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Know The Top 5 Signs That Indicate Your Bathroom Needs Recaulking

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Know The Top 5 Signs That Indicate Your Bathroom Needs Recaulking

Any homeowner knows that certain maintenance tasks should be done routinely. Whether you prefer to do these tasks yourself, or rather outsource them, it’s important to do them as regularly as required to prevent damage to your home.

One of the tasks that you don’t have to do as often as others is updating the bathroom caulking in your bathroom and shower areas. What is caulking? How often do you need to do it? And most importantly, what are the signs that your bathroom caulking needs replacing? Keep reading as our experts answer these questions.

What is Caulking?

For the most part, caulk is a thick, flexible material (usually white) that serves as a glue and a sealant. As an adhesive, this material is applied to exposed joints using a caulking gun and left to cure as it dries.

The most common areas in the bathroom that caulk is usually added to include the following:

  • All the areas where floor tiles meet the shower, tub, and toilet.
  • Around the taps and sinks as well as the taps in the shower.
  • Along the top of the bathtub where it joins to the wall.
  • Around the showerhead and the pipe that protrudes out from the wall.
  • Along the top of the vanity where the cupboard meets the tiles or the backsplash.
  • Any areas where the wall tiles meet the ceiling.

Understanding Why Caulk is Necessary

Caulking can be used for various purposes around the home and in some cases even outdoors. The main purpose of caulking in a bathroom is to seal any air leaks or gaps between walls and tiles.

Since quality caulk is waterproof, applying it to the joints and gaps in your bathroom is an excellent way to prevent mould and mildew from growing in those spaces. Caulking prevents humidity and moisture from getting stuck in any cracks and small spaces where it’s difficult for air to get in and dry.

How Long Does Caulk Last?

Experts will tell you that using quality caulk should last at least five years. However, several variables may determine this such as the ones listed below:

  • Initial application process
  • Quality of caulk used
  • Condition of the surface during application
  • Current humidity levels in the space
  • Existing mould or mildew around the bathroom joints
  • Water leaks in the bathroom
  • Cleaning methods used

Knowing What Signs to Look For

Although caulking should last around five years, the above factors can shorten the lifespan of the caulk in your bathroom. The most common signs that will indicate that your bathroom needs to be recaulked are listed below.


A simple sign that caulking needs to be replaced is the discolouration of the original caulk. This change of colour occurs because of exposure to mould, mildew and other bacteria. While a deep cleaning might clean the surface of the caulk, I won’t remove the bacteria underneath.

Gaps or Cracks

The presence of gaps and cracks can happen because of age or even exposure to water. Since it’s very difficult for ventilation to reach the area inside the cracks, all this space does is grow bacteria.

Flaking or Peeling

Properly applied caulk shouldn’t flake or peel. There are primarily only two reasons why caulk would flake. Exposure to water such as a leak in the pipes is the first reason why your caulk may be flaking. The most common reason for flaking or peeling stems from poor application.

To avoid this, ensure that your caulking is applied by professionals using quality, waterproof products. Flaking or peeling caulk needs to be replaced sooner rather than later as it allows water to seep into the walls and floors.

Bad Odours

An odour that seems to be stemming from the joints in your bathroom can be a result of mould or mildew growth already happening under the caulk. You can clean the caulk and joints with a mild soap or vinegar solution and check if the smell returns.

A smell that returns after cleaning is an indication of mould spores or water leaks under the caulk. It’s a good idea to open your bathroom windows to dry out the space until you can have the caulk replaced.

Spongy Caulk

If you haven’t lived in your home for too long, you may not know how long the caulk has been there. A clear indication of old caulk is when it starts turning soft and spongy.

Once the caulk turns spongy, it can no longer provide the necessary seal to keep water out. Spongy caulk can easily be pulled loose, highlighting that it’s no longer effective.

Final Thoughts

Quality bathroom caulking is essential to maintaining a clean and mildew-free bathroom. Use the tips we’ve shared to identify when your caulk needs to be replaced. Be sure to opt for quality caulking products and if you’ve never replaced caulk, keep in mind that professionals can have it sorted out in no time!

SEE ALSO: The Green Horizon: Navigating the Future of Cannabis Dispensaries in Canada

Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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