Even if you repair a small crack in a fiberglass tub, it will most likely spread again. If the problem persists, a proper repair will necessitate the removal of the tub and the repair of the subfloor. If you bought or moved into a home with a fiberglass bathtub that has a crack and you don't know how long the damage has been there, the tub should be replaced.
However, if a crack or hole appears while using a fiberglass bathtub, it is possible for it to be repaired successfully. Avoid using the fixture until the repair is completed. Damage to a fiberglass tub's rim or sidewall can be repaired at any time as long as it does not pose a leaking risk. Here’s how to do it:
1. Drill and Reinforce the Fiberglass
Drill a 1/4-inch hole at each end of the crack. Spray high-density foam insulation through the holes if the tub requires reinforcement behind it. When the foam begins to overflow from the hole, stop spraying and wait for it to set before cutting off the excess with a utility knife. To make room for the repair compound, drill a small indentation in the foam.
2. Add the Filler
Spread epoxy filler evenly inside the hole and overfill the area with it so you have something to sand down. The patch should be about 1/16 inch above the tub's surface. When you're finished filling and leveling, let the epoxy cure completely as directed.
3. Smoothen the Area by Sanding
Using 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper, sand the repair so that it's as flat as possible. When you're finished, smoothen the area with a 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Finally, remove the tape, wet the 600-grit sandpaper, and sand the edges of the repair to blend them in as much as possible with the surrounding tub surface.
After following these three easy steps, your loved one will be able to enjoy their fiberglass tub again. To make the most out of your bathtub, ensure that it is always clean and well-maintained.
For more tips on keeping your bathroom senior-friendly and accessible, head on over to Senior Strong today!
Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.