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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Question Replacing caulking

    Hi all,
    can you please post some suggestions and/or links - Re: how to replace caulking. Couldn't find any thread here...
    I have a bathtub with vinyl lining on the walls - done aprox. 5 yrs ago. caulking started getting dark. What I remove it with?
    Thanks,
    Housedoc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,089

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    We covered this subject before, but very briefly, use a utility knife, a single edge and a sharp wood chisel to remove old caulking. You need to work slowly and patiently. Be careful not to scr-atch the tub finish.

    You can also see demonstrations on youtube.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Do you use removing liquid?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Quote Originally Posted by Housedoc View Post
    Do you use removing liquid?
    Most of the time no. The one time I did, the remover was useless.

    Whether or not you need to remove it depends on its overall condition and what it is. If it is silicone, it's got to go and you have to thoroughly clean the surface with alcohol or you will not get the new caulk to stick, not even silicone. For latex caulks, if it's separated from one surface or the other, then it's got to come out, if it's cracked in the middle, leave it. If it is in decent condition, just old and dirty, leave it. Caulking that is in decent condition can be overlaid with new caulk.

    As to how to get the old off, well, again depends on the surfaces it's on. If you've got vinyl covered walls, you will have to be extremely careful not to cut them up. Fiberglass scratches easily, so use caution when working over it as well. Tile and enameled surfaces are perfect for cutters and scra-pers with the least likelihood of damage, though you still need to be careful.

    As dj1 said, utility knife, single edge razor scra-per, putty knife, sharp chisel all work well. You may also want to have a paint stick, which you can use to push/scr-ape the material without damaging delicate surfaces. No matter what, it is going to take time and patience to do this project.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Thanks a lot!
    Two more questions:
    1-how do I know what kind of caulk it is?
    2- crazy idea- if I do need to remove it (silicone), can I use a steam cleaner, like Shark?
    It has this small nozzle for grout cleaning...
    Thanks again,
    Housedoc
    Last edited by Housedoc; 04-15-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: mistake

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    It's fairly easy to tell if the caulk is silicone or latex. Silicone stays pliable, so if you push on it, it's going to give. If it is loose and you can pull on the end, it's going to react like a rubber band. Latex will get very hard, you might be able to dent it, but it's not going to rebound when stretched.

    It is doubtful that a steam cleaner, especially a Shark, will do much, however, it's worth trying. It is possible that the heat will help to make the caulking more pliable and easier to remove, it sure isn't going to hurt anything, as long as whatever you point the wand at is temperature resistant.

    Side note, I am a big advocate of steam cleaning and have several different brands myself. My favorite is the US Steam ES1900, followed closely by the ES500. For anyone starting out, the SteamFast SF275 is inexpensive and extremely capable.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    southern CT
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Yeah, No secret trick to this one, just slow and steady with a razor. Good luck!
    - www.newtoncarpenters.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Thank you very much everybody.
    Spruce, thanks a lot for your explanations! You made my day... It did turn out - I had Latex in decent shape. I am covering it with DAP Latex Kitchen/Bath paint-able caulk and could not be happier... Looks very good... This is my 1st time... I am using 2 tools - caulk-gun and my finger...
    So I will try using Shark next time and will let everybody know what happens...
    Thanks again.
    H

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Replacing caulking

    Glad to have helped
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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