Taking Care of Grout Begins with A Good Sealer
Grout has been in use since Roman times and still causes the same problems it did back then – it gets dirty and stained. Grout is a mixture of Portland Cement and sand that is highly porous. This porosity makes grout a “concrete sponge” absorbing liquids, minerals, and everything else. It can even harbor mold and bacteria.
An added frustration is grout’s ability to thwart attempts at cleaning. Much like a shirt stained with fruit juice, grout stains often cannot be removed. Though we can wash a shirt ten times, the stain persists.
Part of the problem leading to stained grout is improper cleaning techniques. When cleaning anything, it’s important to remember that water evaporates but dirt doesn’t. Spreading dirty mop water while “cleaning” a floor will do the opposite of clean.
Cleaning anything entails emulsifying the soil so that it can be removed. Once emulsified, it’s much easier to rinse it away or pick it up. Cleaning chemicals have surfactants and detergents which do just this. Unfortunately many cleaning products also contain soap. Soap-based cleaners can leave a sticky residue if not rinsed away.
If you prefer to not clean twice (once with soap and again with a clean water rinse) be sure to use a soap-less cleaner. To clean, simply let the chemicals do their job of attracting and emulsifying soils. After a few minutes, mop the surface dry with chamois or towels. Doing so ensures that dirt is off the surface and soaked into the towel.
Along with being soap-less, an ideal grout cleaner is pH neutral or mildly alkaline. Acids and strong bases react with the minerals in grout, eroding them away over time. The consistent use of harsh chemicals, bleach, and even white vinegar on grout will result in bigger grout pores and more room for dirt.
Even with proper cleaning, unsealed grout will stain over time. Grout sealing itself is often not a cure because most sealants on the market are of poor quality and provide temporary protection only. For a long lasting solution to the problems of grout, consider a professional grout cleaning and sealing service. When done properly, grout is not only uniform but much easier to maintain.
Beware that not all grout sealing companies are equal. The best companies manufacture their own high quality sealants with strict quality control standards. Also, choose a grout company who’s sealant has been tested in thousands of homes and commercial environments for a decade or more. Otherwise, you risk getting an inferior DIY product applied by an unqualified person for twice the cost.
For more information call 615/ 649-6767 or visit www.sirgroutnashville.com.