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Housedoc
Replacing caulking

Hi all,
can you please post some suggestions and/or links - Re: how to replace caulking. Couldn't find any thread here...
I have a bathtub with vinyl lining on the walls - done aprox. 5 yrs ago. caulking started getting dark. What I remove it with?
Thanks,
Housedoc

dj1
Re: Replacing caulking

We covered this subject before, but very briefly, use a utility knife, a single edge and a sharp wood chisel to remove old caulking. You need to work slowly and patiently. Be careful not to scr-atch the tub finish.

You can also see demonstrations on youtube.

Housedoc
Re: Replacing caulking

Do you use removing liquid?

A. Spruce
Re: Replacing caulking
Housedoc wrote:

Do you use removing liquid?

Most of the time no. The one time I did, the remover was useless.

Whether or not you need to remove it depends on its overall condition and what it is. If it is silicone, it's got to go and you have to thoroughly clean the surface with alcohol or you will not get the new caulk to stick, not even silicone. For latex caulks, if it's separated from one surface or the other, then it's got to come out, if it's cracked in the middle, leave it. If it is in decent condition, just old and dirty, leave it. Caulking that is in decent condition can be overlaid with new caulk.

As to how to get the old off, well, again depends on the surfaces it's on. If you've got vinyl covered walls, you will have to be extremely careful not to cut them up. Fiberglass scratches easily, so use caution when working over it as well. Tile and enameled surfaces are perfect for cutters and scra-pers with the least likelihood of damage, though you still need to be careful.

As dj1 said, utility knife, single edge razor scra-per, putty knife, sharp chisel all work well. You may also want to have a paint stick, which you can use to push/scr-ape the material without damaging delicate surfaces. No matter what, it is going to take time and patience to do this project.

Housedoc
Re: Replacing caulking

Thanks a lot!
Two more questions:
1-how do I know what kind of caulk it is?
2- crazy idea- if I do need to remove it (silicone), can I use a steam cleaner, like Shark?
It has this small nozzle for grout cleaning...
Thanks again,
Housedoc

A. Spruce
Re: Replacing caulking

It's fairly easy to tell if the caulk is silicone or latex. Silicone stays pliable, so if you push on it, it's going to give. If it is loose and you can pull on the end, it's going to react like a rubber band. Latex will get very hard, you might be able to dent it, but it's not going to rebound when stretched.

It is doubtful that a steam cleaner, especially a Shark, will do much, however, it's worth trying. It is possible that the heat will help to make the caulking more pliable and easier to remove, it sure isn't going to hurt anything, as long as whatever you point the wand at is temperature resistant.

Side note, I am a big advocate of steam cleaning and have several different brands myself. My favorite is the US Steam ES1900, followed closely by the ES500. For anyone starting out, the SteamFast SF275 is inexpensive and extremely capable.

Re: Replacing caulking

Yeah, No secret trick to this one, just slow and steady with a razor. Good luck!
- www.newtoncarpenters.com

Housedoc
Re: Replacing caulking

Thank you very much everybody.
Spruce, thanks a lot for your explanations! You made my day... It did turn out - I had Latex in decent shape. I am covering it with DAP Latex Kitchen/Bath paint-able caulk and could not be happier... Looks very good... This is my 1st time... I am using 2 tools - caulk-gun and my finger... :D
So I will try using Shark next time and will let everybody know what happens...
Thanks again.
H

A. Spruce
Re: Replacing caulking

Glad to have helped:cool:

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