3 Signs It’s Time to Call a Tile and Grout Professional
For do-it-yourself homeowners, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to call in a tile and grout professional. When it comes to tile and grout, regular cleaning and maintenance can go a long way. But some common issues could be a sign of larger issues beneath the surface. Failing to catch them early on could lead to more expensive and extension repairs down the road. We’ll take a look at three common signs that it’s time to call a tile and grout professional.
Stubborn, Recurring Mold in Grout Joints
It’s not very uncommon for mold to form in the grout lines in bathrooms or other high-moisture areas over time. Mold usually appears as black splotches along the grout lines. And, aside from being unsightly, it can cause stuffiness, sore throat, coughing and eye irritation in some people.
Prevention is the first line of defense to mold in the bathroom. A ceiling vent fan in the bathroom can help reduce moisture in the air. Also, wiping down grout and tiles with a dry towel after use can help. Catching mold forming in grout lines early on can help prevent its spread, too. Spraying the grout joints with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water and scrubbing with a brush after a few minutes can help.
But when mold appears to grow rapidly or stubbornly reoccurs, it’s time to call a grout expert. This could be a sign that moisture has seeped behind your tile and is causing mold from the inside out. Cracked or deteriorating grout lines or improperly installed tile and grout could be the culprits. Calling a tile and grout professional early on will prevent further damage. They’ll be able to recommend whether re-grouting, tile removal and water damage restoration, or professional grout cleaning and sealing is the best solution.
Cracked, Crumbling or Deteriorating Grout Joints
There can be a number of causes for cracked, deteriorating grout joints. Improper installation is a possibility. When a tile installer fails to put pressure on the grout line, hollow areas known as bridges form beneath the surface and collapse over time. Apply grout that’s too wet or allowing it to cure for too long are also possible reasons. Whatever the issue, simply applying new grout over the top won’t fix it.
A grout expert will be able to tell you if the grout was improperly applied. If so, cutting out the old grout and re-grouting can be a cost-effective and relatively simple fix. A grout expert will also be able to tell you if crack, crumbling grout lines are a sign of a larger issue. The cause could be moisture seeping through the cement foundation or movement or damage to the sub-floor beneath. As is often the case, addressing these larger issues early will prevent further damage — and expenses.
Tiles That Are Loose or Wiggling
Your ceramic tiles should never feel “loose” when you step on them. This could be a sign of improper installation, movement or moisture in the sub-floor, or heavy appliances resting on tiles. Whatever the cause, loose tiles look bad and can pose a tripping hazard, especially for the elderly.
A grout and tile professional will be able to pinpoint the cause of your loose tile. When it comes to installation, not using enough adhesive or using the wrong kind of adhesive all together are possible problems. Re-installing tile with the correct adhesive can be a cost-effective solution. But these issues can also be caused by moisture entering through the substrate and breaking down the adhesive. That moisture can cause mold to flourish, leading to sections of tiles floors deteriorating from beneath. This would require additional steps to address underlying issues with the concrete foundation, and a tile and grout expert is a great place to start.