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floating grout in Fredericksburg Va

How to regrout a shower

After years of being bombarded with water, cleaning agents, and scrubbing, your grout may have had all it can take. Grouting a shower or bathtub surround is actually quite a bit of work. All the old grout and caulk must be removed before the new grout and caulk can be replaced. We often come across jobs that were not prepared correctly and the new grout just fails. New grout cannot be floated or skimmed over old grout, it will just flake off in no time. However, we see this all the time, especially in today’s real estate market. Skim coating is common in properties for sale. It’s real hard to sell a house that has an ugly black shower, a quick skim and a bead of caulk to cover up all that black stuff might just be enough to pass it off to an unsuspecting buyer.

How to regrout a shower properly

Preparing the surface

This picture shows a properly prepared surface for the new grout. We used various grout saws, utility knives and lots of elbow grease to remove all the old grout and caulk. Many contractors or even homeowners use electric dremel type tools to do this, we prefer hand tools to reduce any risk of chipping a tile. It’s always best practice to wear safety goggles during this procedure. After all the grout and caulk is removed give the shower a good vacuum and wipe down with a damp grout sponge. If the tile had any build up of calcium or soap scum that would be cleaned real good before the grout removal, so excess water would not get between the tiles. The preparation of the shower is the most tedious and time consuming of the job, this next part goes much quicker but does require some skill level.

 

properly removed grout

all old grout removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installing the new grout

floating grout in Fredericksburg Va

Regrouting showers is something we also do.

Floating grout can be a bit tricky for the newbie. Newly mixed grout is just a little thicker than pancake batter, but starts getting thicker and harder to spread as it starts to set up. That can be a problem for someone that does not have the speed of a pro. It’s important to never add water to the grout after it’s initial mixing, that will ruin it.

After working the grout into all the joints, It’s important to get as much of the excess grout off the tile by placing the float on an angle and wiping across the tile diagonally, as shown.

Clean up

After the grout has been floated onto the walls, it is then wiped clean with a grout sponge. Sponging also helps even out all he grout lines for a nice even professional look. Now this is the important part, don’t over work the grout with too much water in the sponge or re wipe areas already wiped. Just wipe it once, and leave it. The tiles will haze over and will buff off easily with a clean white terry cloth towel in about 2 hours. While buffing the tile it’s advisable to wear a respirator, the fine dust produced is not good for you to breath.

The final icing on the cake is the caulk, I like to caulk around the base of the shower pan and up the corners as well. Most of the unsanded grouts found today have polymers in the grout and don’t need sealing. I do however recommend sealing sanded grout, usually found on floors.

Pristinepete.com

sponging the tile & goout

Wiping and smoothing grout joints

Pet soil

Do you think your tile is clean?

Pristine tile and grout restoration offers free tile & grout cleaning demonstrations in the Fredericksburg Virginia area. Call 540-841-3907

Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration Yellow Pages Ad

 

Expert Tile & Grout Cleaning

cleaning tile & grout floors

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.

Other amazing videos at real job sites

 

 

 


 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Cleaning, Before & After Photos

Awesome Results

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

Concrete Cleaning

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

Tile and Grout 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

Pre School

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More shots of our work

 

carpet cleaners stafford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Carpet Cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Tile floor cleaning in Stafford virgina

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.

 

 

 

 

 

How to choose a carpet cleaning company

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!

pristinepete.com

 

 

Replacing cracked or loose tiles.

 

Why are my tiles cracking and grout falling out?

There are many reasons why tiles crack or become loose. The most common reason is poor installation. There are many short cuts installers can take to save time or money, most may not be noticeable for a year or two, long after the job is done. By this time the installer is nowhere to be found. Before tile can be installed the floor should be prepared with a suitable cement backer board. The board should be layed in thin set, and screwed down as well as making sure all seams are taped.

After the sub floor has been prepared with backer board the tile can be set in thin set. For larger jobs there should be at least 2 installers to ensure the thin set does not start to set up be for the tile is placed on it. It is also advisable to butter the back of each tile, another step that is often skipped because it just takes more time.

Pristine highly recommends using a company that specializes in installing tile, not just a handyman or a family member. You will be much happier with your floor in the long run. Pristine has two personal favorites J & J tile and Marble or quality carpet and floor(Bob Mcdonald or Scott Busby can help you). Please trust me on this, I get call after call from folks who’s floor is failing because they tried to save money on the install.

So… after all that has been said, can we fix your floor?

sometimes… it depends on the severity of the problem. If it is just a few tiles or a small area that has become a problem we can carefully remove the tiles, grind down the old thin set and re-set the tiles, as shown in the photos. If the problem is widespread through out the majority of the floor, chances are, it was a really poor installation job and needs to be done over.

One last tip on installing floors…always, always, always save some leftover tile for repairs and even take note of the grout color and where it came from. This makes certain that any future repairs will look great! The biggest problem we face is that people have cracked or broken tiles and no spares. Once the floor is installed the tile will become obsolete and nowhere to be found in less than a year.

 

pristinetg.com

Preparing For Professional Carpet Cleaners

Getting ready for the carpet cleaners

Many folks want to know what they can do, to get ready for thier carpet cleaning appointment. That depends on the level of cleaning and the company doing the cleaning. The biggest challenge of the carpet cleaning job is the furniture, what to do with it? It’s not feasible to remove all the furniture from the house to do the cleaning, unless you are moving. We at Pristine can offer some recommendations.
Nickknacks and breakables should be removed and placed in another room, dinning room chairs, floor lamps, house plants and other similar pieces can often be placed in the kitchen or bathrooms. Some non breakable items can be placed up on beds and sofas. While we are cleaning we can move chairs, sofas, smaller beds and things like that. When we place them back we use plastic squares under the legs of the furniture so the dye doesn’t come out and stain the carpet. Metal objects also need plastic tabs to prevent rust. Most carpet cleaners, including my company, can not move certain items at all. These items usually include computers and electronics, large beds, china cabinets, large hutches as well as any large pieces with flat bottoms. If the furniture doesn’t have legs to put plastic squares under, it can’t be left on damp carpet.

Securing pets during cleaning

Then there is the pet issue… I love dogs & cats, so the last thing I would want to see is an animal get hurt or lost. When we come to clean your floors or carpets we use truck mounted equipment. The hoses run from the truck into the house, usually through a door. In my opinion this is the best, most powerful way to clean carpet, however leaves the safety issue of having the door cracked open for an hour or so. For this reason, pets need to be secured in a safe location. Another important reason is that when we clean, we spray a pre-spray cleaning agent on the floors or carpets before we rinse and extract. This creates two potential issues. If a dog were to walk through the pre-spray they would pick it up on there paws, then most likely go lick it off. Our cleaning agents do say they are safe for pets and humans, but I’m not so sure that ingesting it would make anyone feel good. The other issue is that they can walk through the pre-spray, then walk on other floors like hardwood or tile, leaving paw prints that can require some effort to remove.

During and after the cleaning…What you need to know

Safety is our main concern

Many carpet cleaning companies including Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration use steam extraction to clean the carpets. This method of cleaning carpet is recognized as the preferred method by the leading manufactures of carpet including Shaw Industries. While the carpet cleaners are hard at work you will notice several hoses and tools in the home, it is very important not to get in the way of these obstacles as they pose trip hazards. Since carpets and tile are cleaned with hot water they can remain damp for a couple of hours, this creates a potential slip hazard. If you walk down a flight of damp stairs that has tile or harwood at the bottom you must be very very careful not to slip. The best way to avoid problems is to stay off the carpet until it has completely dried.

After we’re gone

One of the most often asked questions is “how long it will take for my carpets to dry? The answer varies greatly depending on conditions…. Is the heating or cooling on? Is the outside humidity high or low? Ceiling fans on? Pristine always uses extra “vacuum only” or “dry strokes” while cleaning to ensure we remove as much excess moisture as possible, most of our jobs are dry in just a couple of hours, in some cases the first rooms we clean, are dry before we leave.

You may notice we put plastic squares under the legs of furniture to protect the carpet from furniture stain or rusting from metal furniture legs. It is best to leave these squares in place until the next day. If you removed furniture from the room before the cleaners arrived, it is important not to put it back until the carpet has fully dried, again, furniture on damp carpet is a big no no!

 

 

Tile & Grout Cleaning

 

Do I have to seal my grout?

Yes!

The two main types of grout are sanded and unsanded, sanded is used in larger grout joints and unsanded in smaller joints. The sand is added to the grout to give it strength, but also leaves a rough texture. This porous rough texture absorbs spills, dirty mop water, outdoor soil and so on, making it difficult to clean. In no time the grout will be stained, discolored, and just plain ugly. Using a quality sealer on the grout will help prevent permanent staining, as well as make cleaning easier. The misunderstanding is… people think sealer will keep their grout clean. The fact is sealer will only provide a barrier, thus making cleaning easier and permanent damage less likely, soil will still find its way to the floor, if I had the answer to preventing that, I would be a hero, and probably out of business. The unsanded grout ussually found on walls, and in showers, is much less porus, but still can benifit from sealer especially in a shower. There are often minerals in the water that can even leave unsanded grout stained after time, especially white grout.