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Tile sealed 15 years ago...

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Possible first tile job coming up. Little nervous is all. Trying to prepare for all possibilities.

I took three pictures today. Grout lines pretty bad to the eye. Customer doesn’t want to go through the hassle of ripping up all the tile. Interested in the cleaning.
He said it was sealed probably 15 years ago.

The plan is to lay down some Groutmaster when I’m there for the carpet estimate, brush it in and see what the result looks like wiping it up with my towel. Hoping it gets a result.

Should I anticipate this old sealer being a problem? If so what opportunity could this present?

Check out the three pictures. Believe it’s ceramic tile. But I am not the tile expert at this time.

DF0958ED-62D4-4A20-A843-D38628A4F503.jpeg
B4181D18-4F00-41E2-9BF4-A79B08DC881F.jpeg
5FA2031D-7097-4334-9A15-18B9AC8579E3.jpeg
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Be prepared for a lot of missing grout and cracked lines. Most likely not everything will clean up 100%, so this job is all about expectations.

Depends more on what they've been mopping the floor with for the past 15 years.
 

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Be prepared for a lot of missing grout and cracked lines. Most likely not everything will clean up 100%, so this job is all about expectations.

Depends more on what they've been mopping the floor with for the past 15 years.
Do you mean missing grout due to it breaking during the cleaning and cracking as well? (Maybe that is why he asked if I do regrouping?)

How could what they have been mopping the floor with over the years impact the cleaning outcome?

Thank you for your help.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Matthew gave some good advice above. I zoomed in on your first picture and it looks a lot like someone has attempted “re-grouting” in the past by just skimming a thin layer of grout over the old grout. I may be wrong but that’s sure what it looks like here.

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Definitely always ask what the customer uses to clean their floor. If they use vinegar & water every week the grout may be real weak considering vinegar is an acid that eats up grout. If they use Mop & Glow or Quick Shine there will be a wax buildup that can cause headaches. Always find out everything you can about the floors history before quoting a price or doing the job.

As for the 15 year old sealer, it was worn off and gone probably 10 years ago so it’s basically an unsealed floor. If it cleans up nicely you may want to offer to re-seal it. Always make sure the customer understands that sealing the grout just protects it from staining should something such as wine or Kool-aid gets spilled on it. Sealing the grout will do nothing to keep the grout clean, the dirt will still accumulate and sit on top of the sealer and the floor will need a professional cleaning on a regular basis. I usually recommend to the customer having their tile and grout cleaned every couple years.

Just looking at your pictures, this may be a harder job than most tile jobs usually are. If this job doesn’t turn out real good don’t let it discourage you from cleaning other tile in the future.
 
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PistolPete

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I agree with all the above.
Mix some grout master in a small bottle and test several spots with a hand grout brush and towel.
It will definitely clean up, it's just a matter of how good it looks when it's done.
I tell customers like this that it's like washing a truck that's been mudding, once its cleaned then you will find the scratches and dents.
 

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Matthew gave some good advice above. I zoomed in on your first picture and it looks a lot like someone has attempted “re-grouting” in the past by just skimming a thin layer of grout over the old grout. I may be wrong but that’s sure what it looks like here.

View attachment 88887View attachment 88888

Definitely always ask what the customer uses to clean their floor. If they use vinegar & water every week the grout may be real weak considering vinegar is an acid that eats up grout. If they use Mop & Glow or Quick Shine there will be a wax buildup that can cause headaches. Always find out everything you can about the floors history before quoting a price or doing the job.

As for the 15 year old sealer, it was worn off and gone probably 10 years ago so it’s basically an unsealed floor. If it cleans up nicely you may want to offer to re-seal it. Always make sure the customer understands that sealing the grout just protects it from staining should something such as wine or Kool-aid gets spilled on it. Sealing the grout will do nothing to keep the grout clean, the dirt will still accumulate and sit on top of the sealer and the floor will need a professional cleaning on a regular basis. I usually recommend to the customer having their tile and grout cleaned every couple years.

Just looking at your pictures, this may be a harder job than most tile jobs usually are. If this job doesn’t turn out real good don’t let it discourage you from cleaning other tile in the future.
Thank you for the information, Todd. Great to know and thank you for the encouragement as well. I really appreciate it!

Is wax build up something that a CRB can remove albeit maybe some more labor time for scrubbing?

I imagine experience will drastically help me understand the issues (like wax build up) but like all of us I would like to make the job worth it so I am taking the time to understand the implications.

Any more info is very much appreciated. Thank you.
 

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I agree with all the above.
Mix some grout master in a small bottle and test several spots with a hand grout brush and towel.
It will definitely clean up, it's just a matter of how good it looks when it's done.
I tell customers like this that it's like washing a truck that's been mudding, once its cleaned then you will find the scratches and dents.
Good analogy. Might use it!
 

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Be prepared for a lot of missing grout and cracked lines. Most likely not everything will clean up 100%, so this job is all about expectations.

Depends more on what they've been mopping the floor with for the past 15 years.
Agree on expectations.

Im thinking since they dont want to go through the head ache of tearing out the tile (jack hammering mess, etc.) and they understand the tile is old and dirty that there is a chance setting the expectation low and delivering a good cleaning could satisfy them and still generate a worthwhile sale.

Looking forward to how the grout master works this afternoon in a few spots!
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Looking forward to how the grout master works this afternoon in a few spots!
While you are there find an area like the picture I zoomed in on above and feel it. Does it feel like one grout has been applied over another? Try cleaning a spot like that and see what happens.
 

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While you are there find an area like the picture I zoomed in on above and feel it. Does it feel like one grout has been applied over another? Try cleaning a spot like that and see what happens.
Ok I will do this and see what I find!
 
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PistolPete

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After cleaning the grout with GM, do a fizz test with an acid.
If it fizzes then there is no sealer or wax present.
If it doesn't fizz, then use a pocket screwdriver to scrape the grout and see what comes out.
Or use some floor stripper solution and use that to see if wax (mop n glow) is present.
If wax is present then you will have to use stripper on the grout lines first and then clean the floor again with GM.
This doubles the cost.

Take some pictures of your test spots and post them.
 

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After cleaning the grout with GM, do a fizz test with an acid.
If it fizzes then there is no sealer or wax present.
If it doesn't fizz, then use a pocket screwdriver to scrape the grout and see what comes out.
Or use some floor stripper solution and use that to see if wax (mop n glow) is present.
If wax is present then you will have to use stripper on the grout lines first and then clean the floor again with GM.
This doubles the cost.

Take some pictures of your test spots and post them.
I am so very sorry I didn't take test pictures!!! I definitely should have.

Good news is I sprayed one tile 's perimeter and let it sit 5-10 mins and the lines came out super clean from barely scrubbing with a mini grout brush. Customer was impressed. I was impressed.

Hopefully all tile comes out this way. Best the customer can remember he uses lysol and some other regular household cleaner to clean the floors regularly with the mop.
 

mbrandt

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I always ask customer to point out a small area I can do a test cleaning and when I am done have customer look and decide if they want to proceed. It’s than in the customers lap for expectations
 

Todd the Cleaner

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I am so very sorry I didn't take test pictures!!! I definitely should have.

Good news is I sprayed one tile 's perimeter and let it sit 5-10 mins and the lines came out super clean from barely scrubbing with a mini grout brush. Customer was impressed. I was impressed.

Hopefully all tile comes out this way. Best the customer can remember he uses lysol and some other regular household cleaner to clean the floors regularly with the mop.
How did the job go?
 

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Here is the test spot I did last week at the estimate walk through. Just sprayed GM, let sit 5-10 min, mini grout brush and wiped off. Good result.
IMG_2373.JPG
 
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And, I did the job yesterday. I was a little concerned that some grout lines were taking longer to dry and I wasn't sure if they would end up white like the rest.

Talked to the customer today and the lines all seemed to whiten up so that was good. But, the customer and his wife are concerned about the residue that was left on the tile.

She went ahead an d wet mopped it last night and I think I will hear more tonight from him how much the residue issue remains.

Maybe I wasn't as mindful as I could have been not to let the GM dry before extracting? The tile o appeared still wet when we used the tile wand. Admittedly, I wasn't diligent like I am with my carpet wand to wand every square inch. Not sure if that is needed.

Process was:
1. Pour GM on floor
2. Spread with microfiber flat mop
3. dwell 5 min
4. scrub with CRB and small grout brush where CRB cant reach
5. rinse/extract with westpak tile blaster. Seem to prefer squeegee head due to better suction.
6. Dry mop (new dry microfiber pad) to pickup remaining moisture from surface.

I need to understand why the residue was left, how to avoid it, and how to fix it!

I attached pictures also. First few should be before and last few after.

All thoughts welcome! Thank you, guys!!
 

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PistolPete

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Haze probably from not rinsing enough.
That's why spinners rock, they put down 2 gallons per minute.
If you have to go back and its just a couple of small areas use an alcohol glass cleaner like Hope's or original Windex.
If its large areas you may need to reapply GM and rinse again.
Remember you have to rinse the floor thoroughly to get all the chemical up.
Overall, looks like you did a great job!
 

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Haze probably from not rinsing enough.
That's why spinners rock, they put down 2 gallons per minute.
If you have to go back and its just a couple of small areas use an alcohol glass cleaner like Hope's or original Windex.
If its large areas you may need to reapply GM and rinse again.
Remember you have to rinse the floor thoroughly to get all the chemical up.
Overall, looks like you did a great job!
Thank you!

I talked to the customer again the day after the day after just to follow up on the haze issue. He said that his wife just did a light, quick swiffer mop after we left and that seemed to remove all the haze. So it doesn't sound like it was as bad as I thought or he made it sound initially. Its not like she had to go nuts with the mop and bucket, etc.

He had 400 sq. ft of tile: $480

He had 300 sq. ft room of carpet and 1 set stairs: $360 + $80 protector (sold at time of service) We did move all furniture back into living room - he had it moved off when we started.

Even though he agreed to hire me once I provided him the estimate he commented after the service he felt I was $75 too high on the tile. Not a single comment on the carpet - only that it looked fantastic. He also did say the end result on the tile was that it looked great as well.

Maybe he called another tile cleaner after the job to get a bearing on cost. IDK.

Since I spent time getting to know my numbers and what I need to charge to make my dreams come true this is the first customer I tried it on and this was the feedback.

He said he is comfortable referring me also.

These are the types of customer and jobs im looking for! Hoping the market will keep bearing me!