Wow, is that the most exciting title for a blog post or what? It's about as exciting as caulking, I can tell you that.
First I want to say - if I've in any way encouraged you to take a closer look at your own caulk and you're considering replacing it yourself, you should stop thinking that way right now. Hire someone. Seriously.
I started in the bathroom, for some reason thinking it might be easier to get the clear caulk up than it is to remove old stuff. Wrong. However, the area along the tub where I managed to remove some caulk looks a heck of a lot better. Caulk is functional, though, which means I can't leave it like that. I gave up on the bathroom because the cheap paint scraper I bought to detach the caulk from the surrounding surfaces sucks. The blade won't stay out and it was making me a little crazy.
Eric promised to find me a better blade at Home Depot on his way home from work tonight. In the meantime, I moved on the old - old as in possibly original - caulk along the kitchen counter. It was easier overall. The blade behaved a little better, possibly because I handled it differently since I could see better, the counters being higher and all. The old caulk came out pretty easily except in a corner on outside walls. That corner is cold and I remembered seeing something about using a heat gun on the old caulk. The closest thing I have to a heat gun is my hair dryer, so I used that, and it did make a difference. I was able to get the bulk of a the caulk off two of the three lengths of counter in the kitchen.
It couldn't hurt the hair dryer, right? It's not like it knows what it's aimed at. Hair, caulk - it should all be the same.
When I have a new blade, I'll go back and get the little bits that remain. Then I'll start putting down the replacement caulk.
Caulk is a little scary. Like I mentioned, it has a purpose - to keep water out of the walls and floors. So of course I want it to work. But I also want it to look nice. When the old, icky stuff was there, I thought anything would be better. Now some hitherto-unknown perfectionist part of myself is making itself known and I'm nervous that I'll screw it up. Again.
I found myself wondering exactly how much it would cost to hire someone to do the caulking. My exact thoughts were something along the lines of "you couldn't pay me enough," but obviously not everyone feels that way. And caulking is probably one of those things people like painters, floor installers and general construction laborers do, so it's just rolled into other jobs.
Anyhow, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to finish this myself.
Week Twenty-six: Household - Bathroom Caulking and Cleaning