Usually when people ask if we clean tiled floors they are mostly concerned about grout lines. Grout is porous so it soaks up all kinds of dirty stuff, especially oily gunk. Cruelly, that’s the main type of soil where grout lines are most often found: kitchens, bathrooms and entryways near garages. That’s why grout lines get darker over time, especially in heavy traffic areas. If you look along the walls where no one walks you can usually see the actual color of the grout.
Don’t worry about it, though. Dirty grout lines are common and they aren’t the end of the world. Believe it or not, grout is very easy to clean. It’s really just a light thin concrete. If you’ve ever pressure washed a driveway or sidewalk you know how fun and easy it is to make concrete look new again. The problem with grout lines, though, is their environment. To illustrate, if you’re pressure washing a driveway you can spray water all over the place and make the biggest mess in the world if you want to. But you can’t do that in a nice kitchen or bathroom. Appliances and cabinets would be ruined. To solve this problem we use a special power washing machine with an enclosed cleaning head that gently blasts out gunk with hot double-softened water. The water and dirt are sucked away by the machine so they can’t make a mess.
However, grout lines are somewhat delicate compared to the hearty concrete of a driveway, so the cleaning pressure has to be quite a bit lower. To compensate we use a mild biodegradable cleanser to break down dirt and grime. And remember, even though a lot of the focus is on the grout lines, it’s not like the tile gets neglected. It gets squeaky clean too. It’s not uncommon for a customer to mention they don’t care for what they think are certain design elements of their tile—usually dark little spots and swirly patterns. After our cleaning, they are thrilled to realize it was really just deeply embedded dirt that we were able to remove. Seriously, this happens all the time. The tools and products homeowners have access to can’t tackle this like we can. You need the proper tools, which we have.
Our process includes:
- Inspection of tile surfaces examining for the best possible cleaning method.
- Specialty tile pre-conditioners and hand brushing, first to loosen embedded soils on the surface of the tile and grout.
- Turbo Force cleaning tools used with hot steam and high pressure with rotating head cleaner using only force of steam with “BioKleen Green Cleaning” tile detergents and powerful high velocity extraction of all soil and water. We do not use any type of brushes that can damage or scratch surfaces.
- Thoroughly hand dry all surfaces.
- Apply an optional Grout Sealer to protect grout from mildew and re-soiling.
First, we apply a mild alkaline solution to a section of the floor and allow it to soak for approximately 15 minutes. In severe case of soiling we will use a rotary floor machine to agitate the clearing agents in. This pre-treatment loosens accumulated soil, grease, and contaminants, and prepares the surface for our cleaning process. The alkaline solution does not produce any harmful fumes, and ordinary ventilation removes the mild scent within minutes of completion of the job. If necessary we will use a safe gentle acid to attempt to remove any staining that did not come out with the alkaline cleaning agent.
Turbo Pressure Washing
We use a pressure washing system designed specifically for tile & grout, acrylic, and epoxy surfaces. Our truck mounted cleaning process power washes the floor to extract soil and grease from the pores of the tile and grout or other hard surface floors. The system generates water pressure of 800 to 1,200 P.S.I. and water temperature of approximately 220 degrees to soften and extract years of soil and contaminants. The floor tool connects to a powerful vacuum hose, which sucks the cleaning disk to the floor, and confines the water spray inside the 16-inch disk. There is virtually no splash over to worry about. The vacuum hose draws away the water, along with the dirt, to a containment tank on our truck, and we dispose of the wastes in accordance with EPA regulations. You will find that our process restores the tile & grout to 85 to 90 percent of its original appearance. Some stains, (red wine, mustard, dyes, etc.) will not come out because they dye the grout, but the combination of heat, water pressure, and suction removes most stains.
After we clean the floor and allow it to dry, we seal the floor with our impregnating sealer. The tile & grout floor absorbs the sealer into its pores, creating a barrier against future staining. The sealer does not change the appearance of the floors by adding a shine or luster. Instead, it preserves the natural beauty of the surface.
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