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Old 03-17-2007, 06:14 PM   #1
jagger295
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Unhappy Effects of solvent based grout sealer on water-based silicone caulk

Hi all,

I just had my tiled shower enclosure rebuilt by my home builder. The shower enclosure is tiled from top to bottom all the way down to the fiberglass shower pan. The grout between the bottom row tile and the shower pan is already sealed with water-based silicone caulk. I am considering applying Stonetech's solvent-based impregnator pro on the rest of the tile joints.

If I apply the solvent-based impregnator pro, and it happens to drip down to the water-based silicone caulk, will solvent-based impregnator pro adversely affect the water-based silicone caulk?

Thank you,

David
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Old 03-17-2007, 06:49 PM   #2
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Welcome, David

well, first off, if it's 100% silicone it's not "water-based." The acrylic-silicone blends, on the other hand usually are, and I suspect that's what you have, especially if the builder did it.

How long has the caulk been in place? If it's fully cured I don't think you have a problem if you're careful to wipe it clean. At least I haven't heard of any problems. Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing this question.

On the other hand, it you're that concerned, why not just use a water-based grout sealer?
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Hey Sandbagger,

Thanks for replying so soon. I just did test to see how the Impregnator Pro affects the GE Kitchen & Bath Silicone II (which is 100% silicone). This piece of silicone had cured for at least 24 hours and formed a pretty strong bond to the my vanity marble countertop. I applied the Impregnator Pro onto the cured silicone and allowed it to sit for a few hours. I came back and found that the silicone caulk was pretty easy to break apart after its direct exposure to the solvent-based Impregnator Pro. I don't know if others have done tests like this and got similar results.

I chose the solvent-based Impregnator Pro based on a recommendation from a tile company; they favored solvent-based sealers over water-based grout sealers. The tile company said that the solvent-based sealants was more effective in sealing grout than the water-based sealants.

I guess I have 2 choices....either use Stonetech's water-based sealers or just be very careful about not getting the Impregnator Pro on the silicone.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:50 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Be very careful about the fiberglass shower pan. My guess is that a solvent based liquid will damage the finish. Note, most silicons require a week or so to fully cure, so your test MAY not be valid.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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Jim,

How can I tell if the Impregnator Pro has done damage to my shower pan? I remember stepping into a puddle of Impregnator Pro, and minutes later, my foot got a burning sensation.

I still have one grout line between the tile and shower pan that does not have silicone on it. That grout line has been surface-coated with Mapei's Keracaulk-S. I did this so that if the joint between the shower pan and tiles expands, the crack in the grout will not show up to the surface....since the Keracaulk will flex and hopefully hide the crack. Whether I will waterproof the Keracaulk in that particular joint with 100% silicone is another issue. I remember reading a thread commenting that the silicone between the tile and the shower pan will cause water to "dam up." I do see that this is possible if water penetrates the grout from elsewhere, flows down towards the shower pan lip, and then is not able to drain to the shower pan due to the silicone (between the tile and shower pan lip). The only thing that I can think of to prevent this possible "damming" of water between the tile and shower pan lip is to not use the silicone, and I think I will use Stonetech's Bulletproof sealer over the keracaulk in hopes that it will cause the water to bead up and flow towards the shower pan while still allowing any moisture that has accumulated to breathe out.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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David - I have a tube of GE in front of me. It is not "water-based."

The GE data is not clear, but I doubt that the full cure is in 24 hrs. 'usable' - yes, but not 100% cure. I also prolly should have said, "wipe it clean immediately." Letting a solvent soak into any caulk is a bad idea. Unless your intent is to remove it, of course.

I would not put silicone over the existing caulk. Either leave it and see what happens or remove it out and replace (try a little Impregnator Pro )
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #7
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Some solvents can disolve the resins in fiberglass. If the surface finish looks good and it is still smooth as it was new, you probably didn't hurt anything. If it is dull, rough(er) than other areas, you might have. Where you stepped in that puddle, do you now have a footprint?
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