Netter Real Estate Inc
Richard Bocchieri, Netter Real Estate IncPhone: (631) 848-0748
Email: [email protected]

How to Remove & Replace Old Caulk

by Richard Bocchieri 11/08/2020

Image by bidvine from Pixabay

If you have a bath or shower that required caulking, chances are that caulk has seen better days. It's soft, so abrasive cleaners wear away at it. This may cause gaps or ragged holes that trap residue. And even if it's all in one piece, mildew and grime will likely stain it over time. 

But beyond the cosmetics, if your caulk is old and porous, it could be letting water behind the tub or shower. This leads to warping of the outer liner and even severe water damage that could go unnoticed for years. The wall or floor could be rotting beneath the surface as we speak.

So if your caulk doesn't look its best, or it's been five or more years since you replaced it, the time is now to remove that old caulk and lay down new.

What you'll need

For this project, you need:

  • Plastic or latex gloves because you'll be working with harsh chemicals
  • Caulk gun
  • Caulk
  • Caulk softener solution
  • A utility knife with a new blade or a caulk-removing tool (both work well)
  • Putty knife
  • Ammonia-free tub cleaning solution
  • 1/3-cup bleach
  • Paintbrush
  • Rag
  • Step one: soften the caulk

    If you try to remove caulk without softening it first, it will not come off cleanly. You'll end up doing a lot of extra work. So before you begin, open a window or make sure the room is well-ventilated. Put on your gloves. And then follow the product's instructions for application. It will vary.

    Step two: slice the caulk & remove

    Carefully use your utility knife to cut the caulk. On a good day, the caulk will come off clean at this point. But even with caulk softener, you may have places where it does not. This is especially true if someone tried to re-caulk in the past without completely removing the old stuff.

    If this happens, you'll need some needle nose pliers and a little patience to pull off the stubborn pieces. Now, rake the remained caulk away with a putty knife.

    Step three: clean the surface & prepare it

    Clean the edges, removing any mildew or scum with your ammonia-free tub cleaning solution. Then go over the area with a 1/3-cup to one-gallon bleach solution. Use a paintbrush to work the solution into the crevices. Rinse and then dry the surface thoroughly with your rag.

    And, in case you're wondering, ammonia and chlorine don't mix and could be deadly. So please check those labels. 

    Step four: apply the caulk & let it dry

    Here's the easy part. Use the caulk gun to create an even stream of caulk where you removed the old caulk. Wait at least 24 hours before running water into the tub or shower.

    And that's it. Doesn't your shower look great? For more quick projects you can do yourself to spruce up your home, follow our blog.

    About the Author
    Author

    Richard Bocchieri

    Welcome to Long Island Living at its best! The South Shore of Suffolk County is a suburban area that runs along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. Homes in this area consist of primarily residential properties. This area tends to be diverse in culture and income as it varies by hamlet, village or town. Residents along the South Shore have access to many beaches, parks and recreational activities. I pride myself on my honesty, integrity, hard work and personal service. My first career was in education, starting as a teacher then finishing as a guidance counselor and achieving my Master’s and two PD's. In 1986, I began my real estate career. In a sense, I am still an educator and offering guidance; this time I am outside of the classroom educating my clients on the selling and purchasing processes; which have become so complicated recently and guiding them safely through the confusing and ever-changing real estate market. It is very satisfying to me to help people with not only the greatest financial asset in their lives but their greatest emotional asset; where they celebrate holidays, raise their families and live their lives. I take the needs of my clients very seriously and as a result, I am proud to say, over 90% of my sales are the result of referrals and recommendations. Primarily, my areas of service are the Townships of Babylon and Islip on Long Island’s beautiful South Shore, near pristine beaches and wonderful boating, yet only 55 minutes from Manhattan; truly the best of both worlds. I'm a graduate of the Real Estate Institute and am certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist. I also hold a license as a Notary Public. Please feel free to call or visit so I can help you fulfill your real estate dreams. I am a Full Service Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker and provide the following: Free appraisal Rental Mortgages International relocation services Sales Home warranty New homes Free school report Water front specialist Notary public Please feel free to call or visit so I can help you fulfill your real estate dreams. Click Here for a few of my current Listings: http://tours.tourfactory.com/results.asp?u=114062&p=1 Click here to see all of my success stories in 2017: Click Here for a Free E-Guide: Millennials and Homeownership Click Here To See My 5-Star Reviews on Zillow: Testimonials Click Here for the 2019 Winter Buyer Guides & Tips - Complimentary Click Here for the 2019 Winter Seller Guides & Tips-Complimentary