How we deep-clean & re-seal Victorian tiles
Many homes from the Victorian/Edwardian era contain skillfully laid tiled hallways. When they were originally installed, they would have then been cleaned & oiled at least once a week. In the more recent modern era, mopping is the main method of cleaning and brings with it a few issues.
“What has this floor been cleaned with?”
The chances are that most tiled floors are cleaned with a general detergent based solution. Over time, the sticky residues left by mopping with detergent accumulate in the grout lines and flaws in the tiles, attracting further dirt. If this is combined with insufficient rinsing, then you will find that entrance tiles can soon lose their vibrant colours beneath layers of soil.
This image shows a typical example. The floor is actually quite recent, but a regime of heavy footfall & standard mopping has lead to a dull, faded appearance.
After an initial survey to determine the quality of the installation & integrity of the tiles, our technician performed a simple test of the seal (this is done by pouring a small amount of water onto the surface of a section of tiles to see if the water is absorbed).
Any absorption indicates that the seal has failed & will require new applications of a sealant.
First of all, we conduct a thorough sweep & dry extraction of all debris & loose material on the floor.
Next, we apply an eco-friendly tile specific alkali cleaning solution to break down historic deposits of soil, grease and layers of ingrained detergent residues. We do this in stages, using either a rotary machine or a more specialist agitating device (example video below) to ensure the floor is scubbed as thoroughly as possible.
Stage 3: After the cleaning solution has broken down the layers of dirt in the tiles, we extract the resulting slurry using a rinse extraction machine or a “wet pick-up”. We then clean & rinse the floor again using pure water only. This tends to be the last stage of Day 1.
Stage 4: On Day 2, only after the floor is completely dry, we begin applying the new layers of seal. The type of seal depends on the preferred finish type of the homeowner – in this case, we were instructed to put down a satin finish. After the initial layer has been applied, we allow the seal to dry or “cure” before applying further coats.
“A completely reinvigorating facelift”
After 3 layers of sealant have been applied, the job is complete.
You can see in the image opposite that not only have these tiles been deeply cleaned, but that their colours are now enhanced.
This is the beauty of applying the right type of seal – you are protecting your floor from scuffs & spills, as well as giving the very first area of your home that people see a completely reinvigorating facelift.
If you have any questions regarding the cleaning, sealing or general maintenance of your floor tiles, or any type of stone or laminate flooring, please do get in touch using either our CONTACT page, or by calling your local branch of Green Man using the number at the top of the page.
Thank you for reading.