Sunday, August 22, 2010

Caulk-Sure

If I had to choose one thing I hate about my apartment, the bathroom would be up there. It's fugly. Okay, it's not that bad, but it has a lot that could be changed. Oh, like the cracked tiles and the tub where all the enamel has worn off and a huge area of yellowed disgusting adhesive on the tub where an adhesive tub mat once was. Add to that dried and cracked caulk, and the whole thing is a nightmare. I can clean until I'm blue in the face, and it's still disgusting. Examine:


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Keep in mind this is AFTER I just cleaned with an abrasive cleanser.


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Yes, gross. I mentioned the caulk (which was not in great shape when I moved in 5 years ago) to my landlord once, but you know, given that I have decent rent, I hate to push things too much for minor problems. So, I've thought about doing it myself. My first and only other experience recaulking a tub was in 2000 when I lived in a group house. The landlady there was more or less a slumlord, so having her do it was out of the question and there was NO way I was living with the caulk that my roommates had never cleaned.  And so started my first adventure with the caulking. That was enough of an experience to keep me from caulking. It isn't pleasant. What had me come back was, sadly an infomercial, for this:


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I saw the infomercial a long time ago, but it caught up with me again at a moment of  particular vulnerability last Friday at Bed, Bath & Beyond. A stressful office move, a 20% coupon, and clearance price all conspired to put me down the path of recaulking again.

On Saturday, I geared up, I was ready, and this time I had the tools for a job: The "As Seen on TV" product, rubber gloves, a utility knife, and flat head screwdriver. I was PUMPED UP! That caulk was going to get it good!


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Now, I feel the need to warn you. What follows is not suitable for all viewers. Proceed with caution.

First, you slice the caulk on either side to loosen it.


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And then you just dig, and remove and dig and remove...it ain't pretty.


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See what I mean? Eventually, it will all be gone. By eventually, I mean like an hour later. You have this.


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After that, you clean it out a bit with some bleach to kill whatever gross mold is in there and let it dry. I used rags and a hair drier, just to make sure. Then the fun could begin. My tools:


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The caulk came with the As Seen On TV tool. It has "Microban" which is supposed to fight mold. The snaky thing is backer rod. Essentially, if the crack is deeper than 3/8", you need to put something else in there. I just so happened to have some from one of my other escapades.

I didn't photograph the interim process because, well, my hands were a mess. It's times like this I wish I had a husband...to take blog photos! :) The tool helped smooth out the "bead." The end results were wonderful and made such a HUGE difference!


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It doesn't change the cracks and lack of tub enamel, but at least I don't have gross cracked moldy caulk anymore!


6 comments:

  1. It actually does make a big difference! Who knew that fresh caulk could do so much?

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  2. I know! Who knew! Don't I look ugly and MEAN in that picture?!

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  3. the new caulk makes a huge difference- excellent work!

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  4. I had a similar stain on my tub and i got it all out by sanding the spot with a fine grade sand paper.

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  5. The best tips for caulking a bathtub include thoroughly removing any old caulk, making sure to use waterproof caulk, and filling the tub with water or some type of weight before caulking. When caulking a bathtub, it's also important to make sure the caulk is applied evenly from one corner to another.

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