- How to Remove Black Stains From a Pool's Water Line
- How to Clean Pool Tile and Grout
- How to Clean the Ring Around the Pool Tile
- How to Remove Calcification From Pool Tile
- How to Tile a Swimming Pool
- How to Seal a Tile Pool
- How to Seal a Concrete Floor Before Applying Vinyl Tile
- How to Use a Chipping Hammer
- How to Prepare Concrete for Vinyl Tile
If you have an unsightly black ring around the waterline of your pool, this is known as "scale." Scale forms from a mixture of mineral deposits, body oil, dirt, scum and other debris. Removing scale with conventional cleaners is very difficult, but there are a few products available, like First Aid, Power Blue, Off the Wall and Jack's Magic Blue Stuff, that are specially formulated to remove scale from tile and waterlines. Despite these products' effectiveness, removing scale is time consuming and requires a lot of elbow grease.
Apply your preferred waterline and tile cleaner to the black ring. Do not coat the entire ring with the substance at once. Coat about 1 foot of the ring and let it sit for about five minutes.
Scour the stain with a scrub brush. The chemicals in the waterline and tile cleaner will break the stain down to a certain extent, but you will still have to scrub with some force to completely remove the stain.
Scrub the stain with a pumice stone. Pool supply stores sell pumice stones with handles made specifically for cleaning tile and waterlines. Scrub until the stain disappears. If the stain persists, coat with more cleaner and scrub with the pumice stone.
Repeat the entire process until you have made your way around the entire waterline of the pool.
Test the chlorine in the water to make sure it is at the recommended level. You can purchase test kits at any local discount store.
Rub a chlorine tablet on discolored or mildewed grout. This should take care of any minor discolorations.
Rent a glass bead blaster to blast calcium deposits off the pool tile.
Scrub the tile once a week with a special tile brush that attaches to your pool pole.
Purchase a pool vacuum and leave it running each day for at least 4 hours. You can even leave it on while you swim.
Put on protective gloves and eye wear to prevent contact with caustic acid.
Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle.
Spray the vinegar directly on the scale, or mineral deposits and scum, from around the water line on your pool tile.
Scrape large portions of scale away from the pool tile with a putty knife.
Scrub away the scale from the pool tile with a pumice stone.
Put on protective gloves and eye wear.
Fill a spray bottle with undiluted muriatic acid.
Spray the muriatic acid on a specific area along the ring around the pool tile.
Scrape large portions of scale away from the pool tile with a putty knife.
Scrub the scale off of the pool tile with a pumice stone.
Put on gloves and eye protection when planning to get rid of calcification on your swimming pool tiles. The chemicals you will be handling can be very harsh.
Conduct a water analysis with a pool test kit to determine the pH level of your pool. If the water is out of range, it can cause deposits to build up. Ideally you want the level to be at 7.2. If it is too low, use a substance like sodium carbonate. For a pH level that's too high, add muriatic acid. Follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer for dosing.
Use a swimming pool tile cleaner. As an example, you can purchase Scale B Gone through an online cleaning supply company like Always Brilliant. The cleaner is available in gel form and should be squirted onto the areas of your pool tile that have calcification. Spread the pool tile cleaner using a paintbrush to make sure you get as much of the tile covered as possible.
Wait several minutes and then rinse off the residue with clean water. If the calcification returns, you may need to reapply the cleaner.
Buy some new pool tile. You can either do this at your local home and garden store or online (see Resources below).
Turn off all electricity going to any items in the pool (light, filter, heater) before you drain the pool: the sudden loss of water would damage this equipment if it were still receiving an electrical current.
Drain your swimming pool using a submergible pump. You will want to check with your city first to find out if you will be able to drain your pool water into your street--as that water goes to the ocean--or if you must drain your pool water into the sewer.
Separate the old tile from the wall of the pool with a small flat chisel. Wear heavy-duty work gloves to protect your hands so you don't cut them with the chisel.
Chip away any harder to remove tiles by using a chipping hammer. Place the tip partially beneath any loose part of a stuck tile and carefully pry it free. Do this as gently as possible as you do not want to leave big gouges in the plaster where the tile was set.
Smooth over the surface with your trowels by using plaster or white thinset. Fill in any holes.
Apply white thinset to attach the tiles (see Resources below). Trowel in and smooth over the tiles--taking care not to move them--using corner and edge trowel tools.
Affix the grout using white thinset, once the tiles are set firm to the swimming pool.
Drain the pool of water. Allow it to dry completely before applying the sealant.
Choose a matte or glossy finish sealant. This is a matter of preference on the look and will not have any consequence on the final sealing of the tile. Make sure you don't use a water-based sealant in a pool, for it can erode in the water over time.
Put on mask or respirator. Since most pools are outside, you should have ample ventilation. Sealant can give off noxious fumes.
Apply the sealant with a paint brush. Keep the coat even and make sure you cover everything with a smooth coat over the tile and grout.
Allow the sealant to dry for 24 hours.
Apply a second coat of sealant in the same fashion as you did in Step 4. Allow this to dry for 24 hours prior to refilling the pool with water.
Cut open a tube of urethane caulk at the tip using a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife. Use a nail or stiff wire to puncture the seal, then load the tube into a caulking gun.
Squeeze a bead of caulk 1/4-inch thick or less directly into a crack in the concrete. Maintain continuous pressure as you draw the caulking gun along the length of the crack, smoothing the sealant with the tip of the tube as you go.
Apply a foam backer rod to cracks larger than 1/4 inch. Use a backer rod slightly thicker than the targeted crack so it conforms to the gap.
Insert the backer rod into the crack and push it firmly below the surface of the concrete floor. Repeat the same process for sealing the concrete, with the foam as support for the urethane caulk.
Smooth the caulk with a spatula or another slick tool such as the back of an old spoon. Level the sealant with the concrete and allow it to dry overnight.
Read all the manufacturer's directions. It's imperative you know all about your specific chipping hammer to avoid personal injury and property damage.
Use proper safety equipment. Chipping hammers throw debris and dust, and in the case of concrete demolition, caustic chemicals as well. Be sure you have heavy duty gloves, long sleeves and long pants, and most importantly, safety goggles to protect your eyes and a mask to protect your lungs.
Grease your bit. Use the bit grease that came with your chipping hammer or buy the grease recommended by the manufacturer.
Install the proper chisel for the job. If you're cutting wood, be sure to use a wood chisel, for instance. Also make sure the chisel is properly sized for the job. Use a smaller chisel for removing grout and a larger one for removing tile.
Clean your chipping hammer after the job is done. Because of the dust and debris made with a chipping hammer, it's imperative that it be cleaned properly after every job. This gives your chipping hammer's motor the longest life possible.
Vacuum or sweep the concrete thoroughly to remove all loose dirt and dust. Vinyl tile must have a clean surface in order for the adhesive to bond permanently.
Clean any ground in soil, oil wax, grease or other stains, using a household de-greaser and rinsing completely. Allow it to air dry.
Fill or patch any cracks or holes with a concrete patching compound, as recommended by the tile manufacturer.
Level any low spots on the concrete with a self-leveling compound, as recommended by the tile manufacturer.