We'd had a few call-backs recently on silicone sealant jobs. A very frequent job that we do is re-sealing baths and showers, where sealant has got old and mouldy and leaky. Removing the old silicon, and resealing with new is the sort of job all of our handymen should be complete experts at, so hearing that some of them weren't was worrying.
So, we had "silicone sealant" as the subject of our masterclass on Friday. Every fourth Friday we have our London team get together over breakfast. This is partly for social reasons - as our guys work mostly alone, they can go for days or weeks without seeing any of their colleagues; and partly to share knowledge and skills. And most times, we pick a topic for one handyman to talk about - whether it be a new technique, a new tool they have discovered, or whatever.
Stan and Don both gave brilliant demonstrations of their silicone sealant technique. Stan had a secret weapon, which he had mentioned before but none of us really understood how effective it was until we saw it in action. The secret weapon is simply an old perfume spray bottle filled with soapy water - spray this onto the silicone, and onto the tiles an inch or so either side of the bead, then (and only then) smooth it off. It is very, very effective, allowing you to produce a perfect smooth bead of silicone with ease. We'd used a mocked-up tile corner using black tiles and white silicone so any imperfections would be very visible. And even under those conditions, Stan's handywork was perfect.
So now we are issuing everyone with a little water-spray bottle, and now that everyone knows what 0800handyman silicone work should look like we hopefully won't have any more sub-standard siliconing.