Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Surface efflorescence on ceramic tiles is not a flaw

Recently another tile manufacturer asked us to review a claim of defective tiles.  

The pool owner's representative was making an assertion that the ceramic tiles on the top of a spa dam wall were defective, as the glaze was changing colors due to UV and chemical exposure.
Tiles at tile of installation (click on image to enlarge)

Tiles after repeated wet/dry cycles (click on image to enlarge)
After reviewing the images of the tiles, immediately following their initial installation and present day, it became readily apparent what the cause of the discoloration was.

Efflorescence (or mineral build up) is not considered a defect.  It is a due to the lack of routine removal of mineral build up.  Much like the waters spots that form on dishes or glassware in a dishwasher, this mineral build up does not mean that the dishes or glassware are defective.  Some efflorescence may be coming from the grout or thinset.  But in any case, the tiles are not defective.

Special cleaning services are available that will remove calcium and mineral build up.  Most pool service companies offer these services at an additional charge.  Routine weekly brushing of the tile will not prevent mineral or calcium build up, so the pool service is not to blame either.

As the water evaporates, it leaves a film of minerals behind.  Over time these minerals begin to make the tile appear hazy white.

Some white efflorescence is even visible in the grout joints, before the pool was even completed.

The solution?  Pay someone to remove the mineral build up.  It's a maintenance issue!

Paolo Benedetti, SWD, Principal
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa
 International Swimming Pool Consulting and Design, Aquatic Consulting, Watershape Consultants, Expert Witness, Hydraulic Design, Landscape Architecture, Construction Management
Office: 408-776-8220
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