Caulk keeps water out of joints between objects. In bathrooms this is especially important because water is always ever-present. When caulk around a bathtub begins to crumble, water can get into joints, and mold and mildew can develop. This is when it is time to start over with fresh caulk to provide a stronger seal. This is how to recaulk a bathtub.
1.Clean the tub or shower area with a bathroom surface cleaner that also removes soap scum. It is important that all surfaces you may be dealing with be clean and free of any substance that would come between the surface and the new caulk.
2.Strip the existing caulk from the tub or shower area.
3.Scrub the joints where the caulk had previously been with rubbing alcohol. This will help to get rid of any remaining bits and pieces of caulk left after the scraping.
4.Vacuum out any pieces of caulk that may have gotten stuck between the tile and the tub or shower pan
5.Spray on a 10% bleach to 90% water solution that will kill mold and mildew that may have grown when water got into the loose caulk joints. Let this sit and take effect against the mold and mildew for at least 5 minutes before scrubbing down with fresh, clean water.
6.Allow the tub or shower area to dry at least overnight. You do not want the dampness that crept into the joints when the previous caulk was loose, or the dampness that resulted from the cleaning you have just done, to impact the ability of your new caulk to adhere and stay in place.
7.Choose a type of caulk to use for recaulking. PVA and acrylic latex are best with ceramic fixtures that meet tile because the caulk is hard and easily removed in the long run. Silicone based caulk is best with fiberglass fixtures meeting tile or other fiberglass surrounds because the caulk is relatively soft when it dries.
8.Cut the tip off of the tube of caulk. Make sure not to make the hole in the tip too large because that will control how much caulk comes out at once, and a smaller tip will help your caulking to be a success.
9.Squeeze a bead of caulk no more than � inch (0.6 cm) evenly down the vertical joints first.
10.Smooth your finger over the fresh bead of caulk to press it evenly into the joint. Your finger should capture any excess caulk which you can wipe off on a damp sponge.
11.Squeeze a bead of caulk no more than � inch (0.6 cm) evenly into the horizontal joints around the tub or shower.
12.Smooth your finger over the fresh bead of caulk to press it evenly into the joint. Your finger should capture any excess caulk which you can wipe off on a damp sponge.
13.Apply an additional small amount of caulk to any places that seem a little thin and seem to need a little extra caulk.
14.Allow the caulk to set and dry for 24 hours before using the tub or shower area.