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Vintage Quarry Tile floor problems

Asked by peter east from woking: Hi Doc., We have a 1916 vintage quarry tile floor.There was significant wear in the kitchen doorway areas so we opted to try self levelling cement to fill the dips some years ago and covered the whole floor with vinyl. This was fine initially but then we noticed that gradually mildew and mould patches are slowly creeping along the underside and into the vinyl and is now pretty rank ! My question is, do you think we have a damp problem or is it that quarry tiles should not be covered with vinyl(ie need to breathe)? If it is just basically damp....is there any other option than digging the whole floor up and retiling, plus a membrain ?? Fearing the worst ! Pete

TileProf says: It does sound like a Damp problem, you can do what you have suggested and rip it all up, concrete included and then add a Damp proof system, and then re-tile, carpet etc. Or you could take up the Vinyl, have the floor Tiles cleaned Professionally, and then seal with a Breathable sealer, this doesn't get rid of the damp problem, but instead works with it, The sealer allows Moisture vapour transmission through the Tiles and sealer and then the excess is wiped off, this sort of work is best done in dried conditions though as the sealer needs to dry in properly before it can work effectively. Russell Taylor Tile Doctor Ltd

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