Considered the most water resistant flooring material, tile is the most popular choice of floor coverings among homeowners. Tile flooring consists of more than just tiles, however. Grout and adhesive seal the tiles together, and are the first substances affected by standing water. If this water oozes into the tile, the adhesive that bonds the tile to the cement will gradually deteriorate. While only a couple of tiles in your flooring may appear to be damaged, the entire surface beneath the floor is destroyed.
How Much Water Can Tile Retain? It All Depends on Density
The amount of water tile retains directly hinges on how dense it is. Porcelain tile is denser than travertine tile, for instance. What does this mean? Travertine tile retains more moisture, and enables additional water to penetrate into the substrate. It depends on installation of the flooring, as well. Properly installed flooring can withstand more injury than one that is not appropriately done.
When a certain brand or kind of tile is manufactured for production, its density is determined by the company. The tile is then placed into four separate categories.
Non-vitreous: Tiles in this group absorb 7% or more of their body weight. For indoor usage only, the stones are normally used for vertical surfaces such as backsplashes.
Semi-vitreous: The materials in this category are for indoor use only, and absorb between 3% and 7% of their weight in water.
Vitreous: Materials in this category are suitable for both interior and exterior usage, and absorb between 0.5% and 3%.
Impervious: The most dense materials such as porcelain tiles are included in this group, and absorb between 0.001% and 0.5% of their weight in water.
Density should be regarded mainly when deciding where you want to install the tile. The most significant factor is the amount of water and moisture the tile will be exposed to.
Unsealed Grout Can Cause Water Penetration and Damage into Subflooring
Grout bonds individual tiles together on your flooring. If your grouting is unsealed, it’s absorbent density can cause vulnerability that leads to the devastation of water damage. This water damage cannot only cause your grout to stain, if the material is left to dry by itself, it will provide an ideal home for bacterial and fungi, which in turn will develop into mold spores. This is a major reason that if you have water damage to your tile flooring, if must be thoroughly dried and cleaned to prevent future damage and serious health hazards.
This is especially true if you tile flooring has suffered water damage due to unsanitary flooding. The color of the water can generally identify unsanitary flooding. Gray or darker water is most likely a sign of this type of water damage. Overflowed toilets or weather catastrophes are usually the cause of unsanitary flooding. If you do have water damage do to an unsanitary situation, call a professional as soon as possible, and do not expose yourself to the contaminates.
How Can You Tell If Your Tile Has Water Damage?
Sometimes it is easy to tell if your tile flooring has been harmed from water damage. Other times, it may be it bit more difficult to determine.
If your home has suffered flood damage, floor tiles generally come loose. Ceramic floor tiles are not harmed by standing water, but, it can damage the grout between the tiles, and detach the adhesive. The damage may not become noticeable for many weeks or even months, until after flood waters have diminished.
A slow leak, from a broken dishwasher or dripping pipe, sometimes can exist for a long time before the homeowner realizes that something is wrong. The particle board or plywood in your flooring can soak up water from the leak, causing mold or dark staining of the tile. Eventually, the individual tiles will become loose. It may be several months or even years before damage from a slow leak is evident.
Call Accutech right away if you are in need of dry-out services for water damage to your tile floors. We offer water remediation services in less than one hour after you have suffered water damage-do not let fungi and mold growth further harm your flooring and create serious health problems for your home. Contact us now!