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The risks of Epoxy Grout Residue and the challenges of Epoxy Grout Haze Removal

The risks of Epoxy Grout Residue
and the challenges of Epoxy Grout Haze Removal

Epoxy grout has become much more popular in recent years.  With their stain resistant and crack resistant properties and and superior leveling properties epoxy grouts were a great choice for commercial environments.  Now, with new technologies, expanded color palates and more big companies with epoxy offerings, epoxy gout is on the verge of going mainstream.

However, epoxy grout is tricky to install and an unseasoned or unknowing installer could easily get into trouble.  The most problematic of which is epoxy grout residue which leads to a hazy, dirty look that is difficult to almost impossible to remove – depending on the time it remains on the floor.

Epoxy Grout Haze Residue or Epoxy Grout Haze Removal is more timing than anything else.  Before it is possible to discuss epoxy residue or haze removal it is necessary to understand that epoxy whether it’s 100 % solids epoxy or epoxy emulsion has at least two components.  The reactive polymer and a hardener or maybe a third component as a filler or possibly it is part of the reactive polymer.

Now that we understand there is a chemical reaction involved, hence it is all about the timing.   Since there’re hundreds of variations of formula, reactivity varies.  But as a general rule many epoxy grouts are similar in that the residue or haze needs to be removed in the first 24 hours or becomes very difficult.  If in fact the residue or haze is not removed in the final cleaning, steps needed to be made to remove sooner rather than later.

If the manufacturer of the epoxy does not have a haze remover (most do) then an economical method of removal is with TSP (Tri sodium phosphate) in as warm of water as can be tolerated.  This typically works well in the first 24 hours, before the chemical cure is complete.  Keep in mind most acid or low PH cleaners have no effect on epoxies, plus they may damage the tile or stone.  A more powerful cleaner such as a citrus cleaner may do the trick but there maybe a residue to be removed from the citrus cleaner depending on concentration. This residue can typically be removed with warm water and a mild brush or pad to agitate.

If the residue or haze still remains, it is best to get the manufacturer or a reputable consultant involved. Always, always test cleaning materials and methods before taking on a large area.

Sam J. Hibbs CTC Refer to:

TCNA: Grout selection guide

ANSI A108.6 or A118.3 or

NTCA: Grouting with 100% solids epoxy.