There are some home maintenance items that need to be done every two to three years and every homeowner should know how to do them. One of these is caulking. Caulking itself around a shower or tub is not really that hard to do. The hardest part is actually cleaning out the old caulk and making it look like a decent job.
Use a scraper or a razor blade to scrape off the old caulk. Then wipe down the area with some kind of household cleaner. It is very important to clean the area that you just scraped off. New caulk will not stick to a dirty surface. So it is necessary to wipe it down before applying the new caulk.
Denature alcohol will remove any soap scum or residue from the cleaning agent and will make new caulk to adhere to the new surface and seal it. The caulk that you should use should say on the tube that it is water cleanup type for bathrooms. It is important to use the proper type of caulk.
There are two types that you can use and either will do. The first type is a tube that is used with a caulk gun. The caulk gun cost is under five dollars. If you’ve never used one before ask how to use it when you buy it. They are simple to use but if you don’t know how you could wind up with caulk pumping out of tube and going everywhere and you don’t know how to make it stop.
The second type is a tube that you just squeeze. Again, either type is fine. Just make sure that the caulk you buy says water cleanup for bathrooms on it.
The tricky part of making a good looking job is the way you remove the excess caulk after it is applied. Using a sponge and a bucket of warm water and while the caulk is still wet, gently wipe down the caulk. The sponge will push the caulk into any of the cracks and the bead will look great. Rinse the sponge out frequently with the warm water and take your time.
Some people use their finger to create a nice caulk joint. For some this is easier to control. It just depends on you and how nice a caulk line you can make with your finger. There are also inexpensive tools to help you with removing the excess caulk. If you do not remove the excess caulk you will have a very messy, unprofessional bead of caulk.
After you finish let the caulk dry for at least 24 hours before using the tub or shower. You will be amazed at how great the job looks when you are done.
Another home maintenance item is to check your washing machine hoses. A bad washing machine hose is one of the leading causes for water damage in residential homes. Most people do not realize that the standard rubber hose is really only good for three to five years. You can buy upgraded hoses which are braided and cost about $20. Or you can buy a Floodchek washing machine hose which is about $50 but they also have a 20 year guarantee. This can give you peace of mind.
These hoses can be bought at most hardware stores. It only takes just a few minutes to put these hoses on your washing machine. So if you have not changed your hoses in the last three to five years, be sure to inspect your washing machine hoses after you read this article.
These are just a couple of tips that you can do and save yourself money. Most of the time there is no reason to get a professional involved. Sometimes the simple problems can cost you the most money if they are not resolved before the damage happens. So take the time to learn how to do a few of these things yourself. You never know, you might have fun doing the repairs yourself.