Removing caulking from brick requires knowing the proper steps to take. There are certain tools and resources that you will need if you plan to remove the caulk from your commercial property by yourself. With that said, the job can be accomplished by following the right process, exercising patience and with a little hard work.
When Is it Important to Remove Caulking?
Properly-done caulking can last for more than five years before it needs to be removed and replaced. However, all caulking eventually needs to be removed over enough time.
If the caulk in between bricks on your commercial property begins to wear-down, it is time to remove the old caulk and replace it with new sealant. Otherwise, improper or outdated caulking can lead to water damage, increased utility costs and other aesthetic and safety concerns. Caulking may also require removal during renovation projects, such as replacing doors and windows.
Tools You Need
Every caulk removal project is unique and the tools needed may vary. However, the most common tools required when removing caulking from brick commercial buildings include:
- Heat gun
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Wire brush
Some tools are interchangeable with others. For example, you can substitute a scraper with a putty knife or a utility knife. Be sure to do your due diligence and ensure you have all that you need to complete your caulk removal project before you begin, as there is nothing worse than finding out you are missing a tool while in the middle of the project.
Cut Away Old Caulk & Residue
Caulk in its normal form is almost impossible to remove. This means you will need to heat up the caulk to make it softer. You can use a heat gun to do this. Simply move the heat gun slowly and carefully across the caulk you wish to remove. As the sealant warms up, it should begin to soften and take on more of a putty-like state. Do not hold the heat gun too close or focus it on the bricks as it may cause damage to the bricks.
Once the caulk between the bricks is soft, you can use a putty knife or a scraper to remove the sealant. You should be able to remove the majority of the caulk. If it is still too hard to remove, continue heating it until it softens. The next and final step is to remove the remaining caulk. There should not be much remaining, and you can remove the remaining residue with a wire brush.
Clean Brick with Isopropyl Alcohol
After you remove the caulk and residue from between the bricks, you will need to clean the bricks. This is done to sanitize the bricks, as they can accumulate bacteria, mildew and other contaminants over time.
You can use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to clean and disinfect the brick. Isopropyl alcohol is a colorless chemical that will not damage the brick. However, it is essential to be safe while using isopropyl alcohol as it is highly flammable. It will also have a rather strong odor, but the smell of the alcohol is not dangerous as long as you do not inhale too much of the chemical.
You can use a scrub brush or sponge to clean the brick with the alcohol. Be sure to give it time to dry before applying the new caulk.
Replace the Old Caulk with New Caulk
The final step is to apply the new caulk. This is an essential step that should not be taken lightly. Proper caulking of your brick commercial building can help prevent water damage caused by rain, keep energy usage to a minimum and improve the appearance of the property.
For small jobs, you may be able to complete the caulking job by yourself without professional assistance. However, it is encouraged to call a professional commercial caulking company to ensure the best results possible for the new caulk and your building. Proper caulking can lengthen the amount of time the caulk lasts and reduce the need for early replacement.
A caulking professional can locate and seal all openings around your commercial property, including all vulnerable areas that are not easy to locate.
Schedule an Appointment with the Caulking Experts
Here at Waterproof Caulking and Restoration, we offer professional caulking services for commercial buildings. We are skilled and experienced in removing and applying caulking from brick commercial buildings, and we are happy to help you with your caulking needs.
Our caulking can keep water out and keep the cool air in, which can reduce the risk of water damage inside of your property and help with climate control. To learn more about the benefits and process of removing and reapplying caulking for brick commercial properties, reach out to us today.