Silicone is commonly used as an effective sealant. When used properly, silicone is a great way to waterproof your home and prevent water damage, especially in more vulnerable areas such as bathrooms, laundry, and kitchens. Although silicone can last for years, it will eventually wear down. When the silicone is no longer working properly, it is time to remove it, clean the surface, and replace it.
For best results, consider hiring waterproof caulking professionals, for residential or commercial properties. However, the average DIY homeowner may be able to complete small silicone caulking removal jobs by themselves with the right resources.
Steps On How To Remove Silicone
For an at-home project, you will need a silicone softening agent, a sharp edge (i.e. blade or knife), and a cleaning solution. The following is an in-depth review of each step of removing silicone caulking from your property.
Apply A Softening Agent
There are several strategies for silicone removal, although we find the most effective way for DIY homeowners to begin is by softening the silicone first. Of course, if there is loose silicone that you can peel away by hand, then do so first.
There are several substances you can use to soften the silicone caulking. Among the easiest and most affordable are vinegar, alcohol, and WD-40. If you need something stronger, you can use industrial-grade isopropyl alcohol, and we recommend contacting a professional.
Once you have the silicone solvent option of your choice, apply the softening agent thoroughly to all areas of the silicone. Wait several hours for the silicone to soften. After you’ve let the solvent sit, you can test the silicone by feeling it for softness and determining how loose it is before scraping and removing it.
Use A Sharp Edge To Scrape
Once you have softened the silicone, you should be able to remove it by scraping it away with a sharp blade, pocket knife, or small utility knife. Be sure not to use too much force while scraping the silicone as it may damage the surrounding area. The silicone should come off rather easily. If not, you may need to heat the surface before attempting removal again.
When scraping the silicone, cut as close to the underlying layer as possible. You can also peel the silicone back as you make progress. Simply start at one end and take your time as you make your way through the entire strip of silicone caulking. Do not worry if there is residue left after scraping the silicone, as it will be easy to remove later.
Heat The Surface If It’s Difficult
The silicone should come away rather easily after you apply the softening agent. If it does not come away easily, you will need to heat the surface. This further softens the silicone material and ensures you do not have to work extra hard while scraping, which could increase the chance of damaging the surrounding surface.
You can use either a heat gun or a blow dryer to soften the silicone. Ideally, you want to apply the heat to all areas of the silicone for at least thirty seconds and no more than two minutes. You can then test the silicone material to see if it is soft enough to remove. If not, you can try reapplying heat, although calling a caulking professional may be the best (and safest) option at that point.
Remove Residue & Clean Surface
After you remove the silicone, there will likely be a fair amount of underlying residue. This may include adhesive material that was used to secure the silicone into place, dirt, and grime and worn-down paint. The residue can cause an uneven surface and make applying new silicone challenging.
You can use a putty knife, chisel, or utility knife to carefully remove the leftover residue. Make sure the surface is even. After removing the residue, use the opportunity to clean the area with a cleaning solution or soap and water.
Finally, you can reapply new silicone, if desired. It is important not to leave the surface bare for too long as it may increase the risk of water damage. If there are signs of black mold underneath or around the old silicone, consider calling restoration professionals.
Contact An Experienced Commercial Caulking Company
Our team at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can help with all of your waterproofing needs. Protecting your property from water damage is important in preventing unnecessary repairs that can quickly become costly. Quality waterproof commercial caulking can also keep utility costs low and ensures your home or business is comfortable throughout the day.
Reach out by calling 484.265.9646 or by scheduling a consultation online. We are glad to answer your questions about removing silicone caulking as well as provide insights into how our caulking professionals can help secure your property with our services.