Replace Caulk with Mildew-Proof Caulk
LESLIE: Debbie in New Jersey needs some cleaning help. What’s going on?
DEBBIE: Our house is four years old and the flexible grout around the bottom of the tile right above the basin, that little space in between, constantly mildews. So my question is why does this continue to happen even though we’re constantly cleaning it and drying this shower after we use it and what should we do about it and is there a better product to use than that typical flexible grout?
TOM: Hmm. Flexible grout. (Leslie chuckles) Are you talking about caulk?
DEBBIE: Yeah, it’s – (Tom and Leslie laugh) It’s sort of a beige-y caulk …
TOM: Can I have a tube of that flexible grout, please? (Debbie laughs)
LESLIE: Is it in between the tiles or is it where the tile and the basin meet?
TOM: (overlapping voices) (laughing) You know, it kind of comes in a tube-y thing. (laughing)
DEBBIE: It’s different than the grout in between the tiles. It’s …
TOM: Right. Yeah, of course. Because that part’s not flexible.
DEBBIE: Oh, OK. Right. (laughing)
TOM: Yeah, you’re talking about caulk.
TOM: I’m not quite sure what kind of caulk you’re using but let me tell you what you probably should use. First of all, you want to strip out the old caulk and use a caulk softener to do that. It’s like a paint stripper for caulk.
LESLIE: It’s just going to help you pull it all out.
TOM: Yeah, and get it all cleaned out and then take some Clorox and water solution – bleach and water solution – and wipe down the joints so that anything that’s there is cleaned.
TOM: And then pick up some DAP …
LESLIE: Wait, and before you do, let that whole area dry before you go recaulking it.
TOM: Oh, yeah. Exactly. Pick up some DAP kitchen and back caulk. It’s got an additive called Microban in it that prevents it from growing any mildew or mold.
TOM: And that’s probably going to last a lot longer than what you’re doing right now.
DEBBIE: Oh, thank you so much.
TOM: OK? It’s in the aisle next to all the other flexible grout, OK? (Leslie laughs)
DEBBIE: My goodness. (chuckling)
TOM: Debbie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.