How to properly remove silicone sealant

When properly made, silicone sealant joints that seal your doors, windows or bathtubs can last for many years. However, a silicone seal will inevitably reach the end of its useful life and will have to be replaced with a new seal.

For the sealant to be fully effective, however, you must properly remove the old silicone sealant joint before applying the new one.

Here’s how to do it.

1- Make an incision along the silicone seal

First, use a utility knife or razor blade and make an incision along the silicone joint, running the metal blade as close as possible to the wall. Perform this task while being careful not to cut the wall. Then repeat the process on the other side of the joint.

2- Remove a first layer of silicone sealant

Once you have cut the joint you want to remove along its entire length, you can grab one end and pull it. Some silicone sealant joints that have lost adhesion over time may be very easy to remove in their entirety, while others will be less cooperative. If you feel resistance, you can use a putty knife to help you remove the joint.

In most cases, after this step, the majority of the joint should be gone and only some residue should remain.

3- Remove sealant residue with a blade

Use a flexible plastic or metal blade to scrape off silicone that may have stuck to the surfaces. Place your blade at an angle and take your time to avoid scratching or damaging the surfaces. Normally, a few back and forth movements will be enough to remove the majority of the sealant residue.

4 – Finish the work by properly cleaning the surface

Once you have removed most of the silicone, wipe off the last traces of sealant with a cloth. You can make it easier by soaking it in an alcohol-based cleaning agent. The alcohol will act as a solvent, breaking down the remaining silicone, making it less sticky and easier to wipe off.

If you intend to make the new joint immediately after removing the old one, it is best to wait about 20 minutes for the solvent to evaporate completely before applying the new silicone sealant.

Have any questions? Ask the Adfast team for advice

In conclusion, the effectiveness and appearance of your new silicone seal will depend on how you remove the old seal. Follow these steps and you will have a good chance of making a new durable seal.

If you are wondering which sealing product to choose for your new seal, you can count on the products in Adfast’s Adseal product line. You can even contact our experts to be 100% sure you are making the right choice!