General Question

tranquilsea's avatar

Guidance needed on recaulking a bathtub (old silicone caulking)

Asked by tranquilsea (17760points) May 20th, 2012

We are in the process of scraping out the old caulking in our tub. What I need to know is whether or not we have to get every little bit of silicone caulking out before we redo the caulking (with silicone)? This has been quite the process as the last guy who did the recaulking left half of the old caulking behind.

There are only tiny bits of caulking left here and there and I just don’t want to go crazy trying to get the last of it out (it is highly resistant to being taken out even after having the silicone caulking remover coated on it).

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7 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

I always try to get everything I can off before going in with new.

If the old stuff was any good, I wouldn’t be redoing it, so I don’t want to base my new work on the hope that the old stuff won’t come free and cause the same problem.

Also, from an earlier questions -

Do I absolutely have to remove old caulk before applying new?

tranquilsea's avatar

The last job sucked badly which is why we’re having to redo it.

I guess my question really is will old silicone stick to new silicone? The amount of old silicone left at this point is negligible BUT I don’t want to have to redo this job if the new silicone won’t stick to the old.

funkdaddy's avatar

Yes, the new stuff will stick to the old. Just make sure that all of the remover is off before laying down the new stuff.

tranquilsea's avatar

Thank you @funkdaddy for your help. It is greatly appreciated.

woodcutter's avatar

If you can back cut the old stuff so the new isn’t just sitting on top. It will lock itself into the joint easier. Get some 2” blue masking tape and apply it to each side of the seam as straight as you can the same distance apart all the way. Then put the new caulk on there and tool it down thin at the tape. Spit works well on silicone to smooth out the bead but use it liberally because if you try to go too far with a single “spit finger” the silicone will stick on that finger and when you spit on that finger again it will be nasty if it gets in your mouth, I mean really nasty. Then carefully peel off the blue tape one side then the other. it should leave a perfectly straight edge.

tranquilsea's avatar

Thanks @woodcutter. I’ve done a terrible job on caulking in the past so about a year ago we had a carpenter friend of ours come over and show us how to tape and caulk. I’m a little nervous about being able to continuously run my finger down the longest wall so that I get a nice smooth line so I’m hoping that it won’t look too bad if I need to lift my finger up and the reapply it as I go.

The tub in the process of drying out completely right now so I’ll be caulking it tomorrow. Fingers crossed I hope it goes well.

tranquilsea's avatar

So, it’s done. My only question now is can I touch it up after it’s dried if I see any gaps forming? I checked and double checked and there aren’t any now so I’m assuming that there won’t be any later.

It’s not the best job but it’s also not bad for my first time really doing it.

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