Understanding the Chemistry Behind Pool Surface Finishes
Your pool’s surface finish is one of the most important aspects of its appearance and durability. It’s also the first line of defense against algae, bacteria, and other contaminants. That’s why it’s important to understand the chemistry behind pool surface finishes so you can choose the right one for your pool and maintain it properly.
Types of Pool Surface Finishes
There are three main types of pool surface finishes:
- Plaster: Plaster is the most common type of pool surface finish. It’s made of a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Plaster is a versatile finish that can be applied to any type of pool, but it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
- Aggregate: Aggregate finishes are made of small pieces of stone, glass, or other materials that are embedded in a binder. Aggregate finishes are more durable than plaster and require less maintenance, but they can be more expensive.
- Tile: Tile is the most durable type of pool Phoenix Pool Resurfacing surface finish, but it’s also the most expensive. Tile is available in a wide variety of colors and materials, so you can create a truly unique look for your pool.
Chemistry of Pool Surface Finishes
The chemistry of pool surface finishes varies depending on the type of finish.
- Plaster: Plaster is a porous material, which means that it can absorb water and chemicals. This porosity can make plaster susceptible to staining and etching. However, plaster is also relatively easy to repair.
- Aggregate: Aggregate finishes are less porous than plaster, which makes them more resistant to staining and etching. However, aggregate finishes can be more difficult to repair if they are damaged.
- Tile: Tile is the least porous of the three main types of pool surface finishes. This makes it very resistant to staining and etching. However, tile can be difficult to repair if it is cracked or broken.
How Pool Chemistry Affects Pool Surface Finishes
The chemistry of your pool water can have a significant impact on the appearance and lifespan of your pool surface finish.
- pH: The pH of your pool water should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is too low, the water will be acidic and can corrode your pool surface finish. If the pH is too high, the water will be alkaline and can form scale deposits on your pool surface finish.
- Chlorine: Chlorine is used to sanitize pool water and kill algae and bacteria. However, too much chlorine can damage your pool surface finish. Chlorine levels should be maintained between 1.5 and 3.0 ppm.
- Calcium hardness: Calcium hardness is a measure of the amount of calcium dissolved in your pool water. Calcium hardness levels should be between 200 and 400 ppm. If the calcium hardness is too low, the water will try to leach calcium from your pool surface finish, which can lead to etching and pitting. If the calcium hardness is too high, scale deposits can form on your pool surface finish.
How to Maintain Your Pool Surface Finish
The best way to maintain your pool surface finish is to test your pool water regularly and balance the chemicals as needed. You should also brush your pool regularly to remove algae and debris.
Here are some additional tips for maintaining your pool surface finish:
- Plaster: Plaster should be acid washed every 1-2 years to remove stains and scale deposits.
- Aggregate: Aggregate finishes should be sealed every 1-2 years to protect them from staining and etching.
- Tile: Tile is relatively low-maintenance, but you should still brush it regularly to remove algae and debris. You should also inspect the tile regularly for cracks or chips.
Troubleshooting Pool Surface Finishes
If you notice any problems with your pool surface finish, it’s important to identify the cause and take corrective action immediately.
- Staining: Staining can be caused by a variety of factors, including algae, bacteria, metals, and chemicals. To remove stains, you may need to acid wash your pool surface finish or use a commercial stain remover.
- Etching: Etching is caused by acidic water. To prevent etching, maintain your pool water’s pH between 7.2 and 7.8.
- Scaling: Scaling is caused by high levels of calcium hardness or other minerals in the pool water. To remove scale deposits, you may need to acid wash your pool surface finish or use a commercial scale remover.
Understanding the chemistry behind pool surface finishes can help you choose the right finish for your pool and maintain it properly. By testing your pool water regularly and balancing the chemicals as needed, you can keep your pool surface finish looking its best for years to come.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when choosing and maintaining a pool surface finish: