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 important questions first. During a short conversation with me, you might find out that there were tens of important questions you did not know existed. A phone call is much cheaper than an unpleasant situation caused by the lack of some technical ‘know-how’…
Tiles are effortless to damage beyond repair. People keep on inventing new ways to destroy tiles regularly. Some 30% of my work consist either of DIY rescue or salvaging jobs that have been butchered by not so professional ‘restorers’. Let’s have a look at most common ‘repairs’.
Improperly used bleach can stain grout very severely. Even white grout is not 100% safe. There are hundreds of shades of white. Yes, it’s possible to make a white stain on the white surface. I do advise to use bleach for keeping the mould out of silicone joints. However, there are specific rules. Bleach left on the grout without rinsing will almost definitely discolour it. Only colour sealing can fix this kind of blunder.
2/ Leaky shower “repair”
This one is trendy. 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 the 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 most dirty grout. Sometimes special materials dissolving silicone has to be used.
3/ Cracked grout “repairs”
Second, most frequent nuisance is grouting over existing grout. I always wonder how the grout can be mistaken for an adhesive. It does not have ANY adhesive properties. It cannot possibly stay attached to the old grout surface for an extended period. Unfortunately, if the surface of the 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 a couple of years at best. The problem is that such a mock-up can imitate grout so well. Especially if covered with some dirt, 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 grout 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 tiles were appropriately regrouted or not? Well, regrouting 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 sanding 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 knows how. This can work ONLY in a situation when the 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 a surface preparation for sealer coat. The first one is achieved with some back pain and stamina. Surface preparation of old grout without specialized equipment is an absolute NO GO.
The only way to repair failing sealer coat is to strip it before an application of new one chemically. It is a lengthy, smelly and costly exercise. Ordinary grout restoration cost half the price in comparison. Epoxy sealer applied by professionals can stay intact for up to 15 years. You don’t want to do it any earlier than that. Yet, I repaired heaps of jobs with a sealer coat failing after less than 2 years. Do yourself a favour and stay away from sealing or ‘specialists’ armed with scrubbing brushes instead of dirt extraction equipment.