Maintaining the quality and clarity of your swimming pool water requires regular attention to the condition of your pool tiles. The key factor in enhancing water clarity is the daily maintenance and monitoring of these tiles.
Swimming Pool Tile Maintenance: Ensuring Longevity and Clarity
Monitoring pH Levels
One of the most critical aspects of tile maintenance is monitoring pH levels. Keeping pH values in check significantly prolongs the life of both the tiles and their joints. Failing to do so can result in corrosion along the tile joints, leading to the tiles’ disintegration.
As these joints open up, water infiltrates, reaching the adhesive layer, which weakens the bond between tiles and the adhesive. Eventually, tiles may start to chip and break away. The use of vacuum and brushing can accelerate this chipping process, and dislodged tiles can end up in the pool pump’s prefilter. Neglecting this issue can reduce pump suction and ultimately lead to pump blockage.
When you notice partial joint openings, it is highly advisable to perform maintenance promptly, as it incurs lower costs and prevents damage to the tile layer. Ignoring this issue can result in deeper joint openings and further water penetration into the adhesive layer.
Common Pool Tile Types
The most commonly used pool tiles are Venetian glass mosaics and transparent glass mosaics, typically 4 mm thick. Proper installation with epoxy-filled joints and diligent water maintenance can extend their lifespan to a maximum of 4 to 6 years before regrouting becomes necessary.
If unsanded water-repellent grouts mixed with polymer liquid are used for joint filling, the lifespan reduces to 3 to 4 years at most. However, inadequate water maintenance can corrode the tile joints, as these materials do not react with the tiles. This is why glass or ceramic tiles are preferred in chemically treated swimming pool environments.
Causes of Corrosion
The frequent changes in pH and chlorination without monitoring free chlorine levels are the main culprits behind tile joint corrosion. While epoxy grouts can last 15 to 20 years on external walls or floors, they deteriorate much earlier when used inside the pool.
Porcelain mosaics or ceramic pool tiles have a longer lifespan due to their thickness (approximately 6 to 8 mm). However, their thicker joints require more epoxy than glass mosaics.
Importance of Maintenance
For those with tiled pool surfaces, it’s essential to consider regular maintenance. Neglecting this can lead to serious tile damage, including chipped tiles, posing potential safety hazards to pool users.
Repairing Damaged Tiles
When damage to the plastering/screed layer occurs, extensive repairs are needed, including chipping existing tiles and redoing the plastering layer. Damages to waterproof coatings or membranes will also necessitate their replacement.
Removing damaged tiles should be done with caution, as any harm to the plastering layer could result in damage to the waterproofing membrane.
In conclusion, adhering to swimming pool tile maintenance schedules and monitoring water parameters is crucial. Timely joint filling can prevent unnecessary downtime and expenses.
How to Regrout Swimming Pool Tiles?
- Drain the Pool: Begin by emptying the pool of water.
- Acid Wash: Perform an acid wash to remove loose substances and dirt from the tiles and their joints. During this process, any loose tiles may become dislodged. While some loose tiles can be refixed, others may require new tile sheets.
- Tile Repair: After the acid wash, reattach any chipped-off tiles.
- Grout Refill: Fill the joints using either epoxy grout or unsanded water-repellent grout mixed with polymer liquid.
- Curing: Allow for the required curing time, typically 8-10 days for epoxy and 4-6 days for polymer liquid-added grout.
- Refill and Commission: Once the curing is complete, refill the pool with water and commission it for use.