Dried Out and Discolored Caulk
LESLIE: Alright, our next call takes us to Michigan where Debbie wants to talk about a bathtub.
Debbie, you’re redoing your bathroom?
DEBBIE: Well, I redid it a couple of years ago but I’m having problems with the caulking in front of the tub and I don’t know what’s causing it.
LESLIE: Is it dried out?
DEBBIE: OK, I had linoleum put in and right – it must be dried out but it’s all dark colored and I don’t know if just scraping it and replacing it is the best thing. I don’t know why it got all colored, discolored, and I wanted to have some ideas about is there a special caulking I could put in.
TOM: Yes. We know why it got discolored.
LESLIE: It’s mold.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. It grows mold really fast.
LESLIE: And no matter how much cleaning you do, it just grows mold.
DEBBIE: Yeah. Right.
TOM: What you need to do is this. You want to take out the old caulk and if it comes up easily, fine. If you have a hard time getting it up, you can use a caulk softener. It’s like a paint stripper for caulk that softens it up and lets you take it all out. Then wipe that surface down with a bleach-and-water solution so you make sure you kill any mold or mildew that’s left behind.
Now let me just understand this. This is the area between the floor and the tub?
TOM: OK, it’s not the lip of the top of the tub.
TOM: OK. So what you want to do is get a caulk that’s designed for kitchens and baths, that has a mildicide built into it. Now DAP makes one that has an additive called Microban. And Microban will prevent that caulk from growing any mold whatsoever and it’ll stay white. It’ll be as white as the day you put it in.
DEBBIE: Which is great. It looks dirty now and I hate that. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, and they get really dirty really fast if you don’t have a caulk with a mildicide built into it.
DEBBIE: Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome very much. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.