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When To Replace Your Silicone

What is the purpose of silicone?

Silicone is designed to provide a waterproof seal between adjacent surfaces.

Silicone typically bridges the gap between 2 separate surfaces that are set alongside each other or at an angle e.g., where a shower floor meets the shower wall, or at regular intervals across a large floor area. It allows for the natural expansion and contraction of the area, building, or ground while keeping the joined surfaces sealed against moisture and dirt.

Grout is often used as a seal between tiles over much of an area however it has minimal flexibility, or none in the case of sand-based grout. During surface movement, it can crack, and over time falls out. Silicone on the other hand is stretchy and flexible so is perfect for areas where a reasonable amount of movement is expected.

How do I know if my silicone needs replacing?

Think of silicone as an elastic band which when it is stretched and flexed often will eventually deteriorate and break. So too will your silicone.

The top 4 signs that your silicone is due for renewal include:

  • Discolouration

  • Loosening or separating from the surface

  • Cracking/drying out

  • Mould formation

Most silicones contain a mildewcide. These mould inhibitors break down over time, particularly in a warm, wet environment such as a shower that also contains plenty of organic matter such as soap residue and body oils.

How often should silicone be replaced?

In a high moisture area like your shower, we recommend replacing your silicone annually.

Unless the shower is dried completely after every use (something we regularly suggest but rarely see), mould will start to grow on the silicone as it thrives in that environment. Once it has taken hold the only way to remove it is to replace the silicone.

In other areas, or a shower that is used less often such as in a guest bathroom, you can probably leave it longer between replacements.

The golden rule of thumb is that if you see any of our top 4 signs of deterioration listed above, that’s when to have it renewed.



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