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Tile Restoration: When to Replace Silicone and Expansion Joints

Tile Tech Blog Article: Tile Restoration: When to Replace Silicone and Expansion Joints

For over forty years, the team at Tile Tech Solutions has been cleaning, sealing, repairing, restoring and protecting tiles, grout and natural stone across Sydney. We aim to provide the best long-term solutions for all your tile problems, from our popular anti slip tile treatment to our comprehensive silicone and expansion joint replacement service.

Silicone and expansion joints are a part of your home not often considered until they become damaged or worn out. Here are some tips on how to tell when silicone and replacement joints need to be replaced before they cost you thousands in damages:

Where is silicone commonly used?

Silicone is commonly found in every wet area of your home, where it is used to provide a tight water seal along joints. Some areas where you are likely to find silicone include shower recesses, bath tubs, vanities, spas, kitchen splashbacks, and balconies, as well as the joints where tiled walls and floors meet. It prevents moisture entering these areas and also allows structural movement of the property without cracking. Silicone is usually applied as caulking after tiling and grouting.

How can you tell when silicone needs to be replaced?

Over time, silicone can become damaged or lose its waterproofing properties. Once this happens, moisture penetrates the joints of the tiles, and the silicone will become discoloured and begin to peel. Once you notice that the silicone in your home has become stained or leaks have begun to appear, then it needs to be replaced as soon as possible to avoid costly structural water damage. Mould can also begin to grow within and behind damaged silicone if left untreated, causing health issues and structural problems. In these cases, replacing the silicone is essential to ensure effective waterproofing for your bathroom, kitchen or balcony.

What is the process for replacing silicone?

The process for replacing silicone should be carried out by professionals, as it is a time-consuming task requiring intensive preparation. Different areas of your home where silicone is present will require different joint widths and specific types of silicone. At Tile Tech Solutions, our technicians undergo a careful step-by-step process when replacing silicone, in which all silicone is inspected and then the damaged portions removed using specialised equipment. The joints are thoroughly cleaned and dried using a special solution, and finally new silicone is installed, with all silicone residue removed before it begins to cure,  and smoothed out to ensure a professional finish and long lasting result.

What are expansion joints?

Expansion joints are the spaces between tiles or concrete, and are commonly found on hardwood floors and in areas including pool surrounds, balconies, garage floors, driveways and patios. Expansion joints are also known as movement joints, because they are used to compensate for structural movement, including the natural expansion and contraction of tiles when subjected to heat and moisture. The joints are filled with a flexible, weather-resistant sealant, which in most cases are wider and deeper than silicone joints. Failing to install expansion joints can result in cracked grout and tiles, water damage and structural damage.

How can you tell when expansion joints need to be replaced?

Similar to silicone, over time expansion joints can fail due to general wear and tear. Your expansion joints may need to be replaced if you notice cracked or loose grout, cracks in tiles, or loose tiles which seem to have risen up vertically from the floor. Not only are damaged expansion joints aesthetically displeasing, but can also allow water to enter beneath the surface of the tiles, causing possible water damage and a build-up of efflorescence.

What is the process for replacing expansion joints?

The experienced team at Tile Tech Solutions prides itself on looking after your tiles as if they were our own. When replacing expansion joints, our technicians first remove the old damaged expansion joint and backing rod, thoroughly clean the joint along with the internal side of the tile or concrete, and then carefully install a new backing rod and expansion joint. The process is completed by the smoothing out of the new joint and the removal of any residue to create a professional and seamless result. We only use polyurethane based sealants, which are not only hard-wearing and long-lasting but are available in a variety of colours to suit all hard surfaces.

At Tile Tech Solutions, we carry a wide selection of high-quality and sanitised silicone and joint sealants in a range of colours to match your grout, tiles and surrounds.

Contact Us or call us on 1300 304 004 today for all your silicone and expansion joint problems, and schedule a free quote and on-site inspection from the tile restoration experts.