Caulking Tips & Tricks

Choosing the correct caulk for a particular job can seem like a daunting task. Here we will sort it all out. If you are working in the bathroom choose a silicone tub and tile caulk. The tub and tile caulk will resist the growth of mold and mildew. Do not use this type of caulk around food handling areas unless the manufacturer specifically allows it. For windows and doors that do not need to be painted using regular silicone caulk. For areas that will be painted using siliconized latex caulk, but be sure to check the label for paintability. Always check the expiration date on the tube of caulk before using it. Silicone caulk that is too old will never cure, leaving you with a gooey mess to remove and replace. Old latex caulk will be hard to apply.

Caulking, especially along the tub can become old, moldy, or mildewed with time. You can replace this caulking in a couple of hours. Start by cutting away as much old caulking as possible with a razor knife. Next, clean the remaining caulking from hard surfaces with a painter’s razor scraper. Clean the remaining residue with denatured alcohol and allow it to dry.

Caution: Provide adequate ventilation and follow the manufacturer’s directions when using any solvent including alcohol. Now apply painter’s tape to the wall as close as possible to the tub. Tape the tub to create an even caulk line. Use a fresh tube of Tub and Tile Caulk. Tub and tile caulk resists mold and mildew better than other kinds. Cut the tip of the caulk tube at an angle. Apply a thin bead of caulk between the lines of tape. Wearing disposable gloves, smooth the caulk bead with a finger, and immediately remove the tape. Re-smooth the bead of caulk with your finger and allow it to dry as directed by the instructions on the tube. Smooth caulk joints will not hold water and will add to the mold resistance.