Small Equipment to get Started in Grout Cleaning | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Small Equipment to get Started in Grout Cleaning

CraigAlan

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Nov 19, 2020
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Craig Fauvie
So I'd like to begin doing some residential grout cleaning but I don't want to put a bunch of money into it until I can get a few jobs and see how it goes.

I cleaned my mud room pretty much by hand using Groutmaster, hand scrub, and an old Hoover wet vac with brushes to rinse the floor. It actually came very clean, but I would not want to show up at your house with this equipment. My thoughts are until I get some cash flow to purchase a good equipment setup, I'd like to start out with just decent rinsing equipment and take care of the scrubbing by hand. I realize I could use a pump sprayer and shop vac for rinsing but I would rather appear a little more professional.

I'd like to spend less than $1,000 on a start-up rinsing process. Based on my research so far this seems surprisingly difficult, but maybe people on this forum have some equipment experience to share that could help me.

I appreciate all responses.
 

PistolPete

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In order to really get into the tile & grout cleaning business you need a high pressure set up.
1500 psi, 2.5 gallons per minute, hot water, water softener (if in hard water area), vacuum, spinner etc.
Kinda like trying to start a landscaping business with only a weedeater...
The upside is, in the right market you can make great income with fantastic margins.
After 7 years now I make minimum $75 / hour up to $200 / hour, averaging $2-3,000 a week working 3-4 days with zero marketing spend.

My advice is to consider your goals and go all in if that's what you want to do.
 

John Rockwood

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You sound like your not completely committed. In order to be successful you need to be all in.
If you leave yourself a way out in your mind then you will fail. "if it doesn't pan out I'll try something else".
 
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ACP

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Fwiw I know a guy I became friends with on Instagram after he was following our business page... we post lots of shower restorations on there.

Anyways this guy is killing it in AZ cleaning with 175s when needed and basically mopping.

He sells color seal and has it built into all of his cleanings... his entire business is color sealing Grout, 3 trucks (f150s) and he is raking in the $$
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Doesn't color seal fail after a short time though? I do a lot of grout cleanings where I can see it looks like it failed
 
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PistolPete

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Doesn't color seal fail after a short time though? I do a lot of grout cleanings where I can see it looks like it failed
Slap and dash...I see a ton of bad colorseal jobs.
If he's around in 5 years it will catch up.
I don't see how you can do a proper job without rinse and extraction.
I know some color seal videos show using a 175 and a mop.
They even just use water!

All I know is, to the very best of my knowledge and understanding I provide a first class service and sleep well at night.
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Slap and dash...I see a ton of bad colorseal jobs.
If he's around in 5 years it will catch up.
I don't see how you can do a proper job without rinse and extraction.
I know some color seal videos show using a 175 and a mop.
They even just use water!

All I know is, to the very best of my knowledge and understanding I provide a first class service and sleep well at night.
What are the techniques for doing a quality job ?
 
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U. S. Vet.

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Slap and dash...I see a ton of bad colorseal jobs.
If he's around in 5 years it will catch up.
I don't see how you can do a proper job without rinse and extraction.
I know some color seal videos show using a 175 and a mop.
They even just use water!

All I know is, to the very best of my knowledge and understanding I provide a first class service and sleep well at night.
It would be interesting to here your process • please share with us • I for one think it would be a learning experience for many of us.
 

PistolPete

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So in 10% of the cases the grout is filthy so it requires grout master with TM & spinner.
Then step 2 is to acid etch the grout, neutralize & rinse.
Then apply colorseal.

The majority of the cases, the grout is not too bad, just stained or patchy.
In these cases I go straight to acid etching.
Large areas use TM spinner to rinse.
Small areas use a steamer and a grout sponge & bucket of hot water to rinse.
Then apply colorseal.

I use colorsealpro.
Had only 1 call back for an Air BNB rental where the cleaners used strong pinesol to wet mop the floors.

If the grout is higher than the tile then its not a good candidate unless its in limited areas where you can remove the high spots.

I've heard of using a stronger acid and a 175 to knock down high grout lines but I've never done it.

I don't 'sell' color seal, it's a last resort before grout replacement. My normal cleaning process gets acceptable results 90% of the time.
So I present 3 options:
1) Clean only (usually for sellers cleaning for listing)
2) Clean & Clear Seal
3) Clean & Color Seal
The color seal price usually helps sell the clear sealer option.
BTW I price the cleaning higher, and the sealing as a lower price add on, so that future clean only services are more profitable. In this market .75c - 90c sq ft is a good rate. (Carpet guys are offering .30c cleaning & free sealer!)

Occasionally I will use a dab of color seal to blend the odd stain or blemish.

Here in Florida most new homes are all tile except for the bedrooms.

Last word, I don't want to come off as arrogant, I've just seen sooo many bad color seal jobs done by contractors who are no longer around.

I'm not saying this is THE way, or the only way, it's just what I do, and it works great.
 

CraigAlan

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Nov 19, 2020
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Craig Fauvie
Thank you so much for the responses. You're right, I'm not completely committed. I wanted to dip my toe in a little to help me decide. Complete some smaller residential projects, gain confidence in the demand...then it would be easier on my mind to purchase some equipment.

I've actually been thinking of beginning with the color seal work. I feel as though it would be relatively small areas, and the cleaning portion of it I could do by hand without pressure/scrubbing equipment. The rinsing was more of a concern for me. I do have a very old Hoover rinsing/vacuum but it's such a dinosaur I'd be embarrassed to bring it in your house. I've read many negative feelings on the color, but I feel the same as PistolPete; if you acid etch it's pretty likely to hold up.

My plan was to advertise on HomeAdvisor or something similar and see what happens. I would just like a better plan for rinsing.
 

katilicous

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If you absolutely must start small, a very strong shopvac and a professional wand with squeegee tile attachment is gonna be the best way to extract residue. The wand / squeegee upgrades your shop vacuum to a very decent professional machine. You also want to get a longer hose or get the proper coupler to join 2 hoses and while you are buying couplers, also purchase the correct size couple to join from hose to wand. A tight fit will give you the least vacuum loss. A strong higher HP shop vacuum is important here with a longer hose.
Protect the rest of the home including entry walkways and adjoining surfaces with the proper plastics and tapes and give yourself a place (i bring a very professional bathroom rug) to stomp off your wet feet between your equipment and your vehicle or other areas you may need to walk with your wet shoes. Footprints are embarrassing and can ruin a job just as destroying baseboard and splattering cabinets and walls with chemicals very good at removing paint and sheen.
One other machine I use on small jobs is from the 60s and kicks ass. Its a triple head Electrolux "carpet beautifier" and it really gets the grout clean with the right chemicals as well as being lightweight and low splatter. Its an old machine you have to search to find. I've been through 3 or 4 but they literally last a lifetime and im an ogre.
Remember a truck mount set up will really provide a totally different experience for cleaning with differences in time and effort that are unreal so doing things this way might cost less initially and work as an add on to whatever services you usually provide. However will slow you down and frustrate you if you are making this your primary service.
Good luck.
Good luck.
 

U. S. Vet.

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Sanis Sanis
Good to see your interest in the bus. Bro.

Our Bro. Pistol Pete has described the process well
• • • a couple precautions I would look at while pulling the pieces together are :

Spend some time in the forum. The # 1 concern I see is materials I. D.

A CRB / vac will get solids out of your chems’ way to do their job w o blotches.

I. D. your materials first • then determine the chems. appropriate / process required • to then discuss $$$ w t client.

You can burn marble and other miss I. D‘d materials w acid and other cleaning chems. My recent IICRC SMT Tech cert. class taught me a couple things I know a pro. wouldn’t have known. Please consider Rob’s classes or IICRC SMT Cert Course • 3 day 8-ish hrs / day W brakes.

There are as many ways to look like a pro as there are to put a sizable dent in your wallet or ins.

Slate and other materials react to pressure / heat / chems. Please get acquainted w this as best as possible sooner rather then later • and enjoy a prosperous NEW YEAR !

PS : of all the certs. I have on board ( 5 to date ), this one class, I will take, and probably learn something new or that I hadn’t quite tuned in to, every time. There is a lot of basic stuff everyone cleaning T & G should know & some stuff you really must know, or by, by $$$$
 
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