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I think its time to discuss a little information about pool tile cleaning, the way its done, and how to keep your tile looking nice after the cleaning process is done.
My name is Gabe, I own a company by the name of Pool Rehab, http://www.poolrehab.com we specialize in pool tile cleaning and calcium removal and we have cleaned over 1300 pools and counting. It seems like there are a lot more people asking about the bead blasting process vs. the mineral blasting process…. Pool Rehab offers both processes so we are very informed on both. I would like to take a moment to talk and discuss the 2 different processes and see if I cant clear up some of the questions.
Bead blasting is the most common way to clean pool tile. It is fast, effective, and affordable. There are some questions about beads etching tile though. The etching process can definitely be an issue if the person blasting doesn’t have the proper equipment or is not familiar with the process. As long as I blast tile at 40 psi with a large amount of volume it will do no damage at all. We use glass beads to clean 99% of our customers pools.
Mineral blasting or soda blasting is done at around 2500-3500 psi. The process is very slow, and very expensive. Almost double the cost. We use this process when working indoors (showers also) and when a builder has decided to put in travertine or granite instead of the typical ceramic pool tile. The problem is that when pool tile is cleaned at 2500-3500 psi there is substantial risk in blowing the tile right of the wall.
Some folks out there have said that beads can get into your filter causing damage… This would be true if the company cleaning your pool tile did not vacuum your pool afterwards with a separate pump and filter.
Mineral blasting has been rumored to leaving your pool with out any clean up necessary… However, if you leave baking soda mineral in your water it actually neutralize the chemicals, forcing you to drain your entire pool. With the cost of water, this puts a mineral blasting process at nearly triple the price of a bead blasting. As I see it, since the calcium will always return, it proves that spending the extra money on a mineral blasting might equal the price of all new tile after you have it done twice.
Pool tile will inevitably always end up with a calcium build up regardless of how well you maintain your pool. There are certain factors that can increase the amount of calcium and the speed in which it comes as well as factors that prolong it. Either way you will at some point in the life of your pool need to clean your tile. The question is, what is the best way to do it?
Often times you will turn to your pool service company and ask them if they can clean it. In most situations they will tell you no and recommend that you do it yourself with various products. Currently the most popular do it yourself method for cleaning pool tile is pumice stone. There is a product called Pool Block that is very popular. You use this stone to scrub away the build up that has accumulated on to the tile. There are a few drawbacks with this method however. First being that it is very time consuming, an average size pool will take you 5 to 6 hours to clean, and in most situations you won’t be fully satisfied with the results. The second issue is that the stone quickly crumbles and you need to make sure that you buy a large amount. The average price of these pumice stones is $5.00 to $12.00 each, so the price can add up very fast. The last concern is the depth of your pool. If your pool is more than 5 feet deep you are going to find it very frustrating to clean the tile in the deep end. And most important, when you clean with these types of stones you are very prone to scratching the tiles. Scratched tile will develop calcium much faster because there will now be a course surface to build on too, therefore increasing thespeed in which the calcium returns.
When it comes to your home you want to protect your investment and take the best care possible of it. In a situation like this you are better off hiring a professional company to do the work for you. You will find that there is very little cost difference when you add the price of the products plus the time it will take, as well as your dissatisfaction with the end result in doing it yourself. Pool tile cleaning company’s offer a quality service specializing in the removal of calcium in a process that will not damage the tile. Once the tile is cleaned they will then seal the tile, bringing it back to its original beauty.
The process of glass bead blasting is something that should be done by a professional company, and they should run their equipment in a way that will not cause damage to your tiles. This process is ran through a compressor at an approximate PSI of 40. They will come to your property, measure your pool and then charge you based off of a price per linear foot. The pool water only needs to be lowered 6 inches from the tile line. They will then blast the tile removing all of the calcium and then finish the job with a sealant. They will then vacuum the bead from the bottom of your pool, leaving your pool looking brand new again.
Similar to your carpet, there are many things that you can do to keep it in the best possible condition by taking great care of it with thorough maintenance, but at some point you have to bring in someone to professionally clean it. This is a very similar scenario. Proper maintenance will keep your pool and tile looking great, but at some point you will need to remove the calcium build up. Rather than wasting time, money and energy doing it yourself do some research and look for a local pool tile cleaning company to come out and do an estimate for you and discuss the service. Most companies will do a free estimate, and many offer discounts to repeat clients.
This blog was created by http://www.poolrehab.com to help clear up a lot of questions regarding pool tile cleaning, calcium removal, and bead blasting. The most important issue to discuss first is the rumors about the different methods.
There a two, only two, ways to efficiently remove calcium from pool tile. http://www.Poolrehab.com is experienced in both methods and still uses both methods to do the job. This makes us a reliable source to discus the topic on which one is better.
The first of the two steps is the most popular. It is known as bead blasting. This method can be very effective if done right. The key in performing this method is using the right pressure. We recommend this process be done at no higher then 40 psi. It takes very good equipment to blast at this pressure so be fearful of small companies and pool service companies that have added this to their list of services they now perform. It should only be done by “pool tile cleaning” specialists. Most companies who are not experienced will blast at 80-120 psi. This can be very damaging and needs to be regulated.
Method two of this discussion is known as soda blasting. It is usually performed at 2500-3500 psi. We use this process when cleaning indoors or on strong stone such as granite or marble. This process is also safe on the tile but because of the amount of pressure 1 out of 5 pools has the tile come completely off. It seems all pool tile is loose somewhere, mainly because of the fact that it is outside, it is vertical, and it is submerged in water, 3 factors that any engineer would tell you to stay away from. We recommend that if you use this process you should also plan on draining the water. Baking Soda can neutralize the water making chemicals go stagnant.
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