Handy Caulking Tips

Handyman Services Auburn Hills:  Easy Tips for Caulking the Bathtub

Here is an article written by Keith Paul, President of HandyPro Handyman Services.  HandyPro Handyman Services in Auburn Hills provides expert solutions to home repairs and remodeling projects, including DIY tips for handy homeowners!  When in doubt, hire an Auburn Hills Handyman Service for everything on your to-do list.

The caulking around my bathtub is discolored and breaking apart. I’d like to take it out and put new caulk, something I’ve never done. Where do I start?

- Ann R. Ann Arbor.

Re-caulking your bathtub does not have to be a nightmare but can be a positive experience, if done correctly. It is easy for water to seep through the cracks and cause major damage around the tub enclosure and framing. If you are proactive and re-caulk, you can save hundreds (sometimes thousands) in water damage repair bills.

Here are a couple tricks of the trade to help you:

1. There are many caulk removal tools in hardware stores, but the best tool I have used is the old fashion utility knife with a brand new blade. Be careful not to scratch the tub or shower surround. Cut the caulk from the top down and across the bottom. This technique will help you remove longer pieces at a time.

2. Remove all excess caulk with a sturdy putty knife. If you have stubborn silicone caulk, you may need a pair of needle nose pliers to help pry it away from the surface.

3. Clean the surface - meticulously! This is a must for proper adhesion of the new caulk. Use a soap scum remover and mildew cleaner. Acetone or mineral spirits are also commonly used.

4. Let it dry completely.

5. Before applying the new caulk, fill the bathtub ½ way with water. This is a necessary step, because the weight of the water can lower the tub, allowing for expansion and better adhesion of the caulk, thus creating a tighter seal when someone steps into the tub.

6. Choose a bathroom mildew-resistant caulk and reapply. A helpful tip before caulking is to apply blue painter's tape and across the top and the bottoms of your caulk line, approximately ¼ inch from the corner of the tub and wall. Be sure to pull off the tape before the caulk dries, and you will have straight and professional lines!

When completed correctly, re-caulking can be a relatively easy project. Just be sure to have the right tools and attitude, and a clean shower you will have!

Paul is a State of Michigan Licensed Builder. He serves as president and founding member of HandyPro Handyman Service and nationally franchised HandyPro International. Listen to Paul every Saturday at 11 a.m. on “It’s Your Home, Let’s Talk About It” WAAM Talk 1600AM.

Handy Pro Handyman Services provides a variety of services in over 1600 categories including ceramic tile, shelving-install/repair, caulking, carpentry, installing doors, moldings, painting-interior and exterior, repair drywall, gutter repairs/cleaning/replaced, deck repair, installing sinks/toilets, ceiling fan/light installation, seasonal maintenance tasks and general home repairs and improvements.

Antony Bradley serves homeowners and business in North Oakland County, Clarkston, Lake Orion, Lake Orion Heights, Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Romeo, Washington, Oakland, Lake Angelus and neighboring cities and communities.

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