Guest post by Regina:
My friend Jane would always hire a handyman to help with jobs around the house. But with a new “I-can-do-it” attitude, Jane looked at her grungy shower stall and knew it was the job for her. For about a year she’d clean all the corners with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cleaners, scrubbing as hard as she could, only to see the semi-white (mostly gray) caulking return with spots of holes and cracks. It was time to caulk the shower and give it a fresh look.
Off Jane went to a full-service hardware store called McGuckins to ask for advice. A helpful green-vested employee led her to a handy plastic caulk-removing tool to scrape away the old stuff (about $4). Also, she took the fellow’s advice to get clear caulk in an applicator (about $6). So for $10 Jane was ready to go.
Here’s what she recommends:
- Remove the old caulk with the handy tool.
- Thoroughly clean the area with a clean, damp rag.
- Apply a seam of caulk wherever wall meets shower pan, and wall meets wall.
- Squeeze a drop of dish soap on your finger and glide along the caulk strip for uniformity.
- Clean-up the edges of the caulk strip with a clean, damp rag.
And voila! Done and beautiful.
For bathroom caulking jobs, some people prefer a more comprehensive approach like the one suggested by Popular Mechanics, but Jane’s simple approach worked perfectly well for her and her shower.
Jane’s experience inspired me to think about the caulking jobs that could be done at my home. Recently having had an energy audit and being told that caulking around our window frames would make our house significantly more air-tight, my first concern was the messiness of it all. I assumed caulk was a pasty white substance that could leave smears on and around all the window frames, all in the name of energy efficiency.
Now I know that with clear caulk, an inexpensive tool, and a soapy finger I can do the job to perfection!
Save money. Save energy. Caulk today!