The freedom that comes with handling your handiwork can be an empowering feeling. For example, learning how to re-caulk your shower can be relatively simple, and it can make a massive difference in the look of your bathroom.
Re-caulking your shower is a sure way to improve the look and feel of your bathroom, and here are the steps you should take when re-caulking your shower.
1. Prepare the Area by Cutting Away the Old Caulk
The new caulk requires a clean surface to adhere correctly and prevent any bacteria or mildew from gathering in the grout lines. The old caulk also looks unsightly, and it can be challenging to apply new caulk over it to achieve a fresh look.
Use a utility knife or caulk remover to scrape away the old sealant from around the edges of your shower. Be careful to avoid cutting or scratching the surface of your shower.
Some hard-to-reach areas may require a combination of tools, such as dental picks, to get the job done. You may also need a scraper or other sharp tools, as knives can’t get into tight crevices.
2. Clean the Area Thoroughly
Once you’ve removed the old caulk, use a wet rag or sponge to thoroughly clean the area and remove any remaining residue or particles. A mild soap should do the trick as long as you rinse it off with warm water afterward.
The grout lines may also need to be cleaned before you apply the caulk. Use an old toothbrush and grout cleaner to scrub away any dirt or gunk in the cracks.
3. Dry the Area
As a general rule of thumb, you should always ensure the area is thoroughly dry before you apply any sealant. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), air drying is the most effective way to do this.
Without drying the surface, your sealant may fail to stick properly, and you’ll have to start all over again. You can use a towel or clean cloth to accelerate the drying process.
4. Apply a Foam Backer Rod
A foam backer rod is a foam tube inserted into the gap between the tub and the wall. It helps to keep the caulk in place and improves flexibility.
A foam backer rod can help create a more even seal with your caulk as it allows the caulk to sit higher up, better filling the cracks. The chances of water seeping through the caulk are greatly reduced with a backer rod.
This step is crucial as it allows you to control how much sealant you apply for a good, even finish.
5. Apply the Caulk
Finally, it’s time to apply the new caulk! Start by loading a caulk gun with your chosen sealant. At Clarks Ace Hardware store, the range of sealants includes silicone, latex, and hybrid versions. The best type of caulk to use will depend on the size and shape of your shower.
After loading the caulking gun, begin carefully dispensing a bead of caulk along the edge of the shower. It helps to maintain a steady pressure around the edges and avoid leaving any gaps. Use your finger or a wet cloth to smoothen out any unevenness and remove any extra caulk.
6. Let the Caulk Dry
You’ll need to give the caulk some time to set, so avoid using the shower for at least 24 hours after applying the sealant. Giving it time is crucial as a fully-cured caulk will form a strong bond with the shower, becoming more resistant to water damage.
Re-Caulk Your Shower with Help From Clarks
Once you’re done, your shower should have a fresh and clean look! Re-caulking is hard work, but it can make all the difference in achieving that perfect bathroom. Contact us for more information about sealants and other hardware items necessary for DIY re-caulking.
Read more about DIY home improvement in our article about how to pressure wash your home.
Start Your DIY Caulking with a Trip to Clarks
CLARKS ACE HARDWARE
10325 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
CLARKS ACE HARDWARE
8895 McGaw Rd
Columbia, MD 21045