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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

Dealing with serious flood damage at home is not the end of the world. And most importantly, it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg to get your home back into living condition again. In fact, you may find (like I did) that recovering from a flood gives you an opportunity to improve the look and feel of your home overall, and even to implement design options that increase the value of your property. I spent about a year fixing up my place after a pipe exploded while I was on vacation, and literally ruined everything inside from the flooring and walls, to my photos and important paperwork. So, I figured I could help others "pick up the pieces" and create a bigger ad better lifestyle at home by turning a flood situation into an opportunity, instead of dealing with it like a crisis.

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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

How To Keep Your Tile Flooring Clean And Shiny

by Scott Gordon

Tile floors have an attractive appearance, but they are difficult to keep clean. Once the grout lines are stained with dirt or mildew, or the tiles become cloudy, then your beautiful floor becomes an eyesore. Here are a few tips for keeping your tile flooring clean and lustrous.

Sweep And Vacuum

Tile floors are installed with grout between each tile. The area with grout is slightly depressed, and this becomes a magnet for dust and dirt. If your grout is a light color, it doesn't take long at all for your floor to look dirty and dingy if you don't keep it swept. As you sweep, pay attention to getting the bristles into the grout lines to pull out debris, otherwise, the broom will glide right across the top and leave dirt behind. That's why you should consider vacuuming your tile floor on a regular basis too. This pulls up all the dirt and dust that sweeping leaves behind.

Mop The Tiles

Be sure to sweep and vacuum before you mop, so the water doesn't turn dirt into mud that stains the grout. It's best to avoid using soapy cleaners on your tile because they can leave behind a dull residue. For routine washing, you can use plain water or a solution of vinegar and water. Use a mop with loops or cloth that can conform to the shape of the grout lines. A sponge mop is too stiff and will push water into the grout lines, and this could cause dirt to accumulate there, or lead to the growth of mildew.

If your tiles have a hazy appearance because of a cleaning product you've used in the past, you'll probably need to hand wash the tiles with clean water until all the residue is gone. Then you should hand dry and buff the tiles to restore their shine.

Brighten The Grout

Grout is a porous material, so it soaks up dirt and stains. The hardest part about maintaining a tile floor is keeping the grout clean. When it gets dirty, you'll need to manually scrub the lines with a stiff nylon brush. Don't use a wire brush, or you might break apart the grout. Avoid using soapy cleaners as these will leave a haze on the tiles. Bleach should be avoided too as this could cause the grout to turn yellow. Instead, you can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar, or just plain water and elbow grease.

If your grout is dirty, it could be a sign it needs to be sealed. Once it's clean, you can apply a sealer that protects against stains in the future.

Professional Cleaning

Although you should clean your tile floors yourself on a regular basis, it takes a lot of time, and the results aren't as good as when you have your floor professionally deep cleaned. Therefore, you probably should establish a regular cleaning schedule just as you do with carpet cleaning. In fact, the cleaning methods are quite similar. The cleaner uses a steam cleaning and extraction method that pulls dirt and stains out of the tiles and grout lines. The cleaner can also apply a sealer that helps keep your floor looking clean longer.

After professional cleaning, whether by yourself or the with the help of places like Logan Carpet Cleaning Inc, your tiles gleam and the grout is bright, so your floor looks good as new.

Even though it seems like a lot of work to keep tile floors clean, it really isn't, as long as you keep up with frequent sweeping to keep grit from dulling the tiles and collecting in the grout. A little bit of work on a daily basis will save you a lot of time spent on your knees scrubbing grout lines and polishing floor tiles.

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