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An Interesting Thing Happened

Tedlucky

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I Went to this amazing house in a very affluent area for some tile cleaning. When I looked at the tile, some of the joints were white, some grey and some black. The whole floor was shiny like it had been sealed. I was told, no cleaning or sealing had been done for 12 years. The floor was original from 1970. Looking at it I didn't know if cleaning would do anything. So I did a test area. Put down Groutmaster, light scrub, extract with a spinner. While scrubbing I saw no dirt coming up at all. I didn't notice anything unusual, I figured the black was either stains or imbedded underneath the old sealer. After rinsing all the joints were black (I assumed it was just wet, pretty normal right?). I got a call the next day saying all the joints were still black.

Any idea What the Hell Happened here?


My test area was approx 2' X 2' from the wall.

I guess it looks like slate and the joints seem to be cement.

IMG_6620.jpg
Before.jpg
After.jpg
After 2.jpg
 
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Kipp

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To me the black looks like the original grout color, the white is efflorescence. That floor is definitely sealed. Avoid heat on that floor. If it is infact efflorescence you need a cleaner on the acidic side made for natural stone vs a high ph cleaner...
 

Todd the Cleaner

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What the guys above said.

the black is the original color. It definitely has a topical coating on it. If you do the job be prepared to apply a fresh coat of a stone gloss sealer. Cleaning will probably remove the sealer in some areas. The job will take multiple days, you need to wait for the floor to be 100% dry before applying the sealer.
 
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Tedlucky

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Thank you guys. I don't think it's grout. I think it's cement (from 1970). I almost think the original color is grey but not sure til I go back.

How do I know if it's efflorescence? Key scratch test?

The acidic cleaner will take some of the sealer off?

House goes on the market Sat so with stagers coming in, no time to strip and I don't want to strip it anyway I know that's going to be hell.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Grout basically is cement.

I hate to say this but if they don’t like the results of your test cleaning they (and you) may be better off not cleaning the floor. From what I see this will turn into a headache job for you. This may be one to pass on.
 
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Tedlucky

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Grout basically is cement.

I hate to say this but if they don’t like the results of your test cleaning they (and you) may be better off not cleaning the floor. From what I see this will turn into a headache job for you. This may be one to pass on.
I'm way ahead of you Todd! Lol. I want no part of it. That sealer will come off splotchy and look worse than it does now.

Is there a way to tell if its efflorescence?
 

PistolPete

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A scratch test will reveal the original grout color.
I agree that it's probably black or dark grey originally which is what your cleaning has revealed.
 
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