If you’re thinking about recaulking around your windows, you may be wondering if removing the old sealant is a must. After all, you could simply make new joints over the old ones to save time and money.

Well, this isn’t such a great idea! If you want truly effective and beautiful looking joints, you’ll want to take the time to remove the old caulking. On the other hand, when removing the old caulking is impossible because it would damage the structure, the only solution is to caulk over the old joints. However, these areas should only account for 5% of the structure, so removal of the old sealant should be feasible for 95% of the building.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter and find out how to remove the old exterior caulk around your windows.

1 – Start by gathering the right tools

Old caulking joints are sometimes hard to remove. They can become very hard after prolonged exposure to the elements and UV rays.

Gather together various knives and blades that can be used to cut into the old sealant and remove it from surfaces. In many cases, a putty knife, an electric knife and a utility knife with a retractable blade such an X-Acto will suffice.

You should also have long-nosed pliers on hand to help you remove the small pieces that will stick to the edges of your home or condo windows.

You should also have a cleaning product, a stiff-bristled brush and a clean, dry cloth. You’ll need these to properly prepare the edges of your windows for new seals.

Finally, if you have to work at heights, make sure you have safety equipment to protect you from falling.

2 – Separate old joints from surfaces

Choose the smoothest surface to start peeling off the old caulking. Place the corner of the putty knife blade under the old sealant, keeping it flat, then push the blade along the joint to separate it from the surface. Always hold your knife parallel to the joint line to work most effectively.

If the putty knife is not effective for the job, you can use the retractable blade knife or the electric knife. However, use caution with this type of blade, as you could injure yourself or damage surfaces.

3 – Remove all traces of old caulking

The sealant usually comes off in strips. If you are lucky, you can simply pull on the partially detached joint to remove it. However, some pieces may remain stuck to surfaces and must be removed manually.

Use long-nosed pliers to grip them securely.

4 – Properly clean the surface to be caulked

When the old caulking is completely removed, carefully scrub the area with a stiff-bristle brush and a cleaning product that will not damage the finish of your surfaces.

Once done, wipe with a clean cloth. The area must be completely clean, dry and free of all grease, dirt and cleaners before you start the new joints.

Contact Calfeutrage Apex to remove old caulk

In conclusion, removing old caulk around windows isn’t that difficult! However, don’t underestimate the time needed to do it, especially if you have several windows to do.

If you prefer to leave this job to caulking specialists, you can also ask for help from Calfeutrage Apex. Our team travels all over the South Shore of Montreal to offer professional services at competitive prices. Contact us for a free quote!