Indoors and outdoors—from sinks andshowersto windows andsiding—caulks and sealantskeep wateroutand stop air leaks. Butsometimes it needs to be replaced. Sowhen you start seeing signs ofcaulkcracking, pullingaway,or growing mold and mildew,it’s time to remove itand replace it.If you’ve ever tried toget rid ofold caulkor sealant, you know it’s not always easy.Here’s how to finish the jobwith a coupleofkey tools andtechniques, andsomepatience.
Step 1: Remove Loose Caulk
Removeany caulk that’s already loose with a flexible putty knife. Try loosening anedge and pulling the caulk off in strips. Work carefully to avoid scratching or marring the nearby surfaces.
Step 2: Score the Caulk
Carefully score one edge of the remaining caulk with a putty knife or utility knife.This breaks the caulk’s bond to the surface.
Step 3: Soften Caulk for Removal
Caulk removers soften caulk, making it easier to remove.Krud Kutter Caulk Remover has a gel-like consistency that clings to the surface of the caulk and stays wet for a long period of time. Caulk removershelp to ease the removal of nearly all types of caulks, including silicone, polyurethane and acrylic latex. After application, let the caulk remover sit for 5 to 20 minutes. Longer soaking might be needed, depending on the type and amount of caulkor sealant to remove.
Step 4: Scrape Away Softened Caulk
After soaking, scrape away the softened caulk with a putty knife or specialty caulk remover tool. If you can’t scrape out all of the caulk or sealant, reapply the Caulk Remover and let it sit until the caulk is softened.
Step 5: Remove Residue
Even after you’ve removed the old caulk or sealant, there still might be some residue left.Make sure any residue is completely scraped away using a no-scratch plastic scouring pad. Then clean the surface by wiping down the area with isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
Step 6: Kill Mold and Mildew
If any mold or mildew is visible after removing the caulk, kill it by washing the area with a bleach and water solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Rinse the area well and let it dry before applying new sealant.