How To Seal A Shower Screen

We’ve been talking about showers a lot recently. In fact, I just published a few articles yesterday talking about how to remove a shower tray and shower screen! If you’re here off of those, I’ve got good news – we’re continuing the trend. Today (as you may have guessed by the title) we’re talking about how to properly seal a shower screen. This is important because an improper seal can provide a breeding ground for all sorts of gross bacteria and mould – which is simply no good.

How to seal a shower screen? Carefully prepare the work area and ensure everything is clean before gently removing all adhesives and reapplying new adhesive.

While it may sound simple, there are a few fine points that are pretty important to touch on, so don’t go anywhere quite yet. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Sealing a Shower Screen

So, you want to seal a shower screen? You’ll need to do a few things first – you want to ensure this is done properly the first time. While it’s not hard, it’s no fun to repeat this process, so taking your time is of the utmost importance. You’ll need to begin by clearing out your work area and cleaning up the space as much as possible. Next, you’ll be removing the adhesive and reapplying – but we’ll get to that in time. For now, let’s start with removal.

You’ll need:

Removing Shower Screen Sealant

You’re going to want to wear gloves for this step, and you’ll also need a utility knife or something similar. The basic idea is that you’re scraping away the adhesive without damaging the wall behind it. Work in small sections, being careful to get the blade between the adhesive and wall, rather than just digging in at a sharp angle.

Do your best to avoid scratching or cutting anything, and try to get as much off as possible in this first pass. You’ll be making at least one more pass, but it’ll be much easier if you’re thorough here.

Now that you’re left with small bits of sealant that you couldn’t remove in strips, it’s time to use your hands. Some people like to use a rag, which you can totally do, but you’ve got gloves on for a reason, right? Anything that just won’t come off will likely need an adhesive/sealant remover. This can be found in most big box hardware and DIY stores. Do not allow even a tiny bit to remain. Anything that’s left will interfere with a proper seal forming with your new sealant.

Preparation

Perhaps the most important part of any DIY project is preparation – though funny enough, it comes later than most processes in this particular project.

Take a vacuum cleaner along the entire area you just removed sealant. You need to remove every single bit of leftover dust or residue. If it’s left dirty, your new sealant won’t stick as well and will end up separating or harbouring mould or bacteria. Anything that’s really tough to remove can be treated with silicone remover, same as above. Once all of the adhesive residue is off, it’s time to clean. Take warm water and gentle detergent and scrub the area. Allow it to dry fully before continuing – any moisture will interfere later on.

While some DIY experts swear by cleaning the leftover residue with white vinegar, I can’t vouch for that method. However, I do love vinegar for cleaning and have found that there’s very little that it isn’t good for, so try away if desired.

Reapplication

And now, the fun part! You’re going to need your silicone-based adhesive and a caulking gun, along with some masking tape. Put your neutral cure, anti-fungal sealant into the gun. Cut off the top at a 45-degree angle, leaving a roughly 5 mm hole. Cutting too large or small of a hole will make it difficult to apply, so be careful here. Too small can be cut again, but too big and you’re just out of luck.

Now, tape off the area that you’re sealing up – the same as painting. Cover every bit that you don’t want to be covered in sealant, and be thorough. Trust me, you’ll thank me later when it looks crisp and clean.

Start at the inner corner of the shower screen, applying gentle pressure to the sealant gun’s trigger. Work in a smooth, continuous movement towards the outer end of the shower, doing your best to lay a single line of adhesive. Be careful to go easy here, because excess is hard to remove. You can always go back later and add bits where you miss sections.

You should have a thin, even line of sealant that evenly coats every gap between the shower screen and wall. Using a putty knife or gloved hand, smooth out the sealant, pulling along the tray to remove excess. You want it (once again) to be as smooth and even as possible. Remove the masking tape before the sealant has been set, and appreciate your work.

And remember – the sealant will need ~24 hours to dry, so don’t go showering quite yet.

Final Thoughts

If you’re curious about how to seal a shower screen, you came to the right place! I’ve done this more times than I’d like to admit, and I’m quite confident that you’ll have success if you follow along. This process really isn’t too difficult – it’s just all about the details. How well you clean the surface, how well you remove the old adhesive, and how evenly you apply the sealant all play roles in the final quality. Add in that moisture (which is very common in bathrooms) can interfere with the adhesive, and this can be tricky.

Just be sure to follow each step and piece of advice to the letter, and all will turn out well. Clean your area, remove the caulking, clean again, and reapply. And when you’re done, don’t shower for at least a day. You want to give the caulking plenty of time to dry and set so it lasts as long as possible. Ironically, the more you rush this, the less it’ll last.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.