For All Tile And Grout Restoration Problems Help Is A Phone Call Away.
You are welcome to contact me with any tile or grout related issues. If your mind is hard set for DIY , I guess there is no stopping you. You might even succeed, but PLEASE.. Do ask all necessary questions first. During a short conversation with me you might find out that there were tens of important questions you did not know existed. Phone call is much cheaper than an unpleasant situation caused by lack of some technical ‘know-how’…
Tiles are really easy to damage beyond repair. People keep on inventing new ways to destroy tiles on fairly regular basis. About 30% of my work consist either of DIY rescue or salvaging a job that has been butchered by not really that professional ‘restorers’. Let’s have a look at most common ‘repairs’.
Improperly used bleach can stain grout very badly. Even white grout is not 100% safe. There are hundreds of shades of white. Yes, it it possible to make a white stain on white surface. I do advise to use bleach for keeping mould out of silicone joints. However, there are certain rules. Bleach left on grout without rinsing will almost definitely discolour it. Only colour sealing can fix this kind of blunder.
2/ Leaky shower “repair”
This one is extremely popular. People cover grout joints with silicone. What it does is absolutely nothing except making a proper repair very difficult. Silicone DOES NOT adhere to porous substrates that absorb moisture. It is guaranteed to pill off grout surface. When it does, it forms pockets that catch dirt. Grout under silicone becomes much dirtier than in all other. Cleaning such mess takes forever in comparison to cleaning even dirtiest grout. Sometimes special materials dissolving silicone have to be used.
3/ Cracked grout “repairs”
Second most popular nuisance is grouting over existing grout. I always wonder how grout can be mistaken for an adhesive. It does not have ANY adhesive properties. It cannot possibly stay attached to old grout surface for any extended period of time. Unfortunately, if the surface of existing grout was quite rough and clean, a new layer can anchor itself quite well. Why unfortunately? Well, it only imitates grout. It is destined to delaminate and fall off in couple of years at best. The problem is that such a mock up can imitate grout so well (specially if covered with some dirt) that sometimes it cannot be identified during a quick inspection for a quotation purpose. We guarantee our sealer coats for at least 3 years, but in regards to adhesion to grout, not a gout imitation. If you do know that your grout has been improperly re-grouted (as described), you better tell us during our initial inspection.
How to know if it’s been regrouted properly or not? Well, re-grouting means installation of new grout AFTER REMOVAL of existing grout. If at some stage your house wasn’t filled with dust and the joints between tiles empty it’s a sign that someone just did some surface sending and put a layer of grout on top. By the way, on top of dust as no vacuuming can remove fine dust from grout pores.
4/ DIY sealing
There is nothing wrong with it if someone is handy and really knows how. This can work ONLY in situation when grout is NEW and does not require cleaning (a day after a tiling job has been finished).
Internet is full of recipes for effortless grout cleaning. More than half of those are insanely stupid. You have to realize the difference between cleaning to change an appearance and cleaning as surface preparation for sealer coat. The first one is achievable with some back pain and stamina. A surface preparation of old grout without specialized equipment is an absolute NO GO.
The only way to repair failing sealer coat is to chemically strip it before an application of new one. It is a long, smelly and costly exercise. Ordinary grout restoration cost half the price in comparison. Epoxy sealer applied by professionals can stay in tact for up to 15 years. You don’t really want to do it any earlier than that. Yet, I repaired heaps of jobs with sealer coat failing after less than 2 years.
Do yourself a favour and stay away from sealing or ‘sspecialists’ armed with scrubbing brushes instead of dirt extraction equipment.