About that grout…
Many renters and homeowners don’t stop to think about shower grout — that little line of stuff between your shower tiles that protects your home from water damage. However, it’s super important to keep your shower mould free and waterproof!
Not taking proper care of your shower can result in all sorts of unsightly things like mildew stains and harmful mould growth. It can also result in water damage within the structure of your home, which leads to costly and destructive repairs down the line.
It’s worth it to make sure your shower is properly sealed and you maintain your grout over time to avoid these consequences.
Grout acts as a strong barrier between your shower tiles that don’t allow water to permeate beyond your shower. Proper grout application, maintenance, and cleaning can ensure that your grout looks brand new for years to come.
Learn why shower grout is important and how to take care of it!
Why Do I Need Grout in My Shower?
Grout is a simple combination of sand and concrete that is a popular sealant material for gaps in tile flooring and shower walls. Grout is then often sealed with a grout sealer, which is a clear sealant over the top, that makes it more, water resistant.
Grout is an important aspect of a tiled bathroom. Often, within old rundown buildings where grout is not properly maintained, it starts to degrade. When grout degrades, a number of things can happen.
The first, and potentially most damaging, is that you shower is no longer sealed for water. Grout is a barrier for water that starts to break down and crumble or crack if not properly maintained. This means that water is seeping through your tile walls and into the cement bed below the tiles and or to the dry wall. Left long enough this means that the tiles can potentiall start to lift, the cement bed can break down and lastly if the waterproofing has not been installed correctly then this will result in water penetrating to the surrounding areas of the shower recess.
Another thing that happens is mould and mildew growth. Grout can act as an anchor for mould if a homeowner doesn’t regularly clean it. This is even truer when grout starts to break down and crack, as mould can hide in the cracks where it’s hard to detect and remove.
Aside from the practical reasons to grout your shower, it can be an attractive upgrade to add value to your home and give it a new look.
After applying grout, either yourself or with the use of professional service, it’s on you to make sure your grout stays clean and water resistant.
How To Clean Shower Grout
Your first line of defence to maintain a healthy, mould-free bathroom is cleaning your grout regularly. Because grout is semi-porous and usually lighter in colour, it can be prone to stains and spots.
You may be confused on how to clean grout. Because grout is often treated with a sealant, it’s best not to manually pick or rub at grout stains, as this can make it less waterproof.
If you want to use natural products only, it will be especially important to maintain a regular cleaning schedule of your grout so that harsh chemicals are not needed to clean it.
Here are some basics:
Daily Cleaning of Your Shower
A daily wipe-down of your shower is not only great for your grout, but it will inhibit water spots on your tile as well. To do this, all you need is a good squeegee! It also might help to buy a good daily shower cleaner spray or make your own with baking soda and vinegar to inhibit mould growth even further.
Spray the walls of your shower after you’re done showering and run the squeegee down the sides until it’s mostly dry. You’re done!
Weekly Deep Clean
Daily cleaning of your shower is a great start, but sometimes you need to get down to the nitty-gritty.
A weekly deep clean will ensure that mould has no place in your shower, ever. You can get away with doing this every 2 weeks if you need to, but weekly is preferred.
A deep clean is necessary for a shower because of all the soap and oils from your body products and from your body that will stubbornly cling to the walls of your shower. After a while, a squeegee won’t cut it.
To deep clean, create a paste with baking soda and water. Rub it into the grout with an old toothbrush until clean and be sure to rinse off thoroughly with clean water.
The Deep Deep Clean
If you’ve done all of the above and still have unsightly stained grout on your hands, get an even deeper clean with bleach.
If this sounds messy, you’re correct. Using liquid bleach to try to focus on thin lines of grout can get tricky, so one way to tackle this is with a bleach pen. Layer on the bleach pretty liberally and wait several hours until you see your grout looking shiny and new.
Then, rinse well with water.
Sometimes, your shower grout is too far gone for any of the above steps and you need a grout renewal. Replacing grout is easy and can be done with professional help. Once you have new grout, make sure the same thing doesn’t happen and you regularly maintain it for optimal water-resistance and look!
Need help finding professional help? Contact us for a free estimate on grout installation!