SHOWER GROUT AND TILE CLEANING NORTHERN IRELAND

There are building materials in a showering environment that will and wear and perish over time. These being the grout and the silicone seals. Each product has a life span but that span depends on how they area cleaned and maintained over the life of the shower enclosure.

One of the reasons why grout and silicones break down is that they can become contaminated with fungus and bacteria that thrive in humid, wet environments.

COMMON BACTERIA FOUND IN SHOWER AREAS THAT CAUSE SHOWERS TO LOOK UNSIGHTLY

Shower Enclosures:

Bacteria: Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Streptococcus, Campylobacter.

Given the number of soaps, gels and hair products used in our showers, you’d expect it to be fairly clean. To a point, this is true but some colorants in hair products and soaps can actually discolour white and light coloured grout as well as black mould growth causing discolouration and breakdown of grout.

Surface of Shower Tray:

Bacteria: E. coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterococcus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptobacillus, Campylobacter.

70% of a used shower tray can be infected with up to 8 different types of bacteria.

It is very important that an area to be reseal is clean. Therefore before commencing any resealing work, I must clean the area beforehand. There is no point applying new antibacterial silicone to a contaminated surface.

GROUT AND SILICONE SEALS MAINTANIANCE

Black mould - a visual sign of contamination

When grout and seals become contaminated with micro organisms such as mould and mildew you will notice a discolouration. The seals and grout become discoloured and black areas will appear. If the silicon seals have been contaminated they will have to be removed and replaced with high quality silicone sealant. In some cases if caught early enough I can clean grout and in worse cases grout can be removed and replaced. Grouts and silicon sealants have vastly improved in the last number of years with the introduction of built-in Microban. Microban is mixed in during the products manufacturing process, giving the product the ability to disrupt and control the growth of micro organisms that can cause stains, odours, mould and mildew.

LEAKING SHOWER REPAIR NORTHERN IRELAND

There are a number of reasons for failures in shower enclosures; from a simple gap in the seal around the internal corners/ tray, cracked grout, a failure in the tiling or a leak in the waste pipe itself. Even the seal around the shower door can deteriorate causing water to escape out of the enclosure, or in some cases, the shower doors not being installed according to the manufacturers instructions. In other instances, tiles may become loose due to excessive movement in floors and walls. Any of these failures will in time cause damage to walls, ceilings and floors that are connected to the shower area.

The important thing is to diagnose the failure and repair it before the escaping water causes hidden damage. The first indication of a leak is usually a water stain in the ceiling directly below the shower room. This escaping water is already causing damage to woodwork and plasterboard and it is therefore important to stop this water damage as soon as possible.

This is where I can help!

I can usually diagnose the problem with a visual inspection. In some cases, the use of an inspection camera can be a valuable tool. Once the problem, or problems have been identified. A solution to rectify them will be discussed with the customer and options explained.

Why check the condition of grout in a wet environment on a regular bases?

Even hairline cracks in grout in a wet environment over a period of time will lead to other problems. From damaging the actual tiling to damaging the backround wall. Worse case scenario, a wood type backround such as plywood will eventually begin to rot and expand due to moisture exposure. However, if the plywood was protected with a coating of 'tanking' this will prevent water damage to the wood but the tiling will eventually fail. Even a solid block wall will eventually soak up water that is getting in through the cracks in the grout unless the walls have been 'tanked'. ut what you have to consider is that moisture is getting in behind the tiles which in turn will cause failures in the tiling.

GETTING A LONGER LIFE SPAN FROM YOUR SHOWER ENCLOSURE

Noticing and repairing this common failure in grout before it causes more serious problems with wall backrounds is the key to a long service life of your shower and wet areas.

Here's what you should be checking for:

  • Missing grout from the tile joints
  • Hairline cracks in the grout
  • Any holes or pin holes in the grout
  • Grout beginning to wear away in the joint
  • Black mould growing on the grout

The Shower Doctor NI specialises in removing cracked or damaged grout and replacing with a high quality grout which will add life to your shower area.

The importance of repairing the grout as soon as possible is not to be understated. If moisture has been getting in through the cracks in grout for a long period there is the potential of damage to backround walls. The moisture will eventually 'blow' tiles off the wall resulting in tiling failure as well as grouting failure.

Why check condition of silicone seals in a wet environment?

As with grout, the silicone seals play an important role in water tightness of the showering area. Maintaining these seals will extend the life span of your shower area. The role of the silicone is to seal areas that are subject to movement. ie, the gap between the finished wall covering in the shower tray (tiles, for example). This silicone seal is designed to make sure water does not get in behind the wall covering which can cause leaks which in turn will damage exposed areas.

Silicone seals must also be checked on a regular bases

Here's what you should be checking for:

  • That it is bonded as it should be (not lifting off the wall surface or tray)
  • Black mould growth (visually inspect the silicone to look for black areas on the seal)
  • The silicone seal actually covers the gap between the wall covering (tiles for example) and the tray. A common failure is when a house 'settles' resulting in a gap between the tray and the tiles
  • If there is a clear coloured seal on the tray. Look to see if there if it is discoloured under the surface of the silicone. This shows that moisture or water is getting in behind the

The Shower Doctor NI specialises in removing and replacing these seals with high quality anti-bacterial silicone

THE SEAL BETWEEN SHOWER DOOR AND TRAY

The seal between shower door profiles and the wall covering and also the tray are very important seals in shower enclosures. If they are broken or a gap has appeared in these seals, water can get onto the floor area or get out at the corners of the shower door and cause damage to surrounding areas. For example, you will notice wooden skirting swelling near the shower or the walls near a shower area becoming damp.

As part of the service when repairing grout or resealing a tray, I also replace the seal between the shower door profiles and shower tray.

All shower enclosures must be maintained so that they function as they should no matter what type of shower enclosure you have. In the UK we have generally relied on the traditional method of shower installation comprising of a Shower tray, Tiled Walls (wall panels are a newer addition wall covering) and an Aluminium/glass panelled door. Even a 'pod' or wetroom will need to be maintained to make sure it lasts as long as it should without causing leaks.

Types of shower installations:

  • Traditional construction method
  • 'Pod'plastic construction
  • Complete wetroom with tiled walls and floor
  • Shower over bath set up

Traditional Construction

The traditional construction method of showers have improved greatly over the last number of years. Better backround walling systems, better tanking systems, better adhesives, grouts and silicones. But they still require a level of maintenance to make sure you get the best service life from your shower enclosure.

Wetroom installation

Complete wetroom installation is where the walls and floor areas are tiled and usually a glass screen to divide and keep water in the showing area. This type of constriction is the hardest one to get right, especially if the wetroom is based on a wooden floor.The design of the wetroom must insure the waste water is directed into a drain via appropriate falls in the floor. There are all sorts of reasons why this method fails and it is the hardest one to fix.

Pod type

This type is a manufactured system that usually comes in two parts. The tray and half wall comes in one part then the top part is attached via some sort of bolts with a gasket seal. But again, the seal between the tray part and the shower doors must be maintained.

Shower over bath set-up

This is a common way to have a shower within your home if your bathroom space won't allow for a bath and a shower enclosure. The seals at the bath must be checked on a regular basis as this is a very common failure. As in most cases if leaking, it takes a long time to notice anything as the leak will normally be hidden by the bath panel. The shower screen must be sealed and checked as these can cause water to leak onto floors and surrounding areas.

Newly Built Homes and Extensions

Even if you have recently moved into a new home or built an extension to your home it is important to look out for cracks in grout or silicone seal failures in wet areas. The reason these occur in a new home is most likely due to the house or extension 'settling'. One of the factors we must consider when a house is settling is the drying out process, especially if your house was build in wet conditions or in colder months (which for Northern Ireland is a lot of the year). During this drying out period, which can take quite a long time the timbers within the building and other materials within the building contract as they dry out. This can result in cracks in joinery work or wooden floors moving ever so slightly due to the shrinkage of the timbers.

This is particularly important in a shower enclosure situation. For example, your tiles in your shower would have been fitted on top of your shower tray. But after a house has 'settled' a gap may appear between the wall tiles and the tray due to floor shrinkage. It is important to have this seal redone to make sure the water from the shower does not cause damage to backround walls and floor connected to the shower enclosure. The seal between the aluminium shower door profile and the shower tray can break and open up due to settlement, so it is important to check this seal too.

The Shower Doctor Northern Ireland specialises in removing and replacing silicone seals with high quality anti-bacterial silicone.

Bring Your Shower Back To That New Look Again

Call Today On

Bring Your Shower Back To That New Look Again

Call Today On

07754 894789 or 028 97 531342

The Shower Doctor Northern Ireland Logo

Whether it’s a leaking shower in Lisburn, unsightly black mould grout in Downpatrick, black mould or mildew on silicone seals in Newcastle, damaged or broken seals in Banbridge or loose grout in Belfast. The Shower Doctor NI has the experience and the expertise to find a solution to any of these problems.

We pride ourselves on doing the best possible job giving the best possible finish using the newest products on the market.

CONTACT

The Shower Doctor Northern Ireland Logo

Whether it’s a leaking shower in Lisburn, unsightly black mould grout in Downpatrick, black mould or mildew on silicone seals in Newcastle, damaged or broken seals in Banbridge or loose grout in Belfast. The Shower Doctor NI has the experience and the expertise to find a solution to any of these problems.

We pride ourselves on doing the best possible job giving the best possible finish using the newest products on the market.

CONTACT

The Shower Doctor Northern Ireland Logo

Whether it’s a leaking shower in Lisburn, unsightly black mould grout in Downpatrick, black mould or mildew on silicone seals in Newcastle, damaged or broken seals in Banbridge or loose grout in Belfast. The Shower Doctor NI has the experience and the expertise to find a solution to any of these problems.

We pride ourselves on doing the best possible job giving the best possible finish using the newest products on the market.


CONTACT

Call The Shower Doctor on

028 97 531342

07754 894789