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Remove Old Caulk and Patch Drywall in the Bath

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now, we’re going to chat with Beverly in South Carolina who has a question about the bathtub. What can we do for you?

    BEVERLY: Well, thank you for taking my call. It’s a pleasure to talk to you and I really enjoy your show.

    TOM: Thank you, Beverly. How can we help?

    BEVERLY: I would like to know how you – what is the best way to remove old caulking without scratching the chrome on the outside of it.

    TOM: Well, if it’s real old caulk, what you might want to use is something that’s called a caulk softener. Think of it sort of like a paint remover but not quite as caustic. It’s available at hardware stores and home centers and it essentially – it makes the old, crusty caulk very easy to remove.

    BEVERLY: OK. And it has leaked at the corner and I have damage to the sheetrock, like a finger hole in it where I touched it.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    BEVERLY: And I understand there is a way to fix that?

    LESLIE: In the area where the drywall has sort of – has this damaged area, is it affected by water? Do you find that when you’re showering or bathing, the water gets onto that drywall?

    BEVERLY: Well, it has and I had caulked over it but I want to do some recaulking.

    TOM: Alright, what you want to do is – once you get all the old caulk out of there and you’re sure that that drywall area is real nice and dry, probably the easiest thing to do is to use some perforated drywall tape. It kind of looks like a bit like – sort of like a netting and it’s sticky. And if it’s just a small hole, you can cover it with that; if it’s a larger one, you can get a piece of drywall patch material that kind of looks more like a flat piece of metal with holes in it and that can actually be applied with spackle right over that hole.

    You basically need to get that hole covered and then go ahead and put a couple of coats of spackle over that, sand it very nicely, prime and paint the area and then – and only then, after you’re all done – put your final coat of caulk back on there and you’ll be good to go.

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