What Causes Grout to Soften and Crack?
Back in the day, grout used to be an afterthought. Nobody paid attention to cleaning or maintaining grout as it was viewed simply as a filler in between tiles to help keep them steady and protect the underlayment from moisture. But in recent decades, the artistic possibilities of grout have become more prevalent than ever, with homeowners and contractors alike using grout to further enhance the appearance of their tiled floors.
The only problem is that grout still suffers from a tendency to soften or crack, leaving your tiled floors vulnerable to damage. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the most common causes of grout cracks and what you can do to remedy the situation.
Why does grout crack?
There are a couple of reasons why grout tends to crack and the first one is the frequent use of harsh chemical cleaners. As the grout gets exposed to acid-based cleaners, the material dissolves slowly and starts to soften over time. When cleaning grout, it is recommended to use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to lift up stains and remove mould/mildew growth. These cleaners are safe to use on tile grout and will cause little to no damage on the grout itself.
There’s also a possibility that the grout was mixed incorrectly prior to its application. Contractors mix their own grout when installing tiles and in some cases, excess water or polymer additives can result in pinhole damage that can weaken the grout’s overall structure. This can then lead to cracking which can compromise your tile’s condition as well.
When the grout is installed incorrectly, it’s likely that the material will experience cracking at some point in the future. Grout that’s insufficiently packed between the joints is more prone to damage since they lack the strength needed to fully support the tiles. There’s no going around poor workmanship when it comes to tile installation which is why you want to hire an experienced contractor for this specific task.
Naturally, grout is resilient to cracking and damage when mixed and installed properly. But as grout ages, its overall structure weakens. If your home is older than 30 years, you may notice that the grout has turned chalky and powdery. This is a sign that the grout needs to be replaced along with the tiles if they show significant damage like cracks and chips.
Most of the tile grout used in homes are cement-based and are inherently porous in nature. This means that the surface of grout can potentially absorb dirt and stains if not sealed. Applying a sealant after the grout has dried is crucial to protect it from contaminants and microorganisms like mould and mildew. Grout sealers break down over time which means you will have to reseal your tile grout every 3-5 years to control moisture levels and prevent the grout from cracking.
How to address soft/cracking grout?
The good news is that all is not lost when your tile’s grout is starting to soften or crack. One option is to regrout the tiles with the help of an expert shower repair company. Regrouting is a process of removing the old tile grout and installing fresh new grout around the tiles. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward process, but one that requires skill and equipment to execute. By regrouting your tiles, you can breathe new life into your bathroom or kitchen and prolong the lifespan of the tiles themselves.
If the extent of the grout cracking is not significant, then restoring the grout is a viable option. Grout restoration is a process that involves cleaning and re-colouring the grout lines whilst replacing any worn-out or cracked grout along the way. This effectively restores the look and functionality of your tiled floors without having to resort to major repairs.
Once the new grout has been fully installed, you should definitely have it sealed by a professional. Applying grout sealant helps to protect the grout from surface stains and protect it from moisture damage in the future. This is a step that you certainly don’t want to avoid as leaving grout unsealed can accelerate wear and tear.
Of course, regrouting and sealing is only effective if the company you hired are experts in the industry. Shower Repairs Perth Sir is a company you can rely on for the best regrouting and shower sealing services within the Perth metro. We are innovators in the hard surface care industry and specialise in both commercial and residential shower repairs. We understand how cracked grout can prove detrimental to your property which is why our services are tailored to address those problems and eliminate them altogether.
With a service that is cost-effective, value-based, and professionally driven, you can guarantee that your tile grout will look good as new after we perform our services. Don’t let cracked grout damage your tiles for longer! Contact Shower Repair Perth today and let us take care of your regrouting and sealing needs.