Grout is the mortar or paste that holds the tiles together. If not sealed properly, its porous nature allows the dirt and moisture to settle in.
This unhealthy exposure results in mildew and residues forming on top of the grout. Cleaning grout with soap and brush is next to impossible. A steam cleaner is a convenient option. But does steam cleaning damage grout?
Let’s break it down.
Does Steam-Cleaning Damage Grout?
The answer to this question “does steam cleaning damage grout?” is no. There is no way steam-cleaning can be harmful to grout. Grout is the cement that holds the tiles together. It is hard in texture. The only way it can be damaged is if it were hit hard by a hammer.
The steam cleaner softens the dirt and mildew that hardens on top of the grout so it can be washed away easily. Steam cleaning can be harmful to grout only if chemicals are poured into it along with water. Plain water vapor does not have the ability to damage something as hard as grout.
One of the major reasons why people fear using a steam cleaner is due to the comments they read on online reviews. The criticisms about steam-cleaning come from people with little knowledge of the matter. A hand’s on experience of cleaning grout with a steam cleaner will put an end to the misconceptions that it damages grout.
Purchasing a good quality steam cleaner is a big investment. The cost of the steam-cleaning equipment is justified by its effectiveness to clean dirty grout. A lot of people do not invest in a steam cleaner. They justify their decision not to buy one by saying that it damages grout. That is not at all the case. Although expensive, a steam cleaner does a great deal to make your floor look clean and spotless.
Why Does Grout Get Damaged?
Steam cleaning is unfairly accused of damaged grout. There are several reasons which lead to grout going bad. Some of them are as follows,
Insufficient Amount of Grout
The common mistake that people make when placing their tiles is that they apply a lesser amount of grout. The insufficient amount of grout is unable to sustain itself for a longer period of time. After a while, it gets cracked.
Another mistake that most builders commit is that they saturate grout with a lot of water. The excessive amount of water saturates and weakens the grout. Pre-Mixed grout is stronger and is able to sustain itself over a longer period of time.
Grout is porous and absorbent in nature. It allows the water and other liquids to seep through it. Constant exposure to dirt and liquid weakens the grout. If the grout is sealed after application it can be saved. Unsealed grout cannot hold itself for a long time and after a while gets cracked.
Clean or replace Grout?
One question that often comes up is “should we clean or replace grout?” The answer is simple. The moment slight stains or mildews are noticed, the grout should be thoroughly cleaned. Ignoring the stains or mildew can damage the grout. Cleaning mildew and stains is a difficult job. Cleaning hardened residues on top of the grout with soap is a fruitless effort. A pressurized steam cleaner can be a game changer when cleaning mildew and residues. It softens the mildew and stains and makes them easy to wash. Regular cleaning reduces the chances of damage and replacing the grout altogether.
How Often Should Grout Be Cleaned?
Another question that often comes up is “how often should grout be cleaned?” In order for the tile grout to appear neat and tidy, it must be cleaned on a daily basis.
Constant exposure to liquids and dirt causes debris and damage to the grout. Grout is porous in nature and it tends to absorb any substance that it gets exposed to. This exposure results in mildew and stains and gives a filthy look to the tiles.
To keep the grout clean it should be lightlycleaned every single day or at least on a weekly basis. Tiles in the washroom should be mopped and dried after use to keep the grout dry and free from moisture. If the stains have settled into the grout the only things which can clean it up is a steam cleaner. Hot steam out of the steam cleaner weakens the stains and makes them easy to clean. It gives the grout a clean, fresh look.
In order for grout to stay clean and fresh forever, it should be sealed with a coat of sealer. It will keep the dirt, moisture, and stains at a distance thus keeping the grout clean and fresh.
When to Replace the Grout?
Prevention is better than cure. If the grout is cleaned regularly with a steam cleaner it will remain safe and last longer. If not cleaned regularly, a time will come that it will weaken and will require replacement. The answer to the question “when to replace grout?” is as follows.
It Gets Cracked
The first and the most obvious sign that grout needs to be replaced is that it starts to crack. After a while, it starts falling. If not taken care of at the right time might damage the tiles. The moment these cracks appear, it is a sign that grout needs to be replaced altogether.
Holes Start to Appear
Another sign that grout needs to be redone is that holes start to appear. Even the tiniest holes should not be ignored. They are capable of allowing the moisture to seep through. If left unattended, a time will come when moisture will seep through and damage the floor even.
Mold and Mildew
Stains are normal to happen. Mold and mildew can be really detrimental to the credibility of the grout. The moment mildew is noticed, it is a clear indication that the grout is in dire need of replacement.
If you are looking for more information about steam cleaning, look no further because we have got you covered.
Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout? - Steam Cleaner Master