Grout Cleaning in Clearwater, FL: The Best Solution to Change the Look of Your Travertine Shower
July 14, 2023A house is oftentimes the biggest investment most people will make in their lives. Keeping a property in excellent condition is a great way to protect that investment; Besides, who doesn't like to show off their home every now and then? That is why most homeowners do their best to follow a decent maintenance routine that keeps their house as neat and fresh as possible. Unfortunately, time and incorrect maintenance methods can make deterioration virtually inevitable. That happened to a young couple who had recently moved from Tampa their hometown. They loved their new house but wanted to refresh the shower before moving in. The room was poorly ventilated, and the grout lines and tiles had become gray and moldy. The best way to restore a shower in that condition would be to hire a professional grout cleaning in Clearwater, FL their new town of residence.
Ever since they first saw their stylish and elegant house, the young couple fell in love with it. The layout, the location, the space, the weather, everything made that property the right one for them. Most of the home's surfaces were made of stone, which has always been a synonym of durability. Most of those surfaces, however, needed deep cleaning. As soon as they got the house, the woman used her tricks to boost the potential of the property. She succeeded in all the rooms except for one: the shower. The surface had an unsightly look. The beautiful travertine tiles had become dull, worn down, and moldy. Also, the grout and caulk lines had deteriorated, showing grime buildup, chips, flakes, and brownish spots.
Looking for a Solution
Despite the homeowner's endeavors, the shower was still dirty and uninviting. At the edge of frustration, the woman was still a little skeptical about hiring professionals to deal with the problem. However, the man gave her some good reasons why grout specialists would be helpful in their particular situation:
- Grout can be challenging to clean: Grout is a porous material that can absorb liquids. Oftentimes, dirt is carried by water and if left on the grout line to settle, it can result in stains.
- Replacing an entire surface can be costly: Surfaces that are constantly exposed to humidity can lead to terrible water damage that might force homeowners to remove the whole surface and install a new one.
- Saves time and money: DIY solutions can worsen the problem and lead to disastrous consequences that might require a total replacement.
Those reasons changed the woman's perspective and she and her husband decided to look for a professional solution. They went online and searched for grout cleaning services near Clearwater and found Sir Grout Tampa. The homeowners browsed our website and, after reading some testimonials from satisfied clients, they decided to contact us and set up a free in-home consultation.
The Experts' Visit
On the day of the appointment, our team of specialists arrived at our clients' house to inspect the shower. What was hidden to the naked eye became evident to the expert. As soon as the grout specialists entered the room, they noticed signs of deterioration and knew what had caused the problems. They told the homeowners the dullness of the tiles and the water stains had been caused by the effects of hard water. They said it would be necessary to clean, hone, and seal the stone tiles and ColorSeal the grout lines.
Travertine Stone: Main Characteristics and Problems
Travertine is known for being durable and alluring. These traits make travertine a desirable material among homeowners. However, it can wear down if not correctly maintained. Travertine is considered a soft stone due to its high level of porosity. This porosity gives travertine its unique, elegant look, but it also makes it prone to water seepage, stains, and etching.
Hardness of the Water in Tampa and Its Effects on Tile Surfaces
The hardness of water is given by the level of mineral content it carries. Most households tap into hard water in the United States. Showers are among the top 5 places with the highest exposure to hard water in the country, which can lead to soap scum formation one of the main effects of hard water exposure. Soap and hard water combined produce a chemical reaction that leaves a film on the surface. This is known as soap scum. Tampa has one of the highest hard water levels in the state of Florida, which can represent a real headache for homeowners and their maintenance routines, especially in areas with frequent exposure to water, like showers. As a consequence, many homeowners turn to drastic solutions like household acids and harsh scrubbers that scratch and deteriorate tiles and grout lines.
Grout Description and Main Problems Due to Humidity in Florida
Grout is a mixture that is used for filling the crevices between tiles. It is very similar to mortar. Its main vulnerability is porosity, which makes the whole surface prone to water damage if it's not installed correctly. Grout lines can absorb liquids and everything they carry, leading to stains and grime accumulation. Additionally, the absorbed water can weaken the surface to the point of tile detachment. Grout can get grimy over time, especially when it is not sealed. Most homeowners spend hours trying to remove the dirt buildup from the grout lines without success. Grime buildup is not only unsightly but also dangerous. It can pose a health risk for you and your loved ones. Leaving the periodic maintenance of your grout lines in professional hands is definitely a wise decision.
On the day of the appointment, our team of experts returned to the couple's house to perform the service they had agreed on. The crew had to carry out a multistep procedure that began with a deep cleaning. They used appropriate stone-safe cleaners and a high-speed yet gentle scrubber that removed the dirt without damaging the stone surface. They also used vapor steam cleaning for the most difficult areas.
- Stone honing
Travertine is a calcareous stone, which means it's mainly composed by calcium carbonate. This characteristic makes travertine highly prone to etching when in contact with acid. Our homeowner had used acidic solutions in an attempt to remove the grime buildup from the tiles and grout lines. This desperate solution had worsened the situation as etch marks appeared on the stone tiles. It was necessary to hone the stone to remove the superficial layers of the tile and thus eliminate etch marks, scratches, and stains. Our crew began with a low grit pad and increased it until they achieved the desired finish.
- Color sealing
Even though the surface was completely clean, the grout color wasn't even the grout lines looked discolored and aged. The best way to revive the grout lines was to apply ColorSeal Sir Grout's proprietary grout sealant. ColorSeal comes in a wide array of colors, which allows homeowners to refresh the grout lines' appearance while matching the tiles. This modern, non-toxic product also protects the grout lines against spills, stains, and mold growth, making it look as good as new for much longer.
Our hard surface restorers also repaired the enclosure and expansion joints of the shower. For this part of the procedure, the experts used epoxy caulk to make sure water would not seep into the surface and under the tiles.
- Sealing the Surface
The final step of this procedure was sealing the stone. This stage had a double purpose: to prevent the surface from damaging in the future and to bring the natural deep colors of the stone back to life. Our techs applied multiple layers of penetrating stone sealer, which seals the pores of the stone from within, preventing the absorption of liquids.
As soon as the experts finished, they showed the results to our homeowners. They were amazed by the change of the shower. The couple thanked the team and said it looked as if it had just been installed. The owners were thrilled and affirmed they would recommend our work to anyone in need of a hard surface restoration.
Maintenance and Care Tips
At Sir Grout Tampa, we believe in educating our clients on how to take care of their surfaces appropriately, so they can enjoy the results of our work for years to come. With this in mind, our experts gave this couple some tips for the maintenance of the shower.
- Keep the surface as dry as possible. It is imperative to dry it with a squeegee or a piece of cloth each time they use the shower.
- Use pH-neutral cleaners. Soap-based cleaners can leave a film on the surface that attracts dirt.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbers. Abrasive cleaners can scratch the stone and break the sealant, leaving your stone tiles unprotected.
- Check the sealer frequently. Do this by placing some drops of liquids on the tiles and let them settle. If the liquid is absorbed, you need to seal the surface again; if the liquids beads on the surface, it means the sealer is still working.
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