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Extreme Makeover on This Girl's Bathroom in Lincoln Park, IL, After a Professional Caulking Service

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January 22, 2017

It's known that homes inevitably deteriorate over time. Therefore, keeping an eye on signs of deterioration can save you from costly repairs. However, some signs of decay are not visible to the naked eye, especially on tile surfaces, because they may begin to deteriorate from underneath. That's why you should consult professional advice to prevent further damage. Damp places like bathrooms are more prone to water damage because they are constantly exposed to moisture. Such was the case of these parents who wanted to restore their daughter's bathroom, but they soon found out that the problem was far worse than expected. Fortunately, they found the right company to do the job and restore the bathroom.

Before and After Picture of a Caulking Service in Lincoln Park, IL
This family had moved into this vintage house in the neighborhood of Lincoln Park in Chicago some time ago. It was expected to find some outdated and worn areas. However, the family continued to postpone some repairs as they were immersed in their busy, daily routines. Even though the mother used to do everything to keep the bathroom as clean as possible, the walls were dingy, stained, and had dirty, peeled, and crumbling grout lines. The homeowners had tried different solutions but nothing seemed to work, so she went online and searched grout and caulking services in Lincoln Park, IL, and found Sir Grout Chicago among the top results. She then decided to visit our website and after watching some testimonials from former satisfied customers, she scheduled a free in-home consultation.

On the day of the appointment, the team arrived on the scheduled time and began their inspection. They noticed that a tile was missing and asked the owner how that had happened. She told them how she was cleaning one day and while scrubbing, the tile fell off and into the bathtub. She was alarmed and understood it was time to hire professionals. The technicians looked closely at the tiles and discovered that there were many other loose ones. They explained that the surface had been severely damaged by the water and it hadn't been poorly sealed when it was installed. They explained how they had to remove the existing tiles, install the new backer board, and place new tiles with new grout and caulking. They stated that we don't usually do this kind of work, but our main policy is to renew and improve our clients' hard surfaces to our best efforts, so we happily agreed to the replacement of the portion of the surface.

As previously mentioned, home areas like bathrooms and showers are frequently exposed to moisture and can become more vulnerable to water damage than other rooms. There are different causes of water damage that can be related to the tile installation and maintenance. The first one involves unsealed grout lines. Since grout is porous, it needs to be sealed right after installation to prevent water from seeping into the grout and under the tiles. Cracked or broken grout can also lead to moisture accumulation into the walls, causing leaks or eroding away the adhesive holding the tiles to the walls. Another cause of water damage is what kind of caulk was used when the tiles were installed. It is important to know that caulk may tend to shrink, leaving joints exposed to water. Therefore, it is crucial to use a high-quality caulk to guarantee long lasting results. Also, beware of broken water pipes that could be causing leaks from under the surface.

Always paying attention and taking action when the first signs of deterioration appear is important if you want to prevent having to replace the entire surface. Unfortunately for these homeowners, it was too late for a repair and had to undergo the process of remodeling. Here is the multistage procedure that had to be performed to recover the bathroom.

Tile detachment:
The team detached all the tiles from the shower walls. Most of them were already loose which allowed the water to get under the tiles and damage the backer board. As they were removing the tiles, the backer board appeared stained and deeply damaged. The technicians then replaced the backer board to ensure that the surface was even and mold- and mildew-free.

Installation of new Backer Board and Waterproofing:
We often find that previous builders or contractors have not used the proper backer board material. Unfortunately, drywall and green board will rot and grow mold in damp places like showers, which was the case here. The team explained that some of the walls were salvageable, but it was better to cut out anything that was exposed to water. Once the backer board was secured in place, the team applied RedGuard ľa waterproofing liquid membraneľ to the joints where the new tiles were going to meet the old ones. This barrier helps avoid any leaks or other problems caused by moisture.

New tile installation:
Once the backer board was ready, the professionals installed brand new tiles. The homeowners chose to change the color and shape of the tiles, but since the house was old, the customers couldn't find tiles to match the old ones. They ended up picking white subway tiles to add creativity to the new design--a classic yet modern choice. The new tiles completely changed the style of the bathroom and their daughter was pleased with the improvement. In many older homes, you cannot find the exact same tiles; this is a great example of the customers' creativity that helped hide what could have been unattractive patchwork.

Filling in the grout lines:
Once the tiles were set in their final position, the professionals began filling in the grout lines with STAINMASTER Epoxy Grout ľan extra tough epoxy that doesn't require a sealant. It comes in different colors, which allowed the homeowners to choose an off-white shade to match the new tiles.

Sealing the joints:
After, the team proceeded to seal the joints between the tile and the wall with STAINMASTER Epoxy Caulk. This product is an epoxy that seals the expansion joints, preventing water from seeping in. Like the epoxy grout, STAINMASTER Epoxy Caulk is stain-, water-, mold- and mildew-resistant, which can help preserve your surfaces for many years if well maintained.

Importance of grout and caulk
Grout and caulk are imperative for tile surfaces. Grout fills the separation between the tiles, holding them in place. However, keep in mind that most grout mixtures have a high level of porosity, for which grout lines need to be sealed right after installation in most cases; if this part of the procedure is not performed, water can permeate the grout. This can result in staining, chips, cracks, and even disintegration of the grout. Crumbling grout is a sign that the tiles are close to detaching, which means you'd have to totally replace the surface. This damages the structure of the wall or floor in the worst cases.

Caulk also plays a main role in tiling. It seals the separation between the tile and walls, floors, bathtub, and sink. But just as any other material, it can age and deteriorate. Damaged caulk allows water to permeate under the tiles, causing mold and mildew growth, staining, crumbling grout, among others. Applying a good sealant to the entire surface will help prevent water spills and keep your surface as dry as possible. Make sure you choose the right one for your floor or wall. It's always best to ask for professional advice before making any decision.

After finishing the procedure, the team let the homeowners in to show them the results. The mother said it looked much better than before. They were very pleased with the new style, especially the daughter. They said they would recommend our work to anyone in need of a hard surface restoration.

If your hard surfaces need of a caulking service, Sir Grout Chicago is the best choice for you. Call us at (773) 923-2084 or fill out the "Request a Quote" form on this page.

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