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Caulking 101

There’s nothing fun or exciting about caulking. But it’s a vital part of your home’s function and ensuring that your home remains the clean, dry, comfortable space that you want to live in. To help you better understand caulking and its importance, here’s a rundown of what it is and how to make sure yours is working at its peak potential:

Why Caulk?

Caulking is what makes sure everything stays in its proper place. Your windows and doors are caulked to keep your conditioned air inside and the heat or cold outside. Without proper window and door caulking, your home’s heating and cooling costs would skyrocket.

It’s similar for bathroom caulking. You want water to stay in your bathtub and shower — not to leak down into your walls and flooring. Caulking makes sure water doesn’t slip through your tiles and other seams in your wet areas, which prevents standing water in hard-to-see places and the mold that can come from it.

Adding and Removing Caulk

When you want to remove old caulk, use a caulk removing solution that can be found at any hardware store. These solutions typically must remain on the caulk for a few hours before you can easily remove the caulk. Once the solution has taken effect, use a caulk removing tool or blade to cut away the old caulk. If you choose to use a knife or blade, be sure not to damage your tub or shower — it requires precision.

After scraping away the big chunks, use a brush to get rid of the little bits of caulk that remain, then wipe with alcohol to ensure the surface is fully clear of caulk.

Caulking a shower or tub is a little like painting. Use special tape to cover the areas around the seams that you don’t want to caulk, then use the proper caulk and a caulking gun to carefully apply the new caulk to your surface. As with anything else, the better the quality of the caulk and gun you use, the better your results will be. Once you’re finished with application, use your caulk tool to smooth and shape your application. Once dry, remove the tape and you’re done!

When to Replace Caulk

Caulk should last anywhere from five to 10 years, depending on how often you use the bathtub or shower and depending on your climate and your home’s unique circumstances. You’ll know when it needs to be replaced, because you’ll begin to notice it wearing away.

Mr. Rooter of Greater Syracuse

Need help with shower and bathtub plumbing in addition to your caulking and other home improvement projects? At Mr. Rooter, we serve the Greater Syracuse area with high-quality plumbing and pipe maintenance services, and we offer a team of licensed plumbers who can provide expert guidance at your home or business. When you need service in addition to bathroom tips, count on the team at Mr. Rooter.

Contact us today about your bathroom and other plumbing needs!

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