Caulk lasts for quite some time, but eventually, it may begin to crack and separate from its foundation. When this occurs, you will need to replace it with a new layer of caulk, but before that happens you must remove old caulk.
So how do you remove the old layer of caulk? This article will tell you what you need to know.
Determine Whether the Caulk is Silicone or Water Based
Some caulk removers work on both silicone and water-based caulks while certain kinds only work with one or the other. Determine the type of caulk you are dealing with to ensure the remover you are using will be effective.
Apply the Caulk Remover
Before applying the caulk remover make sure the area is well ventilated. Proceed by applying the product to the caulk you wish to remove. The remover will soften the caulk. The longer it sits on it, the softer the caulk will become. It is recommended that you leave the caulk on for at least 4 hours.
Note: Most caulk remover bottles will cover 20 to 30 linear feet of caulk.
Remove the Caulk
The caulk can be removed with a caulk removal tool or a utility knife. Be careful when using the utility knife as it may remove material other than the caulk itself. If the remover worked well, the caulk should come off easily. Use a toothbrush or putty knife to remove any residue.
Get Rid of the Residue
Sometimes the residue can be particularly difficult to remove. If this is the case, you may want to cover the area with alcohol-soaked rags. Leave them in place for a couple of days. Hopefully, they will lift off the residue when removed.
A more direct method is to use a heat gun or hair dryer. When doing so, be careful not to overheat nearby materials such as plastics that can melt. The heat should soften the caulk so it can be easily removed with a razor, brush, or putty knife.
Clean the Surface
The final step involves cleaning the surface where the caulk was once applied. There may be a buildup of mildew and soap scum that needs to be removed. You can get rid of mildew with water diluted bleach applied with a cotton cloth. If soap scum is left behind, use a vinegar water mixture instead of bleach.
If your caulk needs to be replaced, you will have to remove it first. The steps in this article will ensure a smooth removal. But if you need any assistance, call Grout Experts first.
Grout Experts can not only remove your caulk, but we will also apply a fresh layer. We provide services that last for years. Contact us for all your caulking and grouting needs.Learn More!