Please Help!! Terrible tile install with algae growing behind it!

littlepatoot

New member
May 29, 2021
2
Wilmington, NC
Hi guys,

I need some serious guidance here.. my pool installer did a terrible job installing our waterline tile on our saltwater fiberglass pool which we installed last fall. What seemed like just a sloppy install is not turning into a algae borne mess... it seems water is now behind lots of our glass tiles and there are now green and what looks like dark growth behind the tile. It looks terrible and makes me upset every time I’m in the pool!!! I have little kiddos and now I’m scared that we are putting them at risk.
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Is there any way to salvage this and treat it somehow or is this a bust all together? Seems like we may need to just remove it all but I don’t know where to start and if this will destroy the fiberglass coat if we start taking it off... what do you think?
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Any related experiences or input related to this is GREATLY appreciated.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,949
Sydney, NSW, Australia
As long as your water is chlorinated properly, your children are safe. Algae is an annoyance primarily, and the fact it's growing there will likely require more vigilance on pool water chlorine water level, but nothing you wouldn't need to do otherwise. Algae in the pool water is the canary in the coalmine, letting you know that bacteria may not be getting killed as fast as it should be. One concern out of the way. :)

As far as aesthetics, if it was mine, I'd remove it and replace with an opaque tile. I'm no fashion expert, but perhaps grey would achieve a similar look. Be sure to kill all the algae when it's off.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,037
Tallahassee, FL
Hi :( I am so sorry we are meeting like this.

I have to say this is a first for me. It is a mess. Sure looks like water got behind the tile and stayed there thus allowing algae to grow since no chlorine could get back there to keep it out.

Really and truly what needs to happen is the PB come back out and fix it like @needsajet says.

IF he will not come out there is one thing I THINK might work is to get a turkey baster. Fill it with chlorine and squirt it all around the tiles to see if you can get any back there to kill the algae.
 

littlepatoot

New member
May 29, 2021
2
Wilmington, NC
Thanks so much for your quick replies!!! I would love it if we had a good enough relationship with our PB to get this resolved but they just made mistakes at every turn. So I don’t really know where to turn to get it resolved? Can you remove it yourself and if so - anybody know what to use or try?

I like the turkey baster idea @kimkats! I have a saltwater pool, so I’m only really used to the bags of salt - would you recommend me buy liquid clorine and try it with that? Would that do anything to my system? We are newbies and still learning all of this stuff..

Even if I clean it though and that works - the tile isn’t properly adheared if this happened in the first place, right? Or do you think trying to blast it clean and keeping our levels up would solve it?

I REAAALLLLY appreciate your time and patience helping point me in the right direction!!! ❤️❤️❤️
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,018
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! The tile work is unacceptable. The corner cuts are amateur at best, and the fact that water is getting behind them show that there is not good adhesion. I'm surprised they have not started falling off! The tiles may just pop off if you work a plastic scraper or spatula behind it. Be careful not to break the tiles. Did they use clear silicone instead of grout? You may want to check with local pool repair companies and see if they would give you a quote to replace the tile. Glass tiles are a little trickier to work with, so if someone tells you they are not sure if they can do glass tile, don't try and have them do glass tile. Find someone who can or pick another style of tile. As long as you keep chlorine within recommended levels you have a safe, sanitary pool. Algae behind the tile is just unsightly. I hope you are able to get it fixed soon!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,037
Tallahassee, FL
I am going to call in a couple of people who may have some ideas. @jimmythegreek @ajw22 any thoughts?

Now throw the kids in and let them swim so they will sleep good while we teach you how to make your pool a TFP!

How are you adding chlorine to your pool now?

I am going to give you a link to help you learn the pool language:

 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,433
Northern NJ
No way to fix that tile job and salvage it. Best to pop the tiles off and start all over with a different tile.

Novaguard should be used to mount tile onto fiberglass pools. Glass tiles are not a good choice on fiberglass pools. There is no way with a glass tile you can see through to hide the adhesive necessary for a good mounting.

 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,847
Morris Cnty NJ
Glass tile that size should have never been used. On a rounded corner pool only 1x1 tile will lay nice. Personally I'm not a fan of tile on a fiberglass pool. Usually done to hide out of level installs. They should pop right off with a scraper blade. I would redo it with proper materials
 
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