Though there are many possible techniques for cleaning up a crack before you apply a filler agent to it as part of a larger refinishing project, some are more liable to damage the body of your bathtub than others. Therefore, while it's important to choose the correct tools for this job, it's equally important that you take the time to learn how to use them correctly. To ensure that your cleaning job is efficient, effective, and safe for your fiberglass bathtub, follow these three tips.
Wait For The Tub To Completely Dry Out Before Starting
Excess water near the edges of the fiberglass crack will make it very difficult for you to get a good grip on the surface with your piece of sandpaper. Additionally, when you're using a knife to cut away fiberglass microfibers emanating from the crack, everything needs to be completely dry to ensure that the fibers stand up tall enough to get cut down by the blade.
So don't start your crack cleaning job when you only got out of the shower a few hours before. Instead, leave your bathroom's dehumidifier on for longer than you normally would. If you have a blow dryer, it's a good idea to use it on the area around the crack before starting.
Sharpen A Knife And Test It On Paper Before You Pass It Over The Crack
No finishing agent you apply to the crack will perform optimally if all the microfibers peeling off the fiberglass are allowed to remain and interfere. Additionally, since the fibers are so prone to just bending in response to an incoming blade instead of coming apart, you need to ensure that your knife is as sharp as you can get it.
A utility knife designed for outdoor use is the ideal instrument for this task. You can sharpen the knife with a small sharpening stone purchased at your local hardware store.
Hold up a sheet of printing paper and swing your knife through it in a horizontal arc. If a clean and quick cut is made, you'll have an easy time getting at most of the microfibers.
Periodically Put Your Face Up To The Crack And Blow On It To Clear Away Dust
Dust is another easily overlooked contaminant that will decrease the effective life of your filler agent. The more you work with your sandpaper and your knife, the more dust is likely to collect in the area around the crack. Fortunately, as long as the crack is dry enough to prevent stickiness, all you have to do in this situation is bend down, put your face as close to the crack as you can, and blow air on it lightly. While a dust cloth or an ordinary towel won't do any harm, it's hard to reach the entirety of the crack's exposed and jagged surface area with these instruments.
Contact a bathtub refinishing expert for more help.