The grout between the tiles in your shower should help waterproof the shower's walls and floor. It should give a final seal that prevents water from leaking behind or under the tiles.
If your grout is cracked, then it won't necessarily give an effective seal and may need to be repaired. Before you decide what to do, it's worth trying to work out why the grout is breaking down. This helps you work out how much work needs to be done to make things right.
Why is your grout cracking?
1. The Grout Is Old
Grout doesn't last forever. As it ages, it may start to wear down and to lose some of its structure and adhesive qualities. If an old grout becomes soft and crumbly, it may start to crack. The grout may also break up and fall apart.
2. The Grout Mix Wasn't Right
While some kinds of grout come ready-mixed, some come in powder form. These types of grout are mixed with water before they are applied. If the grout in your shower was powdered and the mix wasn't done correctly, then the grout may break down sooner than it should and start to crack. Typically, this is due to using too little or too much water in the mix.
3. The Grout Wasn't Applied Correctly
Sometimes, shower grout cracks because they weren't applied correctly in the first place. For example, if the grout wasn't pushed firmly into place, then it may have air bubbles behind it. These bubbles may push the grout over time and make it crack.
Or, the grout may not have been left to dry naturally. Someone may have applied heat to it to speed up the drying process or they may have used the shower before the grout was fully dry. Heat may make a drying grout shrink and crack, and water may affect the grout's final strength, making it more prone to cracking later.
4. There Is an Underlying Problem
Shower grout can also crack if it is put under pressure from under the tiles. For example, if there is movement on the floor under tiles, then this may push at the grout and damage it. This may be caused by natural movement or by an issue with the floor. For example, if you have a leaking shower, then the floor may be warping because it is wet.
It's important to sort out cracked grout and any underlying problems. If grout can't do its job, then your shower water may get into your walls or floor and cause a lot more damage.
For more information on leaking shower grout repairs, contact a tile contractor near you.
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