How to load and use a silicone or caulk gun (AVOID Doing This!)

Adding some caulk to your bedroom can make sure that dust doesn’t go in unintended places. The process is generally quite simple and can be done by most DIY’ers. You apply it in a smooth movement and use a tool to remove excess caulk or silicone.

The main challenge is loading the caulk or silicone gun correctly. Let’s take a look at how this is done. This whole process should only take a few minutes. Most caulk guns work in the same way so these steps should apply to your tool as well.


 What is caulking used for?

While silicone and chalk are quite similar as they are both sealants, you should use silicone in your bathroom and chalk in your living room. Working with them is similar but silicone is more flexible and durable in wet conditions. Chalk doesn’t stretch and breaks more easily.

The goal of using caulk is to make sure that dirt and dust don’t get between grooves. This makes it easier to clean and gives it a finished look. Caulk is easy to apply and lasts a long time.

Adding caulk is also a great way to complete a connection between two types of materials. For example, adding it between wood and metal can make sure that there is an insulated connection. This keeps the cold air outside during winter and the hot air during summer.

Silicone makes sure that water doesn’t go to unintended places. Water droplets are quite small and can go behind a wall in a shower if there is no proper protection. This could lead to mold and other problems. This is why adding silicone to your shower is essential. Grout is used between the tiles, and silicone is added around the shower pan and shower door. This is the proper way of installing a shower.

You can add silicone around the toilet base as well but this makes it harder to detect leaks. For this reason, some plumbers don’t do this. You can also add it around a vanity and faucet so that water doesn’t leak inside the wall.

How to load a caulk or silicone gun

It is important that you check if you have the right size of gun for your tube. Some tubes are too big and won’t fit. Also, make sure that the tube isn’t overdue as chalk can harden over time and it won’t seal anymore. 

Once this is done, you will have to pull the handle. Often you can just pull on the piece on the end and it will slide out. It is also possible that you have to push a release button. Make sure that the handle is complete to the back. There is a spring in the gun that pushes the handle forward. We have to relax this spring so that we can add the tube. If it blocks, you can push the handle and try again. If this doesn’t work, you can try to add some oil (such as WD-40) to the handle to see if this works. It is possible that some dirt gets in the sliding handle and cleaning up can make it easier to use. 

Now we can insert the caulk tube. The pointy part should go in front of the caulk gun. It just slides in. Make sure that the tube is completely in the chaulking gun and that it fits completely. The back of the tube should be inside the tool as well. Press the handle a few times so that the handle moves forward and comes in contact with the tube. 

How to remove old caulk

Before we apply the caulk, we will have to remove the old one. There are chemicals that can help with this but there are other methods as well. A knife, razor blade, and a hairdryer can make this quite easy to do. If your caulk is not looking good anymore. The heat warms up the caulk and makes it flexible and easier to remove. Don’t do this near meltable surfaces such as plastics.

This process should take less than ten minutes as you can start to pull more out once you have the first piece of caulk in your hands.

It is often better to remove all the caulk before you apply a new layer so that you can replace it completely. In some harder-to-reach areas, you can add the new layer over the old one if the old layer is still looking good.

At this point, you can clean the wedge with some soap and water. If there is a lot of dust, you can vacuum as well.

How to apply caulk or silicone: caulk a shower door bottom frame and shower door tracks

Get all the tools (knife, bucket, tool, and old towels) that you need and cut the tip of the tube open. 

It is time to prep the area where we are going to apply the caulk. This is done by giving it a good clean. A lot of people forget to do this. Dirt can mix with the chalk and the seal might not be completely tight. Water might get in these spots and create problems over time. A sponge and some soapy water will work wonders.

 The next step is to push the handle and slide the gun over the area where we want to apply it. The goal is to do this in a smooth movement so that enough caulk is applied in each area. It can take a few pushes on the handle before the caulk starts to come out. Make sure that the caulk isn’t hard and remove these pieces if needed. Apply a complete line of chalk to cover the gap.

We can use the tool to smooth things out. You can use the tip of your finger as well if you prefer this.  The result will have to rest for several hours before we can use this area. This makes sure that the caulk can dry out and seal the gap.

Finishing the job

Once we are happy with the result, we can remove the tube from the caulk gun. This is done by using the same steps as outlined before (eg pulling the handle or pushing a button on the caulk gun). Make sure that you don’t spill chalk when you do this. Having an old towel nearby can help with this. You can use this towel to clean the chalking gun as well. This makes sure that dirt and dust don’t get into the handle so that it is easier to load the next time that you use it. 

It is not possible to store caulk for a long time so you should use it while you have it. A lot of areas need to be covered so that moisture or mold can’t grow there. Check every corner of your bathroom to make sure that everything is completely sealed. It is better to seal too many gaps than not enough as drops of water can easily spread. You can also use could around your washing machine, kitchen, and toilet to make sure that water doesn’t leak behind walls. If there are bigger gaps, you might need to add a piece of wood before you use caulk. This keeps the chalk in place and makes sure that it doesn’t sag over time.

To conclude, we can state that loading a caulk gun is quite easy. You just have to make sure that you pull the handle backward so that it is easy to slide the tube into the caulk gun. If there is a problem, it is often possible to clean the caulk gun and get it going again. Using chalk in a bathroom, kitchen and restroom is a great idea as it keeps water and mold away from certain places in your home. This is something that needs to be replaced every few years. If you see that the chalk is cracking, it is time to replace it. The chalk gun should last a long time if you take care of it.

Replacing chalk is quite easy to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time. Just make sure that it is dried out properly before you use the area where it is installed. Inspecting your chalk every month is important. If you don’t want to maintain this yourself, you can ask a plumber to do this for you. Plumbers have a lot of experience with this and can deliver a beautiful result.