicated, silicone-based sealant is the ideal solution for protecting joints during installation of a shower stall. It’s easier to handle than with acrylic sealant, and its properties will be better. Yes, and an affordable price indicates that it is better to choose just this type of sealant.
If we go directly to the sealing process, then the shower cabins should be silicone either during assembly (each connection), or after the installation is completed (all joints that have formed). It is necessary to carefully apply sealant to places that have already been sealed with cords or rubberized gaskets. Joints must be treated in such a way that the places where the parts are attached to the structure with screws or with bolts are on the outside of the sealant strip.
Sealing should be carried out according to the plan-instructions from the manufacturer , which clearly and gradually describes the whole process. And at each stage, silicone must be applied to all joints and joints.
Seam processing should be carried out as carefully and very carefully as possible. The substance must not enter the interior of the shower box, bathtub or tray. A small amount of sealant will be enough for any corner. If you are unsure of what you can gently silicate, then some places, and especially those that are located next to the seal gasket line, can be glued with masking tape. This will protect them from accidental ingress of sealant.
When all work is completed, the adhesive tape is easily removed. If suddenly you accidentally stained some unprotected place, then the fresh composition can be removed with a piece of cloth. When the sealant dries, it will be virtually impossible to remove without damaging the surface.
When all joints inside the shower cubicle are treated with silicone or other sealant, and the structure is completely assembled and fixed with all the fixtures, it is necessary to conduct a general inspection of the shower cubicle from the outside. It should be carefully examined for excess sealant from the outside. If such excess is found, then gently wipe it with a rag or piece of cloth.
Next, give the sealant time to dry. As a rule, the drying time is indicated on the tube. When it is completely dry, then you need to check the design for leaks. To do this, simply shut off the drain and draw water into the pan or floor to a certain level, and then lower it. During a set of water it will be possible to understand or the shower stall flows in the most important places. If such a leak is found, then to eliminate it, it will be necessary to replace the entire applied sealant with a new one. It will be pointless to use sealant precisely in the places of leakage, since it will not constitute a single tenacious mass. This decision is temporary. But sooner or later, a leak will appear in this place again.
It should be said that if the shower cabin does not have a tray, then in order to be called hermetic, it is necessary to use high-quality grout for joints located between the tiles. The fact is that they absorb all the water. The tile has water-repellent properties, but the seams do not. For this reason, they are treated with grout, so that they withstand the effects of water, as well as the blows that it takes when it falls. And treatment with this mixture will eliminate the appearance of fungus.
The whole complex of measures described above must be implemented precisely in the complex. This is the best way to achieve the desired result. If temporary gaps in this process are allowed, then the success of the result will decrease significantly. Therefore, you should not jeopardize the safety of your neighbors who live a floor below.
Do not save on sealants and buy substances of dubious quality. As a rule, the service life of such sealants is significantly lower, and their protective properties are weaker. If previously poor-quality sealant was applied, it is best to replace it with a new one. You should not try to save a small amount, since during the course of the number of problems will only increase, and you will need to pay substantially more.
Making a shower enclosure quite simple. But for this you need to know the procedure well. Moreover, it is necessary to clearly present the features of each stage. It is necessary to strictly adhere to the technology, to know all the features of your shower cabin.
About the intricacies of sealing the shower cabin, see the next video.