Delaware Regrouting, Recaulking & Sealing FAQ

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Q. Why is it important to have my Tile & Grout surface sealed?
A. Sealing your Tile & Grout surface is the only way to protect your investment from water-based and oil-based stains. A sealer prevents a spill from penetrating into the extremely porous surface which gives you time to clean it up. Clean-ups are a snap! Simply blot fresh spills with a clean cloth or paper towel. The sealer continues to protect, even after repeated cleanings.

Q. How does a sealer protect my surface?
A. The penetrating sealer is absorbed by the pores of the Natural Stone or Ceramic Tile & Grout. It fills up the "nooks and crannies" so that wet stains cannot get below the surface. Soil sits on the surface until it is swept or wiped away.

Q. How is a sealer applied?
A. First, the floor is professionally cleaned, neutralized, and fully dried. Then, the sealer is applied using professional equipment and allowed to soak into the surface material for ten to thirty minutes, depending on your choice of sealer. Finally, the excess sealer is buffed off the surface and allowed to dry.

Q. Do you have other sealers to choose from?
A. Yes. We have a wide assortment of sealers, designed for a variety of surfaces and conditions. Some sealers are designed for interior use only, others for exterior use. Some protect against water only, others against oil and water. Some are designed specifically for floors with high porosity, such as limestone, slate, brick, and concrete. We will help you make the decision to select the most suitable sealer.

Q. How should I maintain my sealed surface?
A. Our specialty sealer is chemical resistant to cleaners so you can use whatever you regularly use. Other sealers we recommend neutral cleaners only.

Q. Will my surfaces ever have to be professionally cleaned and sealed again?
A. Cleaned? Yes, as part of routine maintenance only. We can provide periodic maintenance to keep your surfaces in top condition. Sealers make maintaining your floors much easier and more effective, but not maintenance free. Our sealer does not need to be reapplied for at least 15-years. Other sealers we recommend 3-5 years for reapplication.

Q. Why is it necessary for a professional to apply sealer? Can't I do it myself?
A. We, as professionals, have the training, experience, and tools for applying a wide variety of sealers for all types of natural stone, tiles, and grout. Professional application ensures complete protection for the entire surface. Improper application can leave a sticky residue on the surface of the floor that is difficult and sometimes impossible to remove.

Q. What do sealers protect against?
A. A penetrating sealer repels water-based and oil-based liquids, prevents stains caused by most food and beverages; and protects the surface from dirt and impurities.

Q. Does a sealer alter the appearance of a surface?
A. Our sealers usually protect without changing the original color, texture, feel, or appearance of the surface. We also offer color-enhancing sealers for interior natural stone, marble, granite, limestone, and masonry surfaces.

Q. Can I change my grout color?
A. Yes. Our stain/sealing process allows you to change grout from light to dark or dark to light with 100's of colors and shades to choose from. Save thousands by updating an old tile area instead of replacing it. Recolor and protect in one step!

Q. How long will stain/sealer protection last?
A. If applied and maintained with a neutral cleaner, the stain/seal protection will typically last 10-15 years or more.

Q. How should I maintain my ceramic tile?
A. Ceramic tile should be maintained using a neutral PH tile and grout cleaner. Harsh cleaners like bleach, ammonia and vinegar should be avoided and can damage grout.

Q. Does grout have to be cleaned before stain/sealing?
A. New grout is ready for protection 10 days after installation and does not need to be cleaned first. On older or soiled tile areas, the grout joints must be clean and free of dust, dirt, grease, oil, sealers, or coatings of any kind. We use our 4-Steps for Restoration before stain/sealing.

Q. How is the stain/sealer applied?
A. Using a toothbrush we spread product evenly along grout joint with a scrubbing motion. While Stain/Sealer is still wet, we wipe off excess product from surrounding tile with a damp (not wet) towel or sponge. Take care not to wipe product off grout line. We have to apply in small workable sections. When product has "set" (30 minutes to an hour), we lightly clean the tile with a damp towel or scotch pad and dry the tile to remove any haze. Changing grout colors, dark to light or light to dark, may require an extra application. Two thin coats are better than on heavy coat.

Q. How long does the stain/sealer take to dry?
A. We must allow 2 hours before light foot traffic. Keep grout dry for 7-10 days after initial cleanup. Avoid scrubbing grout for 30 days.

Q. What is regrouting?
A. Regrouting is a procedure where all of the grout, between tiles, is removed by hand by individually scraping out each grout line. This is followed by replacing the old grout, with new grout. We also remove and replace the caulking, polish up the tiles, and leave your area looking as new as possible.

Q. When should I regrout?
A. Sometimes when grout becomes moldy or filled with mildew, the only way to completely get rid of it is to regrout. If you suspect leakage or see water stains on the ceiling below the bathroom. 9 times out of 10, leakage is due to missing grout or caulk and not a plumbing problem. Even tiny holes, or hairline cracks, can cause major problems. A grout specialist can easily assess the condition of your grout and whether or not it is likely to be the cause of leaks. Regrouting can save you from having to spend thousands of dollars remodeling your bathroom. Leaks, left unchecked, will eventually result in rotted wallboard behind the tiles. Tiles will fall off. Mildew will become rampant and the wall will have to be replaced. If you cannot get it clean no matter what you do, your best option may be to regrout. If a few tiles are loose, but not all we can repair and then regrout.

Q. What about floor grout, can that be regrouted?
A. Floor grout, which is a stronger sanded grout and much more difficult to remove can be regrouted. There can be a few reasons why floor grout is cracking or missing. The situation needs to be assessed closely. It could be determined that the tiles are loose and no longer adhering to the underlayment.. It’s possible no underlayment was used at all in which case, tiles were originally set on wood or tile over tile. This is always a problem.

Q. How long does regrouting take?
A. There really is exact time because each situation is different. A time estimate will be discussed in our initial meeting. On rare cases, tiles could potentially fall off the wall, leading to their repair and/or replacement, which casn add to the total job time. (Regrouting will not loosen tiles. Tiles will only come off during regrouting if they were already separated from the wallboard and being held by grout alone.)

Q. How long will the new grout last?
A. With proper maintenance, it will last a very long time. We show you the proper way to care for grout so it lasts for many, many years. Using heavy bleaching agents is NOT recommended and are NOT good for grout.

Q. How long do I have to wait to use my shower after a regrout?
A. We always recommend sealing your new grout. A waiting period of 3 days after the new grout has been installed is mandatory. If your home only has one shower, we will tarp off the shower walls so it is still usable.

Q. I have a few missing tiles I need fixed. Why can’t I find tiles to match the rest?
A. Just like carpeting, and other home decor items, tile colors (dye lots) were created to match what was popular at the time. These colors may not be being available currently. In most cases, we will try to re-use displaced tiles. Depending on where the tiles are missing, we may be able to add new coordinating decorative tiles.

Q. Do you install floor tile?
A. No, we do not. We only repair. But we can refer you to a good installer that we trust.



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