When it comes to the world of service and hospitality, tile and grout is often overlooked. The simple process of an adequate grout maintenance program is the key in preventative measures to avoid costly floor repairs. Having an active grout program can be beneficial to your business as it will lead to:
- Effective budgeting and cost control
- Enhancing safety of the occupants
- Ensuring the health of your employees and customers
Facility managers tend to overlook the fact that the combination of epoxy grout and its proper maintenance can help them avoid subfloor damage, missing tiles and potential slip and fall incidents. From grease build-up to the “hot water and mop” method, your grout puts up with a lot, maintaining it is easier and more cost effective than people realize.
- Budgets: We all know in business you only have a portion of your budget allocated to maintenance and repair. Large, costly tile replacement jobs not only hinder your number one priority – cash flow, but they are an unnecessary and avoidable evil. You don’t wait until your car’s engine blows up to get your oil changed, do you? So why wait until your subfloor has water damage, when you can budget for a grout maintenance program. Re-grouting as little as 250 square feet per quarter permits you to effectively upkeep your flooring without eating up your entire maintenance and repair budget.
- Safety: Along with minimizing the amount it will cost you to avoid having to replace the tiles and subfloor, proper grout maintenance will also help you avoid potential safety hazards. If you have worked in facilities for more than a year, you have stepped on a loose tile. It’s a slippery slope, literally. As grout breaks down, it can no longer provide the protective barrier the tile needs to stay in place, the result is tiles that are loose and pose a risk for a slip and fall. Eventually, those tiles will become completely dislodged, crack and inevitably go missing. This poses not only a risk to management and staff, but also to customers. A lawsuit over customers who have slipped and have been injured, not to mention the irrefutable damage to your brand, becomes considerably more expensive than simply maintaining your floors.
- Health: Along with all the obvious perilous repercussions for grout that has begun to disintegrate, we haven’t even mentioned a force to be reckoned with; The Health Inspector. When the grout can no longer provide the waterproof barrier, water is free to get under the tiles and sit. The stagnant water will not only provide the perfect environment for bacteria and infectious diseases, it becomes prime real-estate for mold. As billions and billions of microscopic toxic spores thrive under the tile, they are then accompanied by their new roommates, food particles and grease remnants. The result, as we all know, is a smelly, dirty floor that cannot pass a health inspection.
With all the potential hazards of decomposing grout, it’s hard to imagine a Facility Manager not following through with a proper grout maintenance program. At RFS we have several active programs in place with our clients, and would welcome the opportunity to help you with yours. We are remodeling the renovation experience one grout program at a time.