Caulking Your Bathtub
LESLIE: Fran in New Jersey needs some help with a caulking project. What can we do for you today?FRAN: Hi. Yeah, we had our bathroom redone about five or six years ago.TOM: OK.FRAN: And it seems that the bathtub where the tiles meet the bathtub, the caulk, it keeps on not cracking exactly but …LESLIE: But pulling away?FRAN: Pulling away. Thank you. And we’ve had it redone. Now, we had it done professionally and we’ve had it redone a few times and it keeps on happening and it’s driving me crazy because it always looks dirty because you see the black, you know, from coming …TOM: Gunk that gets in, yeah. Yeah, Fran, we have a great trick of the trade for that. Here’s what I want you to do. The first thing you need to do is to remove all the old caulk. Now, if it doesn’t come off easily …LESLIE: And this is a project you can do yourself. No more hiring somebody for this.FRAN: OK, we’ve done – now we’ve done this a couple of times.LESLIE: OK.TOM: Alright, so you know how to get rid of the old caulk. And there’s a product called a caulk softener, which is sort of like a paint stripper for caulk, that makes it really easy to get the old stuff out.FRAN: OK.TOM: Now, after it’s out, you need to wipe it clean and I want you to use a bleach-and-water solution to do that. And then we want you to fill the tub with water all the way to the top.FRAN: OK.TOM: Now, the reason you’re doing that is because it weights the tub down. While the tub is filled with water, then you caulk the tub, let the caulk dry and then let the water out of the tub. What happens is the tub comes back up and compresses the caulk and, this way, when you stand in it, you don’t pull the caulk apart.LESLIE: It causes the cork to sort of be springy and grow with the tub and tile as there’s movement.TOM: That’s what you need.FRAN: So about how long should it take before it dries; couple of hours?TOM: Yeah, couple hours. You know, maybe do it at night and let it sit overnight and then let the water out the next day.FRAN: OK. Thank you very, very much for your help.TOM: You’re welcome, Fran. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.