Monday, January 2, 2006

How I Spent My Day Off

My new shower door leaks.  Not very much.  But still. 

First time I used it -- dry as a bone.

Second time -- a drop or two in the corner.

Third time -- several drops gathering together in an itty bitty pool of water. 

Clearly something must be done.  Something involving silicon sealant.

Knowing that I'd never actually make my way out to Home Depot, a friend suggested Target.  Good plan.  There's a Target a few blocks away.  So I figured I'd drop by this afternoon and buy me some silicon sealant.

Things you need to know:  I live in Pasadena.  The Target is on Colorado Boulevard.  Yes, that Colorado Boulevard.  Where the Rose Parade was.

I wait until 1:30, till I'm sure all the parade traffic has well and truly cleared.  I drive out to Colorado.  It's deserted.  Sure, you can see the empty stands, and the various papers and other debris in the street -- remnants of the parade earlier this morning.  But that's gone now, and Pasadena has been left to the locals.  (Until the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, anyway.)

I cruise on up to the Target parking lot and find it is chained off.  This is not good.  I park by the curb and walk over to the entrance.  There are about 8 or 9 people standing there in front of the door, eagerly awaiting their First Target Shopping Of The New Year.  There's a handwritten sign on the door saying they'll open at 2:00.  I forgot to wear a watch, so I ask someone what time it is now.  1:45.

Do I stand around in front of Target in the rain for 15 minutes?  Surely there's something better I can do.  I go back to my car -- I'd noticed I'd parked one of my wheels on a small plank of wood (more parade debris, I'm sure) so I pulled it out of the way.  That killed about a minute.  I went back toward the entrance and someone called my name.

Amazing.  Ran into a friend (who doesn't even live in Pasadena) waiting for the Pasadena Target to open.  Who knew?  We walked around some neighboring shops for about a half hour, then returned to Target and parted ways -- I was after silicon sealant and he was after a bathroom rug.

In Target, I found two different types of silicon sealant.  One brand had a "doors and windows" type which was offered in clear and a "kitchen and bath" offered in white.  This was a bit of a problem as I needed "kitchen and bath" in clear.  Luckily, the other brand came to my rescue, with "kitchen and bath" silicon sealant (in some grout/silicon combination) available in white, beige, or clear.  I grabbed a tube of clear (and various and sundry other items -- can't buy just one thing in Target) and headed home.  It was, by now, 4:00.  (There was a lot of shopping under the heading "various and sundry.")

I throw all my other purchases on the floor and attack the silicon sealant.  And I mean "attack," as you need to cut open the tube with a knife.  After I saw at it with a blade for awhile, the plastic cuts off revealing liquid goo inside.  I go to my bathroom, approach the corner of my shower where the leak seems to be and apply the sealant.

It's white.

I look on the tube of this stuff, which clearly says "clear," and I look back at the unevenly applied sealant in the corner of my shower door, which clearly is white.

I look at it again.  I ask myself, "will this bother me?"

"Yes," I say out loud, "Yes, it will."

I wipe it all off, grab my receipt, and head back out to Target.  I don't get anywhere near the kick-ass parking spot I'd gotten earlier in the day, when they hadn't opened yet, and end up hiking to the store.  I find customer service and explain the problem.  She refunds my three bucks.

I go back to the sealant section.  I'm hesitant to try another tube of this stuff -- what if all the tubes marked "clear" are mismarked?  I consider the other brand -- I could get clear in the "doors and windows" model.  Says it works for indoor and outdoor use, but I'm still not sold.

Aha!  A third brand.  Clear silicon sealant.  For kitchen and bath use.  Works on metal and tile.  Hey!  I need to seal metal to tile.  This sounds like a plan.  I buy myself a tube.  (And, since you can't leave Target with just one item, I also buy some masking tape -- as my experiment with the white stuff earlier suggested I'm not the tidiest sealant putter-onner.)

Stopped off for dinner.  Came home.  Opened sealant.  Hooray!  It's clear!  Put masking tape along the area I wanted to seal and just doused the area with sealant.  Smoothed it on with my finger, just like I'd seen the dude do when he installed the shower door to start with.  (Small bit of panic when it WOULDN'T WASH OFF MY HAND no matter how much soap and water I used.  Read tube -- said to wipe off with dry towel.  Oh.)  Ripped off the masking tape so the silicon was now in a nice even line where I'd wanted it.  Felt all professional and home improvementy.

I'll know in 24 hours if I've solved the problem.  This time, I'm keeping the bathroom door closed until the sealant has totally cured.  (Last time, I left the door open and that's how I got that picture of the cat on top of the shower door.  Let's wait till it dries before the shower door has to support kitty weight again.)  Keeping my fingers crossed. 

(Perhaps permanently, if I didn't wipe off all the sealant.)


helmswondermom said...

Hope it seals for you!  (the door, not your fingers!)
I don't know what this says about me, but when I hear "Pasadena" and "Colorado Blvd." I think "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena", not Rose Parade.  I guess it says I don't follow football but like Jan and Dean?  

grodygeek said...

I think you'll be fine. If it doesn't work, consider cleaning each surface you want to stick to with alcohol or lacquer thinner from a paint store. Also understand that silicone requires moisture to cure. If you make the bathroom really dry it won't cure well. So don't use your hair dryer or something to encourage it to cure faster.

Last, if it doesn't seem it didn't work don't dispair. Leaks are tricky and where the water appears doesn't always indicate where the water actually leaked from. Also application of the sealent should always be from the water side, not from the other side. Think of how a dam works.

Here is to you being successful and your new bath being perfect.

the cycling curmudgeon

nzforme said...

Thanks for the tip, Gordy.  I'd sealed it from the outside as it was really hard to get to it from the inside (the bench is in the way) -- this is probably why they didn't do such a hot job sealing it in the first place.  So I went back in and slathered it all along the inside, too.  Hopefully, that'll do it.