I recently recaulked our bathtub over the course of last week starting on Sunday's "fun" of removing the old caulk. The following is a list of lessons learned. I'm posting this here even though it has nothing to do with security because I think it's good fodder for a blog post and so the content is stored in a place that I trust.
Anyhow, on to the lessons learned:
- Taping off the bathtub drain before starting ANY work is highly recommended
- When removing caulk, a 9 in 1 painters tool and a utility knife with a good blade are hugely helpful
- DAP sells a caulking kit with a plastic "caulk remover" and some squeegee type plastic bits to help you apply new caulk with a nice uniform bead. The caulk application tools are good, but the caulk remover is absolute junk
- Use either a diluted bleach solution or a strong bleach based cleaner to clean out the empty joints after you've removed all of the caulk and wait 24 hours for that to dry before putting down new caulk...although a pro might have a better solution for this problem, the point is to kill any mold/mildew and inhibit it from growing back
- It's not a process that can be rushed...seriously...when you apply the caulk well even 30 hours isn't enough drying time, at least not in the Portland area during summer
- Don't bother taping the bathtub to ensure that caulk doesn't go where you don't want it. Unless you do this all the time, you'll likely make the same mistake that I did and not leave enough of a gap with the tape, which means you end up pulling up half the caulk you just applied when you remove the tape and have to redo those areas.
- A good caulk application tool makes tape unnecessary as it squeegees off the unnecessary caulk from the walls as you use it to create your bead
- Don't bother buying the hand squeezed tubes of caulk. Those are good only for smaller jobs. You'll likely need 3 to 4 of them to do an entire bathtub. Just plunk down the $5 to $10 for a caulk gun and get some tubes to use with it, ultimately, it will make these jobs a lot cheaper
- Doing a nice 45 degree angle bead might sound like a good idea, but since caulk shrinks when drying, you won't end up with a nice 45 degree bead, although for wider joints, you will likely not have much choice
- You won't get anywhere close to perfection, so do your best, but don't worry about making everything perfect...even if you do try to make things perfect, the caulk will be laughing at you while you do
- Seriously, wait at least 48 hours before using the bath to take showers in, possibly even longer if you live in a humid climate and did a proper job of laying down a nice thick bead