Can Tile and Grout Really Get Water Damage?
It’s a messy and challenging task to remove ceramic tile, due to flooring being constructed to withstand some damaging conditions. When it comes to water damage, the tile itself is not the issue, but the grout and surrounding attachments. Attachments such as walls or subflooring can cause your tiles to loosen and bring about a mold infestation. What are the dangers to look out for should you have a room with tile?
Whether a natural disaster or an accident in the home piping, any flood in a room with tile flooring should be inspected by a professional. The walls connected to the flooring can absorb the water, causing water damage and mold to grow on and in the wall, as well as loosen any tiles attached. This loosening is due to the water damaging the grout between the tiles, and loosening the tiles adhesive. Should this occur, the more critical culprit of water damage affecting the tiles is the subflooring.
When the subflooring under the tile is damaged by water by a flood, the damage may not be noticeable until the floodwaters have subsided. Depending on the subflooring material, the wood can become saturated with water, causing it to expand or buckle, loosening tiles above. However, with undetected, slow leaks, subflooring made of plywood or particleboard could be affected in the same way floodwaters do. Although the exact damage may not be evident for months or years, and typically causes dark staining or mold before tiles loosening.
In southwest Florida, the two major concerns for tile and grout water damage are condensation and extreme temperature changes.
As you are well aware, Florida’s humidity level can be intense, causing unwanted condensation. This condensation can affect many areas of the home, and become a primary culprit for mold and water damage throughout your property.
Water-based mortar adhesives are the most at-risk during water exposure. Exposure to condensation over time can cause the glue to become soft and fail. This issue may go undetected until tiles become loosened by furniture movement or heavy foot traffic.
The best way to combat the condensation is to install ceramic tile on a concrete slab, eliminating the potential of your subfloor absorbing the condensed water.
Another major issue in Florida is the extreme temperatures. With heatwaves and humidity changes at a constant and building up in a structure, the condensation that develops can permeate the grout. Be sure the original installer used expansions with your tile, as these will expand and contract through the temperature changes and with exposure to moisture. Failure to install with latex caulk joints can cause several worrisome problems. Your grout to become water-damaged, subflooring to become water-logged, and possibly harbor mold, as well as tile breaking loose.
Water damage affecting tile and grout can cause discoloration, stains, mold growth, and more. Fortunately, iMold offers a solution for all. Your one-stop shop includes mold and water damage inspections by professional and licensed inspectors, tile, and grout cleaning to restore discolored or stained grout and tile, as well as water damage or mold remediation. Our technicians are skilled in residential and commercial properties in eliminating unsightly stains, mineral deposits, bacteria, and more. Let us come out and help restore your property to it’s former bright and clean beginning.