For most everyone, their home is their largest and most important investment. Maintaining the value of that investment is vitally important. When people think of maintaining their home, the big ticket items often come to mind and usually in the form of repair or replacement. Maintenance should always include regular care of surfaces such as floors, countertops, and bathroom fixtures. These surfaces should be cleaned daily to weekly, depending on use and soil/moisture levels. Obviously, daily or weekly maintenance can easily be handled by the homeowner.
It's recommended that ceramic tile and grout and natural stones such as travertine, slate, and granite be deep cleaned at least once per year. A deep clean will remove embedded dirt, bacteria, mildew, and grime. This could be done as a DIY project by the homeowner. The process would involve either rental of a steam cleaning unit or hours on hands and knees with a tile and grout cleaning solution and a stiff bristled brush.
The steam cleaning units that can be rented at grocery stores, DIY stores, and rental centers are more powerful than the steam vacuum cleaners that can be purchased at most any big box retail store. The rental units are not as powerful as a commercial unit used by professionals. The stronger the pressure and vacuum and the hottest water is the best way to get tile and grout deep cleaned. In most cases, the rental units just don't deliver the results that a commercial unit does simply because the floor is too dirty to be cleaned by lower water pressure and warm water.
Scrubbing tile and grout with a brush and cleaning solution can damage the grout due to the digging in of the stiff bristled brush. This is very hard work and will definitely take a toll on the one doing the work. It's very hard on the knees, even if knee pads are worn. The time required to do even a small area is significant.
To avoid being disappointed in the results of renting a unit that doesn't get the floor completely clean and the hard labor of scrubbing on hands and knees, a professional can do the job with more powerful equipment in a fraction of the time.
The cleaning solutions available to professionals range in strength and application. Additionally, a professional has the knowledge to use the right solution for the job. Using the wrong solution by a homeowner can damage grout and natural stone. One misconception is that a commercial cleaner will leave chemical residue on floors that is harmful to families and pets. This isn't true due to the power of the vacuum and high water pressure used to remove the chemical and dirt as the cleaning process progresses.
Having a professional clean your tile and grout annual can actually add value to your home. You want to be sure to keep records of each cleaning and the company you used to do the work. Beautifully clean and well maintained tile and grout will add value to your home and the records of how you've kept your home maintained will be a great document to show potential home buyers if you decide to sell.
You may be used to the way your grout looks today. But remember that when you mop your tile the dirt, bacteria, and grime on the tiles gets pushed into the grout. It's virtually impossible to mop grout and get it clean. Grout is porous and it will hold on to anything that gets on it. This will make it almost impossible to get grout clean without strong pressure and vacuum to pull the dirt away. Once you have this done, you'll be amazed at how dirty your grout actually was.
If you want to avoid the very difficult task of doing the work yourself and you want superior results, you should always hire a professional to clean your tile and grout. They have equipment and knowledge that will produce the best results and you will be able to enjoy a beautifully clean floor along with higher value for your home.