An Alternative Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning Method
Why Clean Swimming Pool Tiles?
For those fortunate enough to own a private swimming pool there is no doubt that the biggest chore is keeping the thing in a clean and serviceable condition. If the pool is outdoors and uncovered, it will be a magnet for all the wind blown debris there is including dust, leaves and rubbish.
When researching for information about the subject, it seems that the advice from many pool owners is to fill it in with soil and use it as a vegetable bed! Yet having a swimming pool is for many people something to strive for and most will enjoy its use - if disliking the regular cleaning necessary. However, if a disciplined approach and attention to detail is adopted, it is not necessarily such a time wasting exercise as some think.
Particulate matter will hopefully be filtered or vacuumed out and the effects of dissolved substances negated by recommended doses of disinfectant and flocculants. However, how on earth do you get rid of the scum and grime that builds up on the tiles and cannot be easily wiped away?
It is surprising how many people get fed up with their swimming pool. They even fill them in. This is often because the maintenance required seems too much. However, if a regular routine is adopted and dirt is not allowed to build up, any swimming pool will not only last for many years but will be easy to keep clean and, more important, healthy to use.
Pool tile cleaning
One of the most effective methods for cleaning swimming pool tiles is to scub them with a scrubbing brush. This can be done at the end of each season if and when the swimming pool is drained. The trouble is that many swimming pools are kept full all through the year, particularly if water costs are high or the pool is indoors and in use all the time.
It seems a little bit of overkill to actually go to the trouble of employing scuba divers to scrub the pool underwater, but in fact this can be a very good idea indeed! A suba diver can stay under the water in a swimming pool for a couple of hours on a single modest tank of air as his air consumption is nbot great at those shallow depths. The diver is more likely to feel the chill before he runs out of air unless he is wearing full scuba wetsuits or drysuits - however in a reasonably warm swimming pool with a light wetsuit he will be relatively comfortable and have freedom of movement for quite a long time.
It is surprising how much area of swimming pool can be scrubbed in a couple of hours. Working across the pool and back using the pool tiles as a guide, the biggest areas of the pool can quickly be scrubbed. Two hours would be long enough for a scuba diver to clean the large areas of tiles in a ereasonably sized pool - say 10 to 15 yards long by 5 to 8 yards wide.
How to Remove Calcium deposits on Pool Tiles
Calcium deposits on your pool tiles indicate high calcium levels in the water. If your water used to top up the pool is hard this is probably the reason. You keep topping up as the water evaporates and the calcium concentrations increase. It is better to prevent this build up if possible by keeping the calcium concentrations below about 150 ppm. If the concentration is above 400 ppm then not only will you have deposits building up but the water will look cloudy also!
Propriety calcium deposit removers can be purchased from any good swimming pool supplier and before using test the level of calcium in your water using a simple chemical analysis test kit, also readily available from the supplier.
Warning - the cleaner will be acid based as it will be reacting with the calcium carbonate deposits (similar to limescale on your kettle). A Muriatic acid wash works very well. Use rubber gloves and always wear goggles when handling acid as well as a mask that covers your nose and mouth - do not attempt to use with bear legs and arms, better don old clothing or overalls.
Always - test a small area to ensure that the cleaner works and doesn't damage the tiles.
Preventing limescale - keep the pH (measure of acidity or alkalinity) to around 7.2 - slightly below will prevent build up as this is becoming acidic. Testing the pH of a swimming pool is part of the routine maintenance and fluctuations will show that something is wrong - products are available to buffer the pH at around 7.2.
How to Clean Pool Tile and Grout
Assuming that you are able to drain your pool for maintenance, a thorough clean at this time makes sense. One of the best ways to ensure that your pool stays clean is to ensure that the recommended chemical parameters of the water are monitored regularly. When the nature of water changes it encourages changes which appear as "dirt". For example, allowing the pH to rise above 7.2 will encourage build up of calcium deposits in hard water areas. Allowing chlorine levels to fall can allow bacteria to thrive creating scum on the tile surfaces.
Grout is porous and so any dirt build up can be more difficult to remove than from pool tiles. A useful trick for cleaning grout is to bleach it with a strong chlorine based bleach "Chloros" or thick bleach used around the house (remember to rinse well and watch those eyes, nose and mouth as always!). Alternatively you can rub a chlorine tablet onto discoloured grout or mildew for similar effect.
If your pool is particularly dirty at the end of a season you may need to rent a glass bead blaster to blast the calcium deposits from the pool tiles. However, pool tile cleaning is much easier if every week you run over the whole tile area with a special tile scrubbing brush - this can attache to your pool pole or much easier as described above - why not scuba dive to carry out your pool tile cleaning? A couple of hours every week and there is no need to drain and scrub the pool at the end of each season!
Cleaning Pools As A Business?
There is a clear business opportunity in cleaning swimming pools. It is one of those jobs that people hate and so if you can develop techniques to clean them - efficiently - you could easily build up a local practice in an area that has a high swimming pool density.