Christine Frantz

Seal the Deal: Sealant and What It Does for Grout Cleaning

In many types of work, it is always important to add the finishing touches. Sewing requires the final stitch to hold everything in place, and paintings require a coat of resin to keep the paint from fading. Tile and grout cleaning in Los Angeles is no different. After the tiles have been set and the grout has been replaced, it is important to seal the grout to finish the job.

What is grout sealer and what does it do?

Grout sealer is a clear solution that is applied to grout after the tiles have been set. It keeps moisture from getting into the tiles and grout and protects it from other substances as well. This keeps the grout and tiles clean and functional for years. Without grout sealer, grout can end up dark and germ-filled quickly, due to excess moisture.

Another problem that may arise in unsealed grout is a dark mold attack. Mold is often a result of excess moisture finding its way into the grout. The texture of the grout, rough and porous, is a perfect surface for molds to grow. To keep moisture from entering the grout, most companies apply grout sealer to the newly-cleaned tiles. Most grout cleaning in Los Angeles, CA even offers moldicide services. The sealer can also protect the color of grout that has been dyed a different color.

There are different types of grout sealer suitable for different households and businesses, and different ways through which they work. Here are some of the most common types.

What do we have here?

Coatings are types of grout sealer that lay on the surface of the tiles. They act as a shield so that moisture cannot enter the grout, much like a roof or a blanket. They are usually the most economical option, though they may require reapplication from time to time. Some coatings are called “sacrificial”, meaning that they’re meant to be rubbed away with daily use. Some coatings can also bring luster to a tiled surface.

There are two types of coating sealers: strippable and permanent. Strippable sealers are sealers that are formulated to be easily removed from the grout. This makes for easy cleaning and refreshing, though it requires reapplication ever so often. Strippable coatings are often made of acrylics, polyethylene, and other polymers.

Permanent sealers are meant to last for a long time as they are difficult to remove. Some companies advise against permanent coatings as they make grout difficult to clean. Permanent sealers may also affect the friction of your floor, which may require an anti-skid treatment. Certain types of tiles like handmade Saltillo tiles require permanent sealer.

Impregnators are grout sealers that penetrate deep into the grout. They deposit solid particles, like silicon compounds, into the pores of the grout to make it more resistant to outside forces. These impregnators can be a solvent or water-based solution. Impregnators, also called penetrating sealants, will not change the appearance of the tile floor. Impregnators are also meant to get into the grout joints and not the tile itself. Some people apply coatings after applying impregnators to the grout.

Impregnators can be one of two types. Hydrophobic impregnators, as the name suggests, are impregnators that repel water. Bath water, juice, and water-based paint will simply roll off a hydrophobic-treated tile surface. Oilphobic impregnators, on the other hand, may slow down or repel oil entirely. Cooking oil, industrial grease, and animal fat can simply be washed off a tiled surface treated with oilphobic impregnators. All oilphobic impregnators are hydrophobic, but not all hydrophobic impregnators are oilphobic.

However, it is important to remember that “oil repelling” and “oil resistant” are two different things. “Oil repellant” impregnators resist all types of oil and prevent it from entering the grout. “Oil resistant” impregnators simply slow down the absorption of oil but do not stop it entirely.

What kind of sealant is best for me?

It is usually best to talk to a company that offers tile and grout cleaning in Los Angeles, CA. Different grout sealers produce different results and an expert can help people choose the type that is best for their lifestyle. After all, a proper grout application can make or break a beautiful tile surface.

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