Lets all be honest here. Do you ever think about replacing your caulk? Most of us(including me) never think about replacing - Cleaning, maybe - but replacing it completely? Is this dangerous? Are we exposing ourselves to diseases? I decided to explore this further and share my findings with you!
OK, but where to start? Basics, right? Fresh Caulk should last about five years — but a couple of things can reduce it's lifespan. Using the wrong type for the job, poor installation, even the house settling can cause the caulk to pull away from the wall and lose it's efficiency. What to look for ; Cracks, Shrinking and Discoloration. These things mean it might be time to replace. What if you don't? Well, here are the things you could be living with:
Since we're all being honest here, something that may seem innocent enough actually can be a smelly cost. Peeing in the shower. This is NOT only for showers, this applies to the caulk around the toilet as well. If you have a family with boys that don't have the best aim this can really have a hidden stinky consequence. Fresh caulk is non-permeable, but I've learned that, over time, it can break down and potentially absorb smells. If you have been cleaning your bathroom to get rid of some hidden smell but it doesn't seem to go away, you might have to replace. Sooner rather than later. I suggest a lot sooner.
Serratia marcescens! Sounds scary, right? Well, it can be very harmful (according to Wikipedia). Much like mold, Serratia marcescens is something to look out for. Although you won't die from this it can cause Meningitis,Pneumonia and infections in urinary tracts,respiratory tracts, and wounds. That's not all...this bacteria has also been linked to having problems with your eyes. Which means be very careful with rubbing those peepers in the shower. To avoid these things aggressively apply bleach,tea tree oil, or vinegar solution to your tiles. BUT if a pink-ish orangey slimy substance appears, replace that caulk. Too much work? Don't worry we have a great clean up crew that can take those worries away for you!
We've talked about the problems about not replacing your caulk regarding your health, but what about the well-being of your home? When caulk isn't doing its job, water can reach the wall itself. Depending on when and how your home was constructed, moisture can damage any material behind the tile and/or bathtub. This isn't a problem if you have a water-resistant, water-proofed backing board but if you just have drywall or something worse you may be looking at some very expensive and extensive repairs in your future with your home. My suggestion? You may already know by now. Replace that caulk!
Although not replacing your caulk isn't going to kill you, it is:
1. Gross and Smelly
2. Potentially Harmful
3. May end up in costing you some big bucks with your home.
REPLACE THAT CAULK.
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