Hi, I’ve decided to regrout and reseal our outdoors balcony due to loose grout and effervescent. I would like some advise on how to get started and products to use. I wouldn’t class myself as a handyman
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Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Geek1967. It's wonderful that you've joined us, and many thanks for your question on tile rejuvenation.
It would be handy for our members to know what you're working with when offering advice. Any chance you could post some images of the tiled area?
The first decision to make is whether you will patch the grout where it has fallen out or remove the existing grout and start again. You should find these step-by-step guides useful: How to remove grout and How to grout wall tiles. Although the grouting guide is for wall tiles, you'll find it a very similar process for the floor. Dunlop 1.5kg Flexible Coloured Grout would be a suitable product to use as it is designed for outdoor areas and balconies.
If these are glazed tiles, you really only need to seal the grout, and the Dunlop 250ml Grout Sealer comes in a convenient application bottle. If they are a sealed terracotta, you might need to look at stripping the existing sealer or testing to find out what was used initially.
Any idea where this efflorescence is coming from? Is it penetrating up from below the tiles, or is it flowing across their surface?
We look forward to hearing more details on your project and providing advice along the way.
Some of the grout looks ok so I’m not sure how to determine whether to remove it all or just the “crappy” loose bits. Fair bit of effluence to clean up too I was wondering what best to use on that. Yes the tiles are glazed. Thanks for the quick reply
You can take a flathead screwdriver and chase out the damaged grout portions until you hit solid material. If the grout crumbles easily whilst digging it out, then it needs to be removed. You'll not only need to take out the loose bits but also chase the grout back until it becomes solid. If you only remove the loose bits and fill, chances are the adjacent old grout with deteriorate within the next few years. If it does look like the majority of the grout has deteriorated, then your best bet is to pick up a multitool. Combined with a diamond blade similar to this one from Powefit, that will be the quickest option. I wouldn't advise using a manual grout remover unless it is just small sections.
Got the multi tool and POW fit as recommended. Started grinding and the old grout is like concrete. Hardly making a dent on it
Is this the damaged portion or other more solid areas of grout that are giving you difficulty? Is there gold-coloured carbide left on the edge of the blade, or can you see the steel?
Both portions both solid and damaged are giving me difficulty. I’ve only just stated using the blade, maybe 20 minutes trying different areas but it’s all solid. Blade is still good
Can I confirm that the blade is firmly attached to your multi-tool and that you're putting at least light pressure on the tool? Is the blade thin enough to only make contact with the grout and not the tiles on either side?
By using the multi-tool and carbide blade, it should be quite a fast and effective method. For instance, it should only take around 60 secs to cut out a 30cm length of grout. I've added an instructional video below to illustrate.