Crack in Bathtub – How It Happens and How to Prevent It in 5 Steps
You are already tired and want a nice hot bath in your bathtub. You imagine that while leaving for home after a long day at work. When you get home, you first fill your bathtub with nice warm water until the tub is full. You jump into it and settle for a nice, relaxing bathing experience, but something is different. You sense that the water level is gradually decreasing. When you take a look at your bathtub, you see there is a small crack in bathtub. You may overlook this since the crack is small, and you may think you can fix it with the help of industry-grade glue. But a crack in a bathtub is a crack and can lead to very serious problems down the line.
You don't want to be in that situation, so in this article, we will see how the crack in bathtub happens and how you can prevent it with easy and efficient steps.
Bathtubs – What Is It?
Before we talk about cracks in bathtub, it is best to know what a bathtub is. If you are unaware of the term bathtubs, a bathtub is an apparatus where people can submerge themselves to take a relaxing bath. Usually, a bathtub is placed in a bathroom either stand-alone without any support (known as a freestanding bathtub) or coupled with a shower and other apparatus.
Usually, almost all bathtubs are rectangular in shape, but you can find circular tubs as well. Also, it is to be noted that most bathtubs come in white but have the same shapes, you can find other colors, or some manufacturers give options to customize the bathtubs (with colors).
The next thing to note is style. There are mainly two styles of bathtubs: Western and Eastern styles. In the western-style bathtubs, the bather lies down since the bathtubs are long and shallow in nature. In the eastern-style bathtubs, the bather sits up since the bathtubs are round, short, and deep in nature. This style originated in Japan, and its name is “ofuro.” But the Japanese meaning of ofuro sounds different. The name indicates the bathroom has bathtubs.
Now, you have a basic understanding of bathtubs. Next, let’s dive into the topic at hand: The crack in the bathtub.
Common Things That Can Cause Crack in Bathtub:
The most common causes of cracks in bathtubs involve:
- Bathtub material (whether it is malleable)
- Bathtub position (usually damaged from heavy objects placed near the bathtub)
- Bathtub maintenance
Cracks, in general, are the result of moisture and water present in the tub. Moisture in any material can tend to weaken it structurally. Ultimately, it can lead the material to lose its integrity and render it useless. So, which bathtub material is more prone to cracks? The answer is fiberglass.
The reason is that fiberglass is a highly porous material that tends to absorb a considerable amount of water and moisture, thus making it highly flexible, susceptible to cracks, and prone to other structural damages. With proper support and placement, fiberglass can render useful compared to other bathtub materials, fiberglass can render useful. So, material plays a great role when it comes to the formation of cracks.
Next is bathtub placement. Cracks tend to happen when heavy objects fall into the bathtub, leading to bigger cracks and huge dents over time. While placing the bathtub in your bathroom, make sure that there are no heavy objects placed or hung from the ceiling which may damage the tub.
Lastly, bathtub maintenance. Most people may tend to overlook the aspect of bathtub maintenance. What is good or bad about the bathtub can be confusing at first. But one thing to be aware of is that a highly abrasive cleaning agent is very harmful to bathtubs. Concentrated bleach on the surface of the bathtubs can lead to erosion, which is suitable for the moisture to get into the bathtubs' surface, which leads to the formation of cracks and other structural abnormalities.
So, what is the solution to this problem? The answer is the material and maintenance process. For example, as said above, highly porous materials are prone to cracks, so it is better to choose bathtubs as non-porous, such as stone-resin or copper bathtubs. They won’t absorb water or retain moisture, resulting in a high integrity level. Second, maintenance steps will be discussed in detail in the coming section. Remember that based on the bathtub material, you should proceed with the maintenance steps; only then will you get more life from your bathtub.
Next, let’s talk about the types of cracks you could see in a bathtub.
Types of Cracks in Bathtubs that You Should be Aware of!
There are two types of cracks in bathtubs: hairline cracks and stress cracks.
- Hairline Crack – This crack mainly happens when you consistently abuse the bathtub using high abrasive material for maintenance. Over time, small (still visible to the naked eye) cracks form. This crack, down the line, can lead to bigger crevices and deep and irreversible cracks.
- Stress Crack – This crack mainly happens when you place a heavy object on the bathtub's surface. Very malleable material can cave into the external stress produced by the heavy object and result in cracks. Same as hairline cracks, over time, it can cause serious problems.
These cracks can be avoided, and you can make sure they may not happen again if you find them early. Basic repair kits are available in most local hardware stores, or you can find one online.
Does It Cost a Lot if You Hire a Professional to Take Care of the Crack in the Bathtub?
The answer is it depends on the professional you use. Generally, an average professional can bill you around $70-$100/hr. For some who already invest a large amount of money in getting a bathtub in their home, throwing $100/hr can be difficult. But, there are some benefits of hiring a professional.
First, they can give you insights and advice on how to prevent the cracks from happening and tricks to help you take care of them. You can also consult with them about your future bathroom/plumbing projects. If you are having difficulties installing the bathtub on your own, they can ease your workload.
But the thing is, it is difficult to find a trustworthy professional. There are a lot of people available online saying that they are good at what they do. Do research on your professional by checking things such as reviews, websites, and plumbing licenses.
How to Maintain a Bathtub?
Bathtubs come with a great investment. You should know a few simple yet effective ways to maintain your bathtub to get the best return on your investment.
STEP 1 – Once you are done with your bath, take a soft cloth or kitchen towel and completely dry it. It is best to do it after every bath. It is essential to make sure that there is no moisture present on the surface of the tub.
STEP 2 – Make sure that your bathtub is provided with enough support. So that it can withstand any external pressure.
STEP 3 – Do not use any heavy cleaning agents or abrasive tools on the tub's surface. It may not affect the bathtub right away, but in the long run, it will definitely erode your bathtub surface and can cause you irreparable damage.
STEP 4– To clean the surface, combine lukewarm water with vinegar in a 3:1 ratio. This helps you clean off the salt sedimented on the tub's surface and remove any foul odor.
STEP 5– if you use a copper bathtub, try to use surface wax once every six weeks. This helps retain that polished surface and will give you a good amount of life.
How to Fix the Crack in the Bathtub by Yourself?
If you decide to take care of your bathtub issue yourself, the following steps will help you to an extent:
- Drill small holes (about a quarter inch) at the end of the crack. These holes are called “stop-holes,” which help to stop the crack from growing further. Make sure that cavities do not create any other cracks while you drill on the tub's surface.
- Take a polyester or epoxy filler and fill it in the crack and the stop hole with the help of the spreader (preferably rubber). Let the filler sit for some time (usually overnight)
- Once the filler is set to the tub's surface, now is the time to sand it with the help of light sandpaper. Make sure you match the remaining surface of the tub to get that uniformity. Once you are done with sanding, use any denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol to rub off any debris.
- The next step is to spray the area with the surface pain spray. You can get this repair paint online or at a local store. First, do a light coat. you can add several coats as required based on the circumstances.
- Let the bathtub be untouched for some time (overnight preferred).
- To get a more rigid surface, it is better to use a finishing compound and rub off the edges of the paint. If you are well aware of how to use the finishing compound, you can go ahead with this step. Otherwise, it is better to have an extra coating on the surface.
Yes, it is normal for a bathtub to crack. The common causes are bathtub placement (near heavy objects), bathtub materials, damage due to lack of support, and accidental drop of a heavy object.
The professional can bill you from $70-$100/hr based on the situation and the skill. Some can even cost you more than $200/hr.
It is always best to try to repair the bathtub either by a professional or by yourself with the help of a guide. Comparatively, it is much less expensive to repair a tub than buy a new bathtub. But the decision should be made based on the level of damage caused in the bathtub.
Most people cannot afford to go to a luxury place to take a break from the real world. The bathtub can help you to relax and rejuvenate in your own place. Taking a warm bath in your tub can help you focus your mind and body. Some bathtubs can have a good impact on your body. For example, Magnus Home products offer various copper bathtubs, which can help you to regulate your blood circulation, help you to relax your muscles, and can help you to regain lost fiber. This is great for senior citizens in your family. So, it is better to take care of your bathtub with simple and effective ways to eliminate the “crack in bathtub” situation. This article hopes to give in-depth information on bathtub cracks and how to prevent them in simple and effective ways.
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