Caulk is very adhesive and is generally used to glue, fill in gaps to avoid moisture, and seal. Most caulks are made from silicone, polyurethane, latex and acrylic.
You may have noticed some pale rubbery sealant in your home around the kitchen, bathroom, plumbing and other areas: this is referred to as caulk. It can be used both inside and outside a building
Caulk is essential in sealing and closing tiny spaces around windows, doors, plumbing, bathtubs, electrical wiring and kitchen sinks. It is used to prevent water damage and is a perfect way of ensuring these systems last longer.
Once the caulk dries out, it keeps cold and hot air from coming through the sealed spaces saving you on energy costs. You can find various kinds of caulk in the market for different purposes as they all have different properties. Some are used for wood, others for concrete bricks and others for ceramic tiles or glass.
Do you ever think about How do you remove dried caulk at home? If don’t, here I am going to show you how to do it! Have a look-
Why Would You Need to Remove Dried Caulk?
It is never a good idea to apply new caulk over the old sealant, even though it may seem as if it will still stick. Here are a few reasons why you should remove old dried caulk:
• In case the wrong type of caulk was used. You
need it removed because its adhesion will be lost in a short while, exposing the area to water damage.
• If the caulk has lost its bonding. The spaces will let in moisture, leading to decay on the sealed surface. You might incur the cost of treating the decay if the caulk is not replaced as soon as possible If the caulk had been applied over old dried caulk. The old caulk will generate blisters on the new caulk. Eventually, the caulk will pull away from the part it is supposed to glue together. The new caulk will only perform as well as the adhesion force left of the old one.
Removing Dried Caulk
You may think removing dried or old caulk is a tedious experience, but it does not have to be. With enough focus, patience and the right tools, you will manage to remove the caulk within no time. If you rush the process, you might fail to get out all the bits.
Caulk can be removed manually using tools or with a combination of chemicals. Chemicals, however, do need some time to sit and soften the dried caulk. If you have limited time, you may want to go for the manual option.
Some of the tools and materials you may need for this procedure include:
• Caulk removal tools such as a razor scraper.
• Needle-nose pliers or tweezers.
• A plastic putty knife.
• Chemical caulk remover.
• A piece of cloth.
• Rubbing alcohol.
• A toothbrush.
Four Easy Steps of Removing Dried Caulk Using Chemicals
When using chemicals, it is always safe to have your windows open. It helps clear the smell of the chemicals and gives you ample fresh air to breathe.
Apply a caulk remover over the dried caulk to soften it. Let it sit for a while. Patience is highly advised in this step. Though some chemicals say you should wait for at least 3 hours on their packaging, it would be better to leave it overnight or for a whole day.
Dried caulk can be very tough, and the more time the chemical sits in the softer it gets.
Once you have left your chemical on the dried caulk for the required amount of time, it is now time to take out your caulk removal tool. Chip off the caulk loose. If you are using a knife or a blade, make sure your hand is as steady as a surgeon’s.
Plastic tools are better at ensuring you do not scratch the surfaces you remove the caulk from. such as the sink. The old caulk should come off easily and quickly, all intact. However, you need tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull out any tiny bits that may have stayed behind
There could still be some remaining caulk. Using a toothbrush and a putty knife, rake up all the tiny bits off. This step requires concentration and time to ensure you get it all out.
Please take out a clean cloth and apply enough rubbing alcohol to it. You can use bleach after cleaning with alcohol to kill all mildew and mold hiding in the surface’s nooks and corners. Wait for the surface to dry out completely before applying new caulk.
Check out some of the best caulk remover in the market right now.
The Manual Way of Removing Dried Caulk
Remove the caulk using a razor scraper:
A razor scraper might be old-fashioned but is still an excellent option. It is ideal for scraping off dried caulk as it can get behind the thin coats. Please make sure the blade is sharp enough with its outline flat on the surface to avoid scratching
Scrape the dried caulk behind from both sides to detach it from the surface and then pull off the caulk carefully in one strip. Be careful not to leave scratches as you scrape behind, especially when removing dried caulk from fiberglass and acrylic surfaces.
These surfaces are easy to scratch. Always have the blade almost flat or at a low angle every time.
Work with caulk removal tools:
You can get caulk removal tool kits from the store. They are sometimes packaged with caulk applying tools making it a good deal. Go for tools made of plastic or smooth steel.
This way, you will avoid scratching the surfaces on which the dried caulk is stuck. These tools have blades and angles designed to scrape off caulk from narrow corners and cracks. Some of these tools come with spare blades to replace, ensuring your tool is always sharp.
Though caulk removal tools are efficient by themselves, they can work even better after the application of chemical caulk remover on the dried caulk.
If you want to renovate your home or are planning on re-caulking a tiled bathtub or shower wall, do a deep clean to remove all the scum, soap and grime. They may inhibit the new caulks’ adhering ability. These substances also encourage the growth of mold if caulked over
The trick to removing dried caulk is making sure you are tidy. Any caulk residue will weaken the new one and may cause mold build-up. Applying new caulk over old dried caulk does not guarantee a watertight seal. Always make sure you get all the old caulk out.