Most modern kitchens and bathrooms have tile flooring. It’s durable, easy to clean, and can withstand moisture—for the most part.
But too much of anything is never a good thing, including moisture underneath your tiles. It pays to take care of your tiles. Otherwise, you could be dealing with some costly repairs—or worse, a total flooring replacement. Learn how to spot the signs of water damage under tile, and know when a call to CTR is in order.
Can Tile Flooring Sustain Water Damage?
The short answer? Yes. Tile flooring is designed to handle water, but it’s not completely waterproof. Over time, grout can wither away and cracks can form, creating the perfect entrance for those accidental spills to seep into. Water that gets under your tile can lead to all sorts of problems, including mold growth. More on this below.
5 Signs of Water Damage Under Tile
One of the most common signs of water damage is loose tiles. Water can weaken the adhesive, causing tiles to lift over time. If you notice wobbly or loose tiles, give the professionals at Cleanup & Total Restoration a call. We’ll take a peek at what’s going on underneath your tiles and discuss next steps.
Mold loves dark, damp environments, like the underside of your tiles. Once water gets underneath them, mold can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If you spot green or black spots around the grout line or notice a new musty smell, it’s time to bring in a mold removal specialist.
Water tends to leave stains. If you see any new stains on your grout lines following a leak or spill, there’s a high chance water is lurking beneath your tiles. Stains accompanied by cracks are also a common sign of water damage.
If you’re hearing a hollow sound when stepping over your tiles, there’s a high chance the tile and substrate have separated. Hollow sounds are also associated with uneven or broken tiles. Give your local restoration company a call if you hear any hollow or drumming sounds coming from beneath your feet.
Once the water has penetrated the subflooring, you may notice broken or uneven tiles. This is due to the subfloor warping and shifting the tiles, causing them to move or crack. Contact CTR for a free estimate, and we’ll get you on the books.
How to Prevent Tile Water Damage
The best way to prevent tile water damage is to clean up any spills or leaks as soon as they happen. Even though tile flooring repels water, it can still find its way into your subfloor. Make sure you’re sealing your grout lines every few years to prevent any cracks from forming.
How to Repair Water-Damaged Tile
If you’re certain your tile is water-damaged, we encourage you to call CTR. However, those with a knack for DIY projects and some flooring knowledge can repair water-damaged tile themselves. Here’s how you can repair water-damaged tile on your own:
1. Inspect Subflooring
Remove a few tiles, and take a look at the subfloor. Is there a significant amount of moisture underneath the tiles? If the subfloor seems fine, move on to step two. If not, move on to step three.
2. Wash Tile and Grout
Most tiles with minor water damage can be fixed with a good grout washing. Make sure the grout is fully dried before regrouting.
3. Remove Floor if Damaged
If the subfloor is badly water-damaged, you need to remove and replace the flooring. It’s the only way to prevent future mold and mildew growth. You can either do this yourself or let a professional like CTR take over.
4. Contact a Plumber if There’s Still a Leak
Is the water source still leaking water? If so, stop what you’re doing and contact a specialist at CTR. We’ll be on your property to shut off the water source, mitigate the damages, and come up with a solution.
Fix Water-Damaged Tile With CTR
It’s worth it to leave water-damaged tiles to the experts. Cleanup & Total Restoration has been restoring and improving the lives of homeowners across Southern Idaho since 1999. Our team works around the clock to meet your needs, including those water-related emergencies that just can’t wait. Let’s get your tile looking as good as new. Call us now to schedule your service.