What's this on my tile?

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
370
Riverview, FL
#1
Pool installed last year. Most of the pool tile looks fine with exception of these two spots. I've tried scrubbing these areas with pumice stone and it helps to clean it up. But continues to come back, even during really​ dry winter. Tile line remains clean so don't think this is scaling. Is this efflorescence or something else? Any suggestions on how to treat area so it doesn't come back?








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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,910
Tallahassee, FL
#2
It is efflorescence. It is easy to clean but it is almost impossible to stop from coming back.

Cleaning-muratic acid 1 to 4 water. Remember that m.a. lowers PH but I don't think you will be using that much so it should not be a big worry.

Do you have any pics of your build in those areas? Can you tell what is behind those areas? IF you can figure out what is back there you might be able to dig to that area and water proof it so stop the moisture from pushing through to the tile.

Kim:kim:
 

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
370
Riverview, FL
#3
That area has the pool wall and then wall for enclosure footer with fill between. Here's picture from​ the build.



And here is currently (problem areas are too the left of each of the shear descents).


The winter here has been REALLY dry (only a couple of inches of rain since November) so I thought that, if this was efflorescence it wouldn't show up with the dry conditions. Just strange it's only in those two areas.


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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,910
Tallahassee, FL
#4
Interesting they are both to the left of the sheers.............Go look at your build pics real close.........could the sheers or water supply for the sheers be causing that? It is equal distance from each sheer for both spots?

Just thinking out loud up there.

Kim:kim:
 

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
370
Riverview, FL
#5
Good thought. The problem areas are different distance from the descents. I've also had the descents off since early November so no water supply to those for months. With dry winter and no water to the descents it had me really wondering why I'd have efflorescence showing up still. I thought maybe leakage from pool shell, but pool itself is holding water level relatively steady, only had drop of 4 inches or so in 5 months along with 2 inches of rain. Must be moisture coming from somewhere.
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,321
Sebring, Florida
#6
Rainwater could be seeping through your tile decking and then down to the substrate underneath. For some reason the path of least resistance is for that water to continue downward and finally go through your pool tile.

I would've suspected a leak in the supply to the sheers but you say they have been off.

Efflorescence eventually goes away as the mineral supply gets used up. It may take a long time, though.

Clean it with muriatic and observe it
 

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
370
Riverview, FL
#7
Thanks to both Kim and Duraleigh. Is there concern with putting the diluted MA solution on the grout? I'm not concerned with a little extra MA in my pool, I'm dropping in about a cup a week as pH continues to run up to 8+ each test.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,910
Tallahassee, FL
#8
If you rinse it very well it should be find. You can also use a cloth to rub the m.a. on just the tile. It will take longer but if you are worried this will help ease your mind.

Kim:kim:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,079
Evans, Georgia
#10
The plants behind the birdcage get watered, right? Could the sprinkler be soaking the ground there too much since its fairly close to the pool edge?

Just wondering.... :scratch:

Yippee :flower:
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
#11
That close up of your grout indicates it needs whitening. The muriatic may do that anyway or you may have to clean it with detergent to get a color match. Just rinse the tile/grout off right away and it'll be fine.

The muriatic will also eat just about any cloth you use. I have used a "deck brush" that is acid proof.
 

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
370
Riverview, FL
#12
The plants behind the birdcage get watered, right? Could the sprinkler be soaking the ground there too much since its fairly close to the pool edge?

Just wondering.... :scratch:

Yippee :flower:
Hmmm.... I don't think so, the sprinkler for plants is a drip line. There's two concrete walls that water would have to pass through, the outer footer wall and the pool wall. Ground there is not saturated by checking soil around plants.

- - - Updated - - -

That close up of your grout indicates it needs whitening. The muriatic may do that anyway or you may have to clean it with detergent to get a color match. Just rinse the tile/grout off right away and it'll be fine.

The muriatic will also eat just about any cloth you use. I have used a "deck brush" that is acid proof.
The grout is not white, it's a beige color to tie in with the pavers. I do need to get into the pool and get a brush to the grout, hopefully water gets warm enough here in next couple weeks.