Bathroom, DIY, Educational, Home Maintenance, renovation, Tips & Tricks

Tips for Caulking Your Shower Surround

Caulking your shower surround doesn’t have to be a hassle if you follow some of the easy tips below. Before you know it, you will be on your way to a beautiful, blended shower surround joint.

-Don’t use 100% industrial grade silicone caulk. It typically gives off a strong odor and requires a lot of focus and cleanup to prevent it from sticking to everything. If you must, have masking tape to frame your bead and paper towels for cleanup on hand, or use a hybrid caulk like siliconized acrylic.

-Wash the joint and surrounding surfaces with water-diluted bleach and let dry for a couple of hours before applying any caulk. This will remove and residual mildew/mold and prevent future growth.

-Use a blowdryer to heat up the old caulk before attempting to scrape it out. This will soften the caulk and make it easier to remove, which prevents scratching up the surface or joint.

-After you remove old caulk, sand the joint and surrounding surface to remove any lingering residue or texture issues. This also diminishes the need for vigorous scraping, which further preserves the surface and joint.

-After sanding, wipe down the relevant surfaces and joint one more time to remove the last of the surface level debris.

-Start from the top of the surround and work your way to the bottom when applying. This seems counterintuitive for this context, but the application angle will work better this way.

-Once you hit the mid-point of the surround, reverse starting points and start up from the bottom. The two sections of caulk should meet in the middle. This two-step application process prevents any awkward angles that could mess up your bead.

 

Standard
DIY, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized

The Five Best Practices for Smoothing a Caulk Bead

Alright, you’ve gotten past the hard part- the tedious application process- but it’s not over yet! A caulk bead isn’t fully adhered to the surface or attractive until it has been tooled or smoothed within the joint. Follow the five best practices below to ensure you get a durable, aesthetically pleasing bead.

1. Line the Edges of the Bead or Joint with Masking Tape

You have probably heard of this tip for ensuring a smooth application bead, but this can also be used to frame your bead smoothing and tooling so you don’t squish the bead out everywhere and make a mess. This also secures a clean line between your joint and the surrounding surface.

 

2. Use Your Finger 

Using the pad of your index finger is adequate for smoothing out the bead and your natural body heat will make the caulk pliable enough to tool effectively. Keep in mind that you need to keep an even pressure and pace as you go along the bead or else you will ruin the finish. It may take several passes and ,if necessary, some alcohol or water to moisten your finger for efficiency.

 

3. Use a Damp Rag

Alternatively to your finger, you may use a damp linen to get an ultra smooth, controlled finish. A damp rag can also be used to smooth out any texture irregularities left over from using your finger.

 

4. Attempt Smoothing before Caulk Cure

Don’t wait around too long. It’s important that you do the smoothing and tooling of the caulk bead before the caulk hardens and becomes difficult or impossible to manipulate. You also want to fill out any gaps in your bead through smoothing before the caulk dries.

 

5. Smoothing in Sections

Smoothing ,as stated before, takes even pacing and pressure to be effective. This can be harder than it sounds depending on the amount of surface area you need to cover. To make it less intimidating, only smooth in even, short sections until you’ve smoothed out the entire bead.

 

 

Standard
DIY, Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

Prevent Caulk Over-flow in One Step

With modern industry innovations, some caulking guns now come with a no-drip feature that prevents the pressure of the gun from pushing too much caulk out. However, if you are stuck with an old school caulk gun, one easy trick will prevent caulk over flow.

Just wrap your preferred caulk or sealant cartridge with brown parcel tape before loading it into the gun to prevent the cartridge expanding with the pressure of the skeleton gun.

 

parceltape

Essentially, this means the caulk flow will officially stop once you release the trigger instead of continuing to drip. This may also help you to apply a straight, even bead. Easy and cheap!

Standard
DIY, Educational, Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Outside Corner Spackling

Spackling is all fun and games to apply and smooth out until you have to cover the outside corners. The awkward angle, variable dry time, and extra smoothing or blending required calls for a bit more finesse and planning. However, Red Devil has got you covered with the application and prep tips below!

-First off, be prepared to make time for at least 3 layers of spackle for this area. You don’t want any show through on outside corners and the sharp angle doesn’t allow you to distribute spackle as thickly.

-Following from this, the first layer should be the heaviest as you want to cover the initial wall flaws or texture effectively before adding the blending layers. Cover all the space you need to between the corner joint and the wall using your putty knife.

-Since the the second layer and third layer is intended to deepen coverage and smooth out the spackle into the wall surface, use a larger putty knife of 10″ to apply. The wider putty knife plate will give a more widespread, polished coverage.

-After you have applied the third layer, you may switch to a 12″ or larger putty knife to smooth out any edges or mistakes.

-The position of the putty knife you use to apply the spackle should be so that one corner of the knife is aimed alongside the corner bead and the other corner is facing the drywall surface.

 

 

 

 

Standard
DIY, Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: The Trick to Fixing a Poor Spackling Job

drywall sander

 

If a previous spackling job left you with rough edges or an unblended texture, you can remedy this by using a drywall sander. A hand held sander is a grip-able applicator that you can set sand paper on for smoothing out surfaces. You will want to use 100-grit sandpaper to level out really rough, high-level spots and use 200-grit sandpaper (which has a more even, gentle distribution of grit) to smooth out the texture. 

 

fixspackling

If you have any low or deteriorated spackling spots from your previous application, you will need to fill them in with a new application of spackling to maintain an even level with the areas you just sanded. To prevent a poor spackling job in this new application, apply a thinner coat and go over it with big, damp sponge to even it out. 

 

Standard
DIY, Educational, Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

Bubbled Caulk: What It Means & How to Prevent It

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 11.22.10 AM

 

The Cause

Caulk bubbles can originate from trapped air in the cartridge, caused by manufacturing or air leaking in through an uncovered cartridge tip, or from trapped water underneath the caulk that is vaporizing under the surface of the film of the caulk.

 

 

SONY DSC

 

Prevention Tips

– Be sure to keep the tip of the caulk cartridge covered at all times that it is not in use to prevent air seeping in.

-With any caulk application, make sure the area to be caulked is clean and free of moisture by wiping it down with a dry cloth. This prevents water from getting trapped underneath.

-Make sure you smooth the caulk into a consistent, seamless beading before letting it cure. You don’t want to leave any voids for air or moisture to get in.

 

 

smoothing caulk

 

Repair Options

If  it has been an hour or less since you caulked the area that has bubbles, you may still be able to smooth or tool it out a bit. Any later than that and you will have to remove the bubbled caulk and start over.

Standard
Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

Must-do Fall Projects

Forget spring cleaning! Detox the stress from all of your leftover home improvement projects before the holidays and rest easy. Get out your check list and take note of some of the projects below that may have slipped your mind.




Replace your Windows





You may need to trade out your old, inefficient single layer windows for a double paned, filled, or spaced window. This will increase your savings on the heating bill for winter and increase overall comfort.

 

 

Paint your Exteriors



 


Paint is very sensitive to extreme temperatures so it’s a good idea to get any crucial exterior painting done before the weather dips too low. Any applications at 50 degrees or below is not recommended as it can disrupt the texture, tint, or dry time of oil-based and latex paints. If you’ve recently painted an exterior, it might be a good idea to add an extra coat or perhaps a weather-proof sealant to ensure protection against seasonal snow, ice, and wind damage.

 

 

Repair your Roof

 

 


You will want to take care of those roof leaks before winter hits or else ice damming may occur. Ice damming is the build up of ice to the point where an obstruction against water movement is created. This trapped water can lead to ceiling and roof damages, mold and mildew, and higher heating bills as the water compromises the insulation.

 

 

Power Wash your Exterior and Windows

 

 

 


Mold and mildew is attracted to grime and bacteria so it’s best to power wash your exteriors thoroughly before the weather gets too extreme for you to be outside.

 

 

Seal Gaps and Add Insulation

 

 

 


Prevent the cold drafts that are starting to drift in by sealing or re-sealing your walls, doors, and windows and adding insulation to the attic. This will also save money on your heating/energy bills.

 

Have your Furnace Checked Out

 

 


An inefficient furnace could lead to a frozen or damaged pipe which could affect your overall fuel supply. Not to mention, if the furnace gets messed up, you’re going to be without heat or basic comfort. Really, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stay on top of this.

 

Wash your Carpeting

 

 

 


Deep cleaning your carpet in early fall is ideal because you will avoid having to ventilate the drying carpet and your home under extreme conditions such as hot, stifling air or winter-chilled, freezing wind.

 

Clean and Repair your Gutters



 

 

 


Your gutters are what guide excess water and debris away from your precious home so it’s important that you make sure they are in tip-top shape before winter ice damming or ice leaks can occur.

 

Repair your Driveway and Walkways



 


The compression of the cold that is arriving will only serve to expand or further mutate existing cracks. This is unsightly, inefficient, and dangerous so get it taken care of as soon as possible.

 

Winter-proof your Sprinkler System



 


Just as the winter cold has the potential to damage internal furnace pipes, the exterior sprinkler pipes are in danger of being damaged. Have your sprinkler professional winter-proof your sprinkler system with hose bibs.

 

 

 

 

Standard