How to Remove Silicone Caulking

Silicone caulking serves a wide variety of purposes in the home. It can be used as a weather sealer, a finish product, and an adhesive. When it is time to remove or replace it, however, silicone caulking can be a tricky customer.

Places you’ll find it:

The most common place in the home to find silicone caulking is around baseboards and other moldings. The carpenter or painter applies the silicone with a gun and works the product into small cracks and crevices. The main purpose of this is aesthetic. By filling gaps and cracks in the woodwork, the artisan gives his work a more complete and quality appearance.

In some cases, the wood that makes up the molding begins to shrink. When the wood shrinks, the gaps between the pieces get bigger and the silicon can pull away from the wood and fall into the resulting crack. When this happens the best thing to do is to remove the old caulk and apply new silicone caulking.

Use a razor blade or a utility knife to remove the old. Carefully run the blade along the surface to break free any silicone that may still be attached and then pull it out. Once all of the debris is gone, you can apply a new bead of caulk.

Exterior Caulking

Another place where you will find silicone caulking in your home is on exterior walls. The caulk works very well at sealing drafts and stopping unwanted airflow into and out of your home. You will find silicone caulking around pipes, in basements, on exterior siding, and around roof vents, all with the purpose of increasing your homes heating and cooling efficiency.

In the event that some of this caulking becomes damaged or needs to be replaced, it is best removed with your utility knife and a scraper. Working slowly to avoid damaging the actual fixture, make sure that all of the old silicone is removed. You will also need to ensure that all dust, dirt and grime has been removed before replacing the silicone.

Interior Trim Caulking

A third place where you are likely to find silicone caulking in your home is behind woodwork and trim pieces as an adhesive. Silicone caulking dries with a very tight bond, and therefore works well as glue. In the event that you need to remove something that has been applied with silicone, make sure that you pull it apart very slowly.

The silicone can pull the paper off your sheetrock, splinter pieces of trim, and damage both surfaces if it is not removed carefully. The best way to remove silicone from a flat surface is with a razor scraper. These tools are often found in the wallpaper section of your home improvement store, as they are also used to strip wallpaper. Work very carefully with this tool, as it is very sharp.

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