CommunityReplacing Interior Caulk: Fixing seasonal gaps around the house

Replacing Interior Caulk: Fixing seasonal gaps around the house

Do you have any tips for replacing interior caulk? In our nine-year-old house, the spaces where the cabinets meet the drywall were caulked, and after about three or four years the caulk began to crack, leaving a gap in these areas. The gaps get larger in winter–as much as one eighth of an inch in some places–and are hardly noticeable in the summer as they tend to close. Is there a caulk that is flexible enough to correct this problem? Is there a better time of the year to replace interior caulk? I might add that the paint on both the cabinets and walls is in good condition, so we don’t want to be faced with a big paint job.

The Money Pit Answer

The gaps you describe are not unusual and it is not difficult to replace interior caulk. Many people do not realize that homes are always moving, expanding and contracting. Seasonal gaps like those you describe are typical of winter, when the lumber in homes tends to shrink from the dry air. 
The best way to replace interior caulk is to remove all the old caulk and then re-caulk the gap using an acrylic latex caulk. Typically, this kind of caulk will last several years. If you want the replacement interior caulk to last longer, you'd need to use silicone, but the disadvantage of that is that it can't be painted and, since it isn't water soluble, it is a lot harder to work with.