For the most part, flooding in Atlanta occurs only a few times throughout the year – although some parts near rivers or river plains may experience flooding more frequently. Serious floods which shut down roads and freeways happen even less.
This means that for the most part, Atlanta floor tile cracks due to water damage will result from roof or pipe leaks, sewage backup for basement tile, or floods that result from leaks. When you’ve got cracked floor tile, it’s time to start preparing for repairs.
Water Damage and Tiles
Tile is a very durable flooring material. A sheet of perfectly laid tile appears like it can withstand just about any amount of use!
Even so, heavy items can be dropped, tile may be improperly installed, the tile may be weak or sub-standard, or leaking pipes or floods can undermine the foundation.
Water damage is another potential cause of cracked floor tiles. Water from leaks or floods – no matter the size – can very easily damage or destroy just about everything in its path. While the surface of your tile can handle water without a problem, the substrate or foundation beneath your tile can warp or buckle, taking the tile with it.
How to Repair Cracked Floor Tile
There are two main ways to repair cracked floor tile: by repairing the tile in question, or by replacing it altogether. The decision on which route to take will depend on how many tiles need attention, how badly damaged the tile is, and if there is underlying water damage.
Repairing by Replacing Tile
This method is best when the foundation or substrate has been affected, as you’ll have to remove the tile to address the underlying issue first! Replacement may also be a strong consideration if your foundation is still in good shape, but multiple tiles are damaged.
- You’ll first want to find replacement tile, as well as grout that matches the existing color. If you don’t have spares on hand, visit a tile dealer or outlet and match your replacement as best as you can.
- Remove the broken tile (or tiles). This can be tricky, as you can damage the surrounding tiles! Just remember to be patient, careful, and to not use other tiles for leverage.
- If desired, place cardboard or painter’s tape over the surrounding tiles in order to protect them.
- To remove the broken tile, you must first remove the grout. There are many ways of doing this, including a carbide-tipped scoring tool or using an electric drill with a masonry drill bit appropriate to the size of the grout between your tiles.
- You will then need to remove the tile. Carefully break the tile into manageable pieces using a hammer or electric bill with masonry drill bit, and chisel out the pieces.
- Clean up the area with a chisel or scraper, removing old mortar and any remaining grout pieces. You’ll want a smooth surface to install your new tile!
- Set your new tile with thinset mortar or other adhesive, and adjust to the correct spacing and height.
- Apply grout between the new and old tiles, and let dry.
- Great job – you’re done!
Repairing Without Replacing Tile
Repairs without replacing tile assume that there is no water damage to your foundation. These repairs are best for hairline fractures or when the damage to the tile is shallow. Fixing cracked tiles is a two-part project.
- Purchase paint which matches the color of your existing tiles.
- Clean the cracked tile before starting repairs for best results. If you use soap and water, let your tile thoroughly dry before you start working.
- Apply primer to the crack using a small paintbrush, a cotton swab, or a toothpick. Let dry.
- Apply your paint on top of the primer. Let dry.
- Once your paint and primer is dry, use clear epoxy to fill the crack. Don’t overfill the cracked area. When you are done, let it set for 24 hours.
- You’re done!
Tidal Wave Response
Water damage can easily destroy belongings and wreak havoc on the structure of your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it alone! Tidal Wave Response not only provides water removal and restoration services, we work with your insurance company so that you get as much coverage as possible! Best of all, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our emergency hotline.