For the proactive homeowner, there are several plumbing and related areas that fit well with a do-it-yourself approach. One such area is bathroom grout – over time, it’s common to find small sections of bathroom grout that are cracked or don’t look very good, particularly in joints such as where the wall meets the tub, shower or floor.

At Whipple Plumbing, our services include these kinds of issues. If you’re looking to handle these kinds of problems on your own whenever possible, however, here are a few tips to help with grout cracks and repairs.

Basic Causes

If you see grout cracking mostly in the joints, this is likely a cause of movement between the two surfaces. Houses undergo changes in their foundation over time, constantly moving in little increments. If the grout in your bathroom is made from inflexible material, as most grout is, cracks can develop due to this movement.

In other cases, installation can be the problem. If grout is mixed improperly with too much water or additive, for instance, it can leave air pockets after the grout dries. This will leave the grout weak and brittle, and lead to cracks. Grout can also crack if too little adhesive is used during installation.

DIY Patching

If there are just a few isolated areas of cracked grout, you might be able to repair these. The steps here include:

  • Completely remove old grout from the affected area – easy if grout is crumbling, but if not, use a grout saw or grout removal tool.
  • Vacuum the crack thoroughly to capture any dust left over.
  • Choose a replacement less likely to crack, such as silicone caulk. This is flexible and won’t crack as easily. Choose a color matching your existing grout.
  • Follow the caulk’s directions to the tiniest detail. Silicone caulk sets quickly and can be tough to work with. Practice first, and if you run into any issues, call our professionals.

Professional Assistance

In many cases, grout cracking will be too widespread and severe to fix on your own. In these cases, you should have the situation assessed by a professional.

Interested in learning more about grout cracks, or about our other plumbing services including bathroom or kitchen remodeling? Speak to the experts at Whipple Plumbing today.

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