Plumbing fixtures are an important part of homes, but did you realize how important the caulk is around these fixtures? Caulk is a material that is used with almost every plumbing fixture inside a house, and it may need to be replaced from time to time. If you are having problems with water getting on the walls near your sinks or tubs, and if this is causing water damage, you may be interested in learning these three things.
What Is Caulk?
Caulk is a material that comes in a tube-like package, and you must generally place it in a caulk gun in order to get the material out of the tube. There are many different types of caulk available, but for plumbing fixtures it is best to use silicone caulk. You can also use tub and tile caulk, which is an acrylic material. The benefit of this is that it offers mildew-resistance, which makes it ideal for use around bathtubs.
Caulk is not something that is only used indoors around plumbing fixtures. It is actually used for a number of different things, including that it is placed around windows to keep water and air out of the cracks.
What Is The Purpose?
The purpose of caulk is very simple–it stops water from getting in places it shouldn't be. Without caulk, your home will be at a higher risk for developing water damage. There might be certain sinks or tubs that are not affected as much by the lack of caulk, but there are others that could be affected severely.
No matter how good a plumber is at installing tubs and sinks, there will always be small gaps between the fixtures and the walls. This is inevitable, and this is one of the reasons caulk exists. If water did enter into these cracks, it would get into the walls, which could cause damage and mold. To stop this from happening, caulk is placed all along these edges, and this includes placing it:
- On the seams where the tub meets the shower surround or tile
- Where the top of the shower surround or tile meets the actual wall
- Where the tub meets the floor of the room
- On the back of all sink vanities
It should also be placed anywhere else that may experience water damage.
How Often Is Caulk Needed?
Caulk around your plumbing fixtures is something you should always have; however, it does not last forever. If your fixtures do not have caulk around them, you should caulk them. If the existing caulk around your fixtures looks bad or worn out, you may want to replace it.
To replace caulk, you must first remove the old caulk. This is something you can do with a putty knife, but you should use caution to avoid damaging your fixtures as you complete this process. Take the putty knife and try to loosen the bead of caulk you see. Little by little, it should come loose, and you should be able to remove the entire string.
After doing this, you may want to take a strong cleanser and clean the area where the caulk was. This will kill germs or mold found in this area. Once it dries, you can apply new caulk. As you do this, you must be very careful to hold the caulk steady so it comes out evenly.
Once you are finished, you must let the caulk dry completely before using the plumbing fixture. This may take at least 24 hours, or longer.
Replacing caulk is something that is only necessary when it wears out. This could be every year, or it could be every 10 years.
If you would like help replacing the caulk around your plumbing fixtures, call a plumber. They can do plumbing repairs for you, and they may be able to help you find other ways to waterproof your home.