The caulk in your bathroom provides a vital service by keeping moisture out of your walls and floor. But over time, like any part of your home, it begins to wear out. However, when this product fails, it can allow moisture to invade the structure of your home to promote mold and mildew growth. So instead of dealing with that potentially toxic issue, it is far better to proactively replace the caulk in your bathroom about every four or five years. Of course, if you notice any leaks or damage, replace it sooner to avoid the pitfalls of water leaking into your walls and floors.
Getting Down To Work
If you think that this will be a short and sweet job, you could be a little disappointed. But with the right tools for the job and our secret weapon, you will find it is not that difficult or time-consuming. The first step is to soften the caulk. There are many products that you can purchase for this task. Some commercial brands claim that it only takes two hours for the solvent to soften the caulk. However, it is best if you can wait for a day to make the job as stress-free as possible.
If you are on a tight budget, there are several items that will do the job, as well as the name-brand softeners. Vinegar or alcohol will work if you prefer to avoid chemical compounds. You can also use WD-40. Just pick your favorite caulk softener and apply it thoroughly to all the caulk you want to remove, and let it do its thing.
Grab Your Caulk Remover Tool
Unless you are a pro with a box cutter or utility knife, a caulk remover tool is a good investment for this project. And it can save you from some nasty cuts. They are less than $10 at most big box stores and will probably have the tool you need to reapply the new caulk evenly. Understand that even with the right tool and the caulk softener, you will have many tiny pieces of caulk all around and in the bathtub or shower, so cover the drains to avoid creating future clogs. Just start at one edge and begin removing the old caulk. You can use a small scrub brush to remove any tiny pieces of caulk still stuck to the edge of the tile or tub.
The Clean Up
You can use a moist sponge or paper towel to wipe up the smaller pieces of caulk or grab your trusty shop vac to make the clean-up fast and simple. Next, you will want to sterilize the surface that was covered with the old caulk. When caulk begins to leak and allow moisture to seep in, mold or mildew is often visible once you complete the removal process. Next, wipe everything down with alcohol and let it air dry. Then wash the entire area with a mixture of one part bleach and three parts water. This will get the area mold and mildew-free so that you can apply the new caulk.
If You Discover Massive Mold
If you begin to remove the old caulk, only to find a significant amount of mold and mildew in the wall and joint, you could have a water leak other than at the caulk seam. Completely remove the caulk but then call (706) 303-0987 to schedule a plumbing inspection with the Drain Surgeon team. Our experts will check out the tub and shower to ensure that there are no water leaks that will continue to foster mold growth inside the walls of your home.