Small spots of missing grout
The first picture shows a half inch of missing grout, more than enough to allow water to seep in and cause big problems.
This next picture shows a small piece of missing grout directly above the soap dish, After a short period of time the soap dish will be history. It is common to see these problems in the lower front corner of the shower, the area that takes the direct water assault every day.
The third photo shows how the caulk has separated from the tub, once this happens water gets trapped behind the caulk causing it to turn black from the inside out. This also creates the problem of the water running along the lip of the tub, behind the caulk and tile, finding its way to the floor outside the shower, ultimately causing floor damage as well.
Inspect your grout and caulk periodically
It is a great idea to inspect all your tile work from time to time as most of these minor problems can be fixed easily and inexpensively, but putting it off will surely result in thousands of dollars in repairs.
What causes these problems?
There are many reasons grout and caulk fail, the main reason is poor installation. Grout is a cement based product that has no elasticity at all, so if there is any movement in the wall, floor, or tub, the grout will crack for sure. It is common for the grout to crack along the corners and edges after installation, when this happens we usually caulk those areas. Caulk has the elastic properties needed to handle the expansion and contraction that happens in all homes. Just filling a bathtub can be enough weight to compromise the joints between the tile and the tub if the subfloor, floor joists or tub installation does not meet code requirements.
Other common reasons for failure is improper mixing of the grout, over working the grout with too much water, or not preparing the surfaces for grout and caulk. Caulk will not stick properly to surfaces that have moisture, soap scum, body oils, mold, mildew ect…
These additional reasons still fall under the improper installation category. The only reason that doesn’t fall under that category is faulty products. Bad grout and caulk is not common, but we do come across it from time to time. Just like grocery shopping, always check the dates on the product, I have come across many out of date products in the home centers across the Fredericksburg area. Never use grout or caulk that has been opened or laying around the garage for a long time. These products are inexpensive and it is definitely worth buying fresh sealed product for every job.
The last two photos show the same tub and shower I worked on, in Stafford County Virginia last week. Both were minor repairs that took less than an hour, and will save this rental property from big repairs and even worse…down time.
Cleaning the dryer vents, why must we do this?
Dryer vent cleaning is probably the most important thing that needs to be done around the house every year or so, depending on use. It may be a good idea to mark your calendar with this task, along with other periodical tasks such as changing furnace filters or water filters.
To Prevent Fires
The most obvious reason is to prevent fires. Dryers with excessive lint buildup are one of the most common causes of house fires. When the dryer vent gets clogged it puts more strain on the dryer causing it to run hotter making it more likely for that fine lint to catch on fire.
prevent long dry times
If you notice that your laundry is taking longer to dry than it used to, that is an indication that air flow is being compromised, drying time can be reduced by a staggering amount of time. How do I know this? When my wife told me we needed a new dryer because the jeans were taking 2 cycles (140 minutes to dry) I knew it was time for a cleaning, to protect my wallet… I have been accused of being a tight wad more than once.
After I thoroughly cleaned the vent and the dryer, the next load of jeans took less than 40 minutes to dry, that is a difference of 100 minutes or 250% faster.
Reduce the amount of energy usage
The second complaint my wife had for today, was that our house was very dusty despite the fact that she dusts regularly( I get this all the time from my customers). Well… she was right! (and usually is). After close inspection I did find that the dryer connection was leaking, I am betting the strain from the reduced airflow might have caused this. After securing the vent and taping all seams with duct tape, we have noticed much less dust, leading to less sneezing and allergy attacks.
Who cleans dryer vents?
Dryer vent cleaning can be a little tricky, but can be done ambitious home owners. They do sell dryer vent cleaning kits in the home centers that can be used with a cordless drill, a shop-vac with a good filter should also be on hand. Wearing a face mask or respirator for this project is a must as very fine particles will be circulating around your face. It is important to pull the dryer out and clean from both sides making certain it is clear all the way through. All connections must be re-secured well.
For the less ambtious
Dryer vent cleaning is also done by some carpet and tile cleaning companies, duct cleaning companies or handymen. A good time to have this done is while your carpets or floors are being cleaned, it can be less expensive, if a special trip is not needed for small jobs like this.
Thanks for reading!
Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration in Fredericksburg Va. He is a master carpet cleaner as well as the leading expert in tile care in the greater Fredericksburg area. You can find out more at Prisitinepete.com or follow Pete on facebook.
These are some shots of carpet cleaning jobs in and around the Fredericksburg Virginia area. There are many factors that determine the quality of the carpet cleaning job, such as the machine being used, the cleaning agents, and the experience level of the person doing the cleaning. When choosing a carpet cleaner one must consider what they are getting for their money, choosing the lowest priced cleaner is surely going to lead to disappointment. We all know how much it costs for gas, cleaning agents, insurance, labor ect… companies advertising ridiculously low prices are either cutting corners or using unethical bait and switch tactics don’t fall victim!
This is a funny clip that I thought I would share
Consider this, most of us wear our clothing once and then place it into the laundry for washing, we wash our bedding frequently, yet our carpets and upholstery go unwashed for as much as 1 to 3 years or more. Can you imagine wearing the same pair of socks for a week? Or sleeping on the same bedding for a year? Let alone 2 to 5 years? Your carpets and upholstery are subjected to far more pollutants on a daily basis, yet most of us do not clean the carpet regularly, or sometimes not at all!!
Also think about the deposits left behind by pets!!! Sometimes we lose the pet battle from time to time. Not only does it smell and make spots and stains, the odor associated with pets and accidents is actually decaying bacteria off-gassing ammonia gas as it decays. With “sick” carpets or floors, the only prescription is a super good cleaning and our sanitizing product that digests and destroys odor, not covering it up like Glade. Odor & bacteria must be extracted and eliminated!!!
My carpet doesn’t have a filter, does it? well, not really , but it does function like one. Our carpets mechanical design as a filtering device is very beneficial. It keeps the indoor air cleaner! Have you ever thought about what is really being collected, tracked through and spilled into your carpet?
The most common household pollutants are; dirt, dust, pollen, proteins, hair, pet dander, asphalt,sand, smoke residues, hydrocarbons,dead skin,live and dead dust mites & fleas that feed on dead skin cells, tar, bacteria, food soil,drinks,fungus, and sometimes even viruses not to mention body soils and fluids. Many of those common, everyday pollutants are in your carpets and upholstery this very minute. Not a pleasant thought, is it?ou might say…not my carpets, they look clean! Perhaps, but carpets are designed to hide soil from your eyes, keeping it trapped below the surface, where it does most harm by cutting and scratching the fibers. Not Sure? Place a new bag inside your vacuum cleaner, thoroughly vacuum all of your carpets. When done remove the bag and cut it open and take a look what was inside your visually clean carpet!!!
Now, all of your soils and allergens are in your carpet, and more is being brought in everyday, eventually the carpet will become full. As soil loads increase it may trigger histamine production in the body and elevate allergy symptoms like dry cough, itchy skin or even rash, sneezing and runny nose or throat irritation and sometimes sleeplessness. As you walk across your full carpet you re-distribute the dust and pollutants back into the air that you and your family breathe. As a result of being full, your carpets will also begin to appear visibly dirty. This visual soil may take upwards of 1 to 2 years before it finally shows itself, but by then you may have done considerable damage to your carpet, and surely have contributed greatly to having poor indoor air quality (IAQ).
What can be done?
For starters you really should clean your carpets more often. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer , recommends that you have your carpet professionally extracted every 6 to 12 months, just to maintain the warranty. Comprehensive scientific studies have proven that by simply cleaning your carpets, you will drastically improve the indoor air quality of your home, making it a healthier place to be for you and your familiy!
View your carpets for what they are, a soft, warm, cozy, comfortable pollution filter that requires regular maintenance and cleaning, In addition to frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning, carpets should be professionally cleaned at least every 12 months!
How we do it:
There are actually 4 components working together in harmony that allow us to achieve these superior cleaning results.
Emulsifier – We use a non toxic, environment friendly spray that is applied to the tile & grout floor to quickly loosen up the soil.
High Pressure – Our advanced patented equipment produces water pressure that can be adjusted between 200 and 1500 psi to penetrate even the toughest areas!
Heat – Our powerful truck mounted steam cleaner is capable of maintaining temperatures over 230 degrees throughout the cleaning process.
Vacuum – Our Vacuum process surgically lifts the soil and dirty water off your floor.
This was a great week at Pristine! Even after years of cleaning with our powerful truck mounted equipment I am still amazed myself at the results we achieve. Thanks to today’s technology I am able to snap some quick photos with my smart phone and share them with the world. In this particular post I am sharing photos from a concrete cleaning job, a tile & grout cleaning job, and a carpet cleaning job.
Concrete Driveway Cleaning
This photo is of a concrete driveway at a residence out in King George, Virginia. The owner stated that he has never had it cleaned in the 14 years he’s been there. Our concrete cleaning system is far superior to ordinary power-washing in many ways. It is a contained cleaning system with powerful vacuum, so there is no over spray or run off. This was especially important on this job because the homeowner had the driveway surrounded with some very nice plantings. If you’ve ever power washed, you know what happens when you hit that flowerbed with the wand, dirt everywhere!
Using powerful truck mounts also enables us to clean at temperatures well over 200 degrees, everyone knows heat is critical for achieving outstanding cleaning results. You can view great concrete cleaning video on our website.
Tile Floor Cleaning
This second picture is actually from the same home in King George, Virginia. It is obvious from the photo that the grout had turned completely black over the years. It is extremely difficult for a home owner to achieve these results from scrubbing alone. There are 4 components that work in harmony that give us this type of clean. They are heat, vacuum, pressure, and emulsifiers.
After this floor was cleaned we applied a sealer to the grout. In this case only the grout will benefit from a sealer, ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous and will not accept sealers. Sealing the grout protects it from permanent staining as well as makes it a little easier to clean. Our tile & grout cleaning footage on our site is quite Impressive.
Carpet Cleaning in a Preschool
This rug belongs to one of our great customers, it is a local preschool here in Stafford, Virginia. It is important for daycares and schools to have their carpets cleaned on a regular basis to avoid the spread of germs. Again, this is where the heat comes in. When you clean with steam you are enhilating the germs and bacteria that lurk deep down in the carpet fibers. Regular carpet cleaning is key for any carpet to keep it looking great for years.
After the carpet has been cleaned we do recommend Scotchguard protection to help the carpets resist permanent damage from spills and soil. We also offer deodorizers and odor treatments for folks that may have pets.
According to Shaw Industries you should have your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months, this will help keep the carpets looking new for many years and is actually part of the warranty requirements for the Stainmaster line.
This last shot is of a berber carpet in a rental property down in Lake Land Or. Another fantastic customer that counts on us to restore their carpets in their many rental properties as the tenants come and go. We were successful in removing several stains and spots as well as greatly improving the appearance of a noticeable traffic lane.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us at Pristinepete.com to find out we can help you!
This travertine kitchen floor in King George Virginia was heavily soiled from dogs and years of foot traffic. As you can see there was no problem getting this floor to look new again.
Kitchen floor tile with white grout in Stafford Virginia, no problem for our advanced cleaning techniques.
Unbelievable…. and that’s all I have to say about that.
Just Remember, If it’s too good to be true ….it probably is.
How do you know who to hire?
There are many carpet cleaning companies in your area, but not all are created equal. So how do you know which one to hire? Many people just look for the lowest price, which often leads to unsatisfactory results. Others think that because the price is high the company does a good job. Both of these examples are not good methods in which to choose. With a few tips, and knowing the right questions to ask, the process can be a little easier. Here are a few things to consider when making a choice:
- Ratings/Reviews – There are many places on the web that offer reviews. Google, Yelp, Yahoo, BBB just to name a few. Know who your hiring , if a company has poor reviews or no reviews at all, stay away!
- Coupons and fine print – Those low price offers usually have many restrictions, and rarely turn out to be a bargain. Unfortunately bait and switch tactics are common in this trade, don’t fall victim. You can ask if the job includes pre-spray, spot removers, pre-vacuuming, fiber rinse? What is their limit for room size? Some items are legitimate add-on’s such as carpet protection, deodorizer, red stain removal and pet treatments. It is always a good idea to get the cost of the job, and what is included, upfront and in writing.
- Who is doing the cleaning? – There is a high rate of tech turnover in the larger carpet cleaning companies. Lets face it, carpet cleaning is not the most desirable thing to do. Ask…is the cleaner experienced? properly trained? does the company do back round checks on there employees? You just don’t know if you are getting a great cleaner or the guy that just started yesterday. Even if you do ask these questions, it’s unlikely that you would be given an honest answer all the time. A great choice may be a small owner/operated company. This way you can always be sure your carpets are cleaned by the same experienced carpet cleaner, usually for less than the big guys.
- How will the carpet be cleaned? – hot water extraction? dry cleaning? foam? these are just a few types. There has been ongoing arguments to which is the best. Shaw industries, which is the leading manufacturer of carpet, endorses the hot water extraction method. Will your carpet cleaner be using truck mounted equipment? or portable? Truck mounts offer more heat and vacuum, leading to cleaner, faster drying carpets.
Why do carpet cleaning rates vary so greatly?
There are many reasons why rates vary. The most obvious is the company structure. The young kid out high school trying to make a few bucks with a rug doctor rental is going to be less expensive than the national franchise with lots of trucks, employees and an advertising budget as big as the national debt. Many companies fall in between these two extremes, and they all have different goals and clientele. Some want to charge less, and run through your house at 100 mph so they can get to the next 10 jobs they have booked. Some want top dollar so they can focus on the quality of the work and not the quantity. I have seen some of my customers quotes from other companies that where so high it would seem that replacing would be a better option. The best carpet cleaner in my opinion is the one that takes the time to do great work for a fair price. Guess what? I know one!
Pristine Tile & Carpet Cleaning
632 Forbes St
Fredericksburg, Va 22405