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Simple Instructions on How to Remove Old Exterior Caulk

Exterior caulk is critical for preventing water damage to your home. It is used around doors and windows, between decks and exterior walls, around chimneys and many other places around the exterior of your home. Periodically you will need to replace the old caulk as the sun and weather will ultimately breakdown its sealing properties over time.

No matter what the manufacturer indicates on the label, exterior caulk will dry out and crack overtime.

When you're old caulk shows signs of cracking and discoloring, it is time to replace it.

Removing old and cracking caulk begins with a carpenter's knife and a flat screw driver or putty knife.

Using the carpenter's knife cut the old caulk line along the edge of the surfaces areas it is in contact with.

Once you have cut the old cracking caulk, use a screw driver and/or putty knife to dig the caulk out of the seam. This process can take some time, however it is important to remove all of it from the seam before re-caulking.

Once you have removed all of the old caulk, sweep and clean out the seam.

After thoroughly removing any loose particles and dust in and around the seam, apply a new bead of exterior caulk to the seam using a caulking gun. Use a moist towel or a finger to work the caulk into the seam.

To help ensure smooth caulk lines, you may consider applying masking tape on either side of the seam before applying the caulk. Just remember to remove the tape immediately after applying the caulk.

About the Author: Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit and

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