It’s time to check the bathrooms. If you haven’t done so already, your bathroom needs to be checked for mold, mildew, and leaks every so often. Even more often, you should inspect your bathrooms for any signs of wear and tear where mold and mildew may fester. A big culprit for gunk, mold, mildew, and more? Old caulk.
Even in a moist environment, caulk will dry out, chip and crack with time. Experts recommend replacing your caulk every 5 years, but sometimes, if there’s a noticeable gap or discoloration, you’ll want to replace your caulk sooner. Here’s how.
First step is to gather your supplies. This might involve a trip to your favorite hardware store if you don’t have caulk and a caulking gun, but most of the materials you need, you likely have at home. These include a towel, baking soda (and vinegar, or the cleaning product of your choice), and a sponge.
Other materials you may need to purchase are painter’s tape, a putty knife, and an exact-o blade. Most houses have them though. As for the caulk, look for a caulk that’s intended for bathroom use and invest in one that says it can last up to 15 years.
But wait, you’re probably asking, why do I need an exact-o knife or a putty knife? Your first step is to remove all of the caulk. Every single little dot of the old calk needs to be stripped, scraped, and/or peeled away before applying the new caulk. After you’re done scraping, you’re going to scrub away any little remnant, not just to make 100% sure it’s all gone, but also because you need a clean surface to put the new caulk on.
If you’re new to caulking, you’re going to want to use painter’s tape to keep the caulk from going everywhere. Make sure it only reveals the space where the caulk is going, about 1/8”. Then, follow the instruction on the caulk container and applying consistent pressure, apply the caulk.
Is there a faster way?
It might seem like the cheaper option to follow the steps and replace the caulk yourself. Here’s the thing: if you’re a first-time caulker, you might not want to go the DIY route just yet. You could make a small problem worse. It might be more expensive up front, but consider calling a contractor to re-caulk if it’s your first time.
If you are going to re-caulk, or you’re seasoned at handling a caulking gun, you should still keep your eye out for water damage. A sign is discoloration behind your caulk. This could be mold, and if mold is behind your bath or shower tiles, you could have a larger problem on your hands than re-caulking.
Did you find mold, mildew, or water damage? Does caulking sound like too much of a hassle, too time-consuming, or you don’t have the ability to re-caulk your bathroom? Maybe it’s time for a more substantial upgrade anyway? If so, give us a call! We can walk you though upgrades or updates. Not sure about cost? Receive a free estimate here!