It’s important to be sure your tub, shower and sink is properly caulked to prevent mildew and mold from forming. Caulk will crack, peel, discolor and shrink over time and that can lead to water damage. Therefore, it needs to be replaced occasionally to give your bathroom a fresh look. Knowing how to caulk correctly is essential to getting that fresh look.
How to Determine When to Re-Caulk
If you’re looking at your bathroom tub, shower or sink and see mildew, stains, or cracks, it’s probably time to re-caulk. The reason to re-caulk is not only for visual purposes, but also to avoid the expenses associated with water damage or mold. You can eradicate the mold by applying hydrogen peroxide or you can make a past of baking soda and water and simply apply it to the area with a clean brush.
How to Re-Caulk
If you’ve determined it’s time to re-caulk, you’ll need some tools for the project. It’s best to gather everything you need prior to beginning to re-caulk. This is what you need:
- Razor blade
- Caulk gun
- Caulk softener
- Paper towels
- Masking tape
- Denatured alcohol
To begin caulking you’ll need to fill the tub or sink with water to help expand the gaps to allow the caulk to get into the seams. This helps create a better seal. Be sure to purchase a caulk made especially for bathrooms to help prevent mildew. Silicone caulk is frequently suggested because it contains mildew preventer.
Tips to Applying Caulking
- First you need to remove the old caulk. You can use a putty knife or razor blade to remove the caulking. You can purchase a caulk softener at your local hardware store to make the job easier and quicker. Be sure all the old caulk is completely removed for best results.
- Before you can re-caulk you’ll need a nice clean surface. Use a paper towel with denatured alcohol to clean the surface but be careful not to scratch the area. Then be sure to dry the surface completely.
- You’ll want to get a nice professional look, so use some masking tape on each side of the area where you need to caulk for a smoother finish.
- Ready for the fun part! Use a long thin nail to puncture the caulking tube. Put the tube in the caulking gun and hold it over a trash can until the caulk flows freely. Applying light pressure, drag the tip of the gun along the crack using a steady motion. Don’t stop until you reach a corner for a more professional look.
- After each application wipe the tip clean. After applying, use a wet finger and run it across the application to smooth the area and help create a better seal. You may need to do this several times. If you prefer to not get your fingers dirty, use a paper towel to smooth the application. Look for areas where the application is too thin and reapply a thin bead of caulk. Remember to smooth the area with a wet finger or paper towel. Cleanup is easy using paper towels.
Finishing the Project
Take a look at your completed project, if you’re not satisfied, the caulk can be removed and reapplied. Caulking dries quickly so you only have a limited amount of time to easily make your corrections. If the caulk dries onto you tiles, use a razor blade to remove it. Be careful not to destroy the seal you just created.
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About American Bath
American Bath has been creating beautiful bathrooms and smiling customers around Maryland since 1989. We specialize only in remodeling bathrooms and are highly experienced, attentive, licensed, bonded, and insured. We offer you the option to purchase all or some of your bathroom fixtures from wherever you choose. Since we don’t need a company showroom, inventory, or warehouse, we can keep our overhead low and pass the substantial savings onto you!
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