At All Hours Plumbing, our residential plumbing services are meant to cover the entire spectrum: From first-time homeowners who have zero clue about even the simplest plumbing issues to experienced, handy folks who like to handle as many repairs as possible using their own expertise and elbow grease.
For this latter group, a common area is bathroom grout. Over a period of time, sections of bathroom grout may become cracked – often joints like walls that meet the shower or floor. With the right bits of savvy know-how, the do-it-yourself homeowner can handle certain instances of cracked grout. Here are the common causes, and some basic steps to follow.
There are two common causes for grout cracking in bathrooms:
- Movement: Over time, the foundation of your home will naturally settle and change. In fact, chances are your house’s foundation has been constantly moving in tiny increments ever since you moved in. If your bathroom’s grout was made using an inflexible material (most is), cracks can easily develop due to this basic movement.
- Installation: In other cases, faulty installation is the primary cause of cracking bathroom grout. Grout might have been mixed with too much water additive, which would leave air pockets after the grout dried. These pockets leave the grout brittle and prone to cracking. Another common issue is too little adhesive being used during installation.
If you’re looking to repair a few isolated areas of cracked grout, here are some basic steps to follow:
- Remove all grout completely from the affected area. This will be easy if grout is crumbling, but if not, consider using a grout saw or other grout removal tool for assistance.
- Vacuum any cracks to sweep up any leftover dust.
- Look for replacement caulk that’s less likely to crack, often silicone caulk that’s also flexible. Choose the proper color to match the existing grout.
- Follow all caulk directions as closely as possible. Many kinds of grout can be tough to work with and set quickly, including silicone.
Finally, one important piece of advice: If any of these elements get outside your control or there are cracks you can’t handle, call our plumbers before proceeding any further. Trying to extend beyond your skill set could leave you with incredibly costly repairs.
To learn more about this or any of our other plumbing services, contact the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.