Learn to Caulk Like a Pro

March 1, 2016

Nothing gold can stay. The same goes for the caulking on all of your plumbing fixtures. After months of wear and tear, these beautiful caulk jobs that work so hard to keep out all the liquids and other gaseous substances from seeping into the space between your plumbing fixtures and the floor require maintenance.

Over time, caulking will crack, discolor and shrink, which can ultimately lead to water damage. Whether you are building a bathroom from scratch or updating an old bathroom, caulking is necessary to keep mold, mildew and water damage from becoming a real problem. Most caulk jobs are something you can handle yourself, but if you’ve got a bigger job, give us a call at 214-814-2879. If you’re ready to purchase your first caulk gun, proceed.

Step 1: Remove old and damaged caulk with a putty or utility knife. A razor blade can also aid in removing debris and persistent old caulk. Be sure to remove all old caulk and any debris. We do not want to force the new caulk to marry with old caulk. This would compromise the quality of the seal.

Step 2: Use a vacuum to remove any extra dust and debris. Clean joint thoroughly with bleach or comparable cleaner. It’s crucial to remove any trace of mold or mildew.

Step 3: Now for the fun part! Clip the top of the caulk tube at an angle with a utility knife. This will allow for more accurate application. Run the caulk gun slow and steady along the joint. Go back over places where caulk is too thin. For areas of excess caulk, dip your finger in water and run it down the caulk line to smooth it out. When you wipe each length of the caulk while it’s still wet it will force the caulk into the open space between you plumbing fixtures and the floor tiles. For larger joints, recut the caulk tube as appropriate.

Step 4: Let it dry! The seal requires the interaction between moisture in the air and the caulk. If you caulk during a cold month, shutting off the heat register in the bathroom or closing the door to keep out heat will help the shower cure faster by helping to keep the air from becoming too dry. During warmer, humid months it will only require 1-2 days to fully seal.

As always, if you’re overwhelmed by any aspect of bathroom and plumbing repair, your friends at Baker Brothers Plumbing are always here to help!

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