How does one remove old silicone caulk? I have a long
line of it around my front windows - I presume the old
owner once had an awning and used the caulk along the
edge between the awning and siding. Scraping seems
futile. Heat gun didn't help. Any ideas?
David P. Feyen Reply to: dfeyen at wi dot rr dot com
I've seen a commercial product for removing it -- I think it was called
"Silicone-Be-Gone." I've never tried it though.
"For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
-- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_
James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
Silicone caulk is a b***h to remove. I don't know of any chemicals that
can remove it without damaging the surface that it is on (except maybe
tile). What kind of siding is it on? You might try a razor blade
scraper, the kind used to remove registration or inspection stickers
from car windshields, or paint from glass. That should get rid of most
of it. You can then try rubbing hard with a rough cloth to remove the
thin film that is left.
I just went to the GE Sealants & Adhesives site. GE makes silicone caulks.
Click on 'Answer Center' in the grey nav bar at top.
Then click on ''Consumer FAQs' in the drop down. A popup window will open.
In the popup window, click on 'Troubleshooting Questions' on the right.
Scroll down to the last question "How do I remove silicone products?"
They list various manual ways of removing it, but there is this statement:
NOTE: There is nothing that will dissolve silicone. If reapplying
silicone to the area, remove the old sealant. Then clean the area with a
disinfectant if mold or mildew is present, apply rubbing alcohol. Let
dry before re-applying silicone.
Futility is the order of the day. Use a single edge razor blade. Or just
live with it.
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<< > How does one remove old silicone caulk? >>
You may be able to take advantage of silicones sensitivity to many active
solvents, especially the methylene chloride in common paint thinners. The
silicone acts like a sponge for the solvents and swells and softens enough to
make removal easier. Thius one of the reasons that it is a poor gasket material
in things like carburetors Ulitmately, mechanical removal is necessary. HTH
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