Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated December 6, 2019)
One of the more annoying problems that a homeowner faces is that of leaky tubs and sinks. Many people think that they have to have a professional plumber fix any leaks in the home, when in reality they can fix it themselves. An improperly caulked seam is something that leads to many of the leaks a homeowner is faced with. Re-caulking the seals and joints of your tub annually is something that can, and will greatly reduce the chances of any leaks that may crop up.
Prior to beginning any home repair project, the first step is to gather all of the materials needed. To accomplish this home repair project, you are going to need the following:
Caulking can come in several different types of containers. For small caulking jobs, you may be able to get by with a small tube that you can squeeze without a caulking gun. For larger jobs, you'll want to get larger tubes of caulking, which always require a caulking gun. These aren't expensive, and your local home improvement store can help you get the right one for your caulk tubes.
To begin the project, you'll need to remove all of the old caulking that is associated where the leak is. In order to make sure that all of the caulking has been removed, use the knife or multi-tool to remove the caulking from the area. Be careful, however, that you don't gouge or damage the surface of the tub itself or the wall.
When you have removed as much of caulking as you can with your hands and the tools, then use your damp cloths to wash off as much of the caulking residue as you can. This is going to ensure that you get as much of the caulking as possible, while cleaning the area and preparing it for the re-caulking.
You are now ready to apply the new caulking. If you are using a caulking gun, insert the tube into the gun. (The caulking gun provides the proper amount of constant pressure necessary to apply the caulking evenly and smoothly.) Use your knife to cut the tip of the caulk tube so you have a hole about 1/4-inch in diameter. This is where the caulk "bead" is formed as the caulk leaves the tube.
Place the tip of the caulk tube into the corner formed by the tub and the wall, at one end of where you just removed the old caulking. Make sure that the tube is at an angle. Squeeze the tube or pull the trigger on the caulking gun and the caulk should start to come out. Keep the tip of the tube in contact with the corner and slowly move the tube so that you "lead" the caulk down the seam. As you apply the caulk, make sure you use a continuous and steady stream of the material.
When the caulk has been completely applied to the seam, use one of the damp cloths to wipe up any excess caulking that may be there.
Be aware that you need to let the caulk completely dry before using the tub again. The best possible way of doing this is to let the caulk dry overnight at a minimum.
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