10 Steps to a Perfect Caulking Repair Job
Caulking around tubs and sinks is a simple task, but it is one
of the most important home repair jobs you could handle. Water
seeping into small cracks and crevices can quickly lead to
thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home.
Steps for a Successful Caulking Project
Protect your investment with a little time and a good amount of
high-quality caulk. Here's
- Remove all the old caulking using a razor scraper
and a utility knife, if necessary. Clean the entire area to remove
all the old residue. Let it dry thoroughly before applying the
- Inspect the area where you have removed the caulk.
If you see rotting wood or mold, you have a more serious repair job
on your hands. Stop your work and call a professional
handyman to help. If you don't see damage, carry on!
- Cut the tip of the caulking tube at an angle, and
puncture the nozzle's seal. Load the tube into the caulking gun and
press the plunger forward until it touches the back of the
- Using both hands to keep the line steady, press the
tip of the nozzle where you want to begin caulking and gently
squeeze the trigger.
- When the caulk begins to flow, guide it along the
edge, filling the area with a thick bead of caulk. Use firm, steady
- When you have filled an area, let go of the trigger.
It might take a few seconds for the caulk to stop flowing.
- Now it's time to shape the caulk. Dip your fingertip
into a bit of mineral oil (or baby oil, if that's what you have on
hand) and run your finger over the caulking, smoothing out the
bead. Take your time in spreading the caulk, but don't press too
hard--you want a thick seal.
- Wipe off excess caulking with a paper towel and
continue along the bead until you have smoothed out the whole
- Repeat the process until you've caulked along the
entire edge. Inspect your work and perform touch-ups if
- Don't use any water in the area until the caulking
has dried thoroughly. Depending upon the type of caulk used, the
drying time could take a few days.
Finally, a bonus tip: If you are caulking a bathtub, fill the
tub halfway with water while you work. The weight of the water
pulls the tub away from the wall just the slightest bit, and makes
for a tighter caulking job.
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a
freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was
built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her
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