Your dream pool is gorgeous, now how do you keep it looking like new?

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If you love the beautiful shimmer of glass tile in water, you should definitely incorporate it into your new pool/spa!  There is nothing more beautiful than the vibrant sparkle of iridescent/metallic glass tile in a pool.  Just be sure to have a realistic plan for maintenance so that you get to enjoy your installation for years to come!

Much like good oral hygiene, good pool tile maintenance is all about being proactive.  If maintenance begins after issues become an eyesore, you’re in for an investment of time, money and pain.  

And they just don’t make a laughing gas for pool repairs.

 

 

 

 

#1 BRUSHING.

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We recommend that all glass tile waterlines be brushed – and I mean physically brushed with a brush or scrubby- once a week.  Maybe more during hot summer months!  This should happen when the maintenance tech comes regularly and should be added to the ordinary regimen of chemical tests and leaf scooping.  It should take between 10 – 20 minutes to brush the waterline of a nice big pool.  This is extra work and you may be charged accordingly.

Now, finding a maintenance company that will brush the waterline religiously can be a challenge, and you may have to check in on the work – if you see buildup occurring over time, it’s important to find out what is going on.

If the tech is brushing regularly, and buildup is occurring quickly, it could be an indication of a water chemistry issue, and it’s time to investigate.

#2 EQUIPMENT OPERATION.

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Luxury pools include all sorts of fun features that can lead to excessive mineral deposits.

For example, perimeter overflows sometimes cycle on and off to save energy or run a cleaning cycle.  Minerals are left behind each time the water dries/evaporates.  If the goal is to reduce mineral buildup, overflow features should run 100% of the time.

The photo here shows the result of cycling water and mineral buildup that remains over time. This isn’t coming off.  At this point the tile is etched and will never look the same as it did when it was new.

These operation and maintenance costs are an integral part of a luxury pool.  It’s like owning a Ferrari.  When it comes to maintenance on your new luxury car,  do you go to a certified Ferrari mechanic and pay a premium for parts and labor?  Absolutely.  It’s part of what makes Ferrari ownership a true luxury.

#3. PROTECTION.

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Let’s talk about that Ferrari again.  If you bought a brand new car for recreational use, how would you protect it when not in use?  Would you park it in the garage?  Ideally.  If you had to store it outside, would you at least cover it?  I hope so.

Same goes for your glass tile water feature.  For best results, protect it when not in use.  Do what you can to cover it effectively.  It’s a harsh world out there.  Add the effects of water and chemicals, it makes sense to do what you can to protect your investment.

#4. CLEANERS.

If you find yourself behind the eight ball when it comes to mineral deposits, what products can be used on glass tile?

Here’s our short-list. There  are other cleaners, but these are the ones we use with success.

NOTE:  ALWAYS test the product on a spare tile or in an inconspicuous area.

1. Vinegar, diluted with water 1:1

2. Oceancare product line – Calcium Releaser.  The solution needs to stay wet.  If it evaporates, it loses its potency.  We put a small piece of plastic wrap over the area to keep it moist.

3. Sulfamic Acid, diluted per the instructions on the container.  This works, but it IS acid, and it should definitely be tested out in an inconspicuous area before general use.  You never know how a tile glaze or iridescent finish will react until you test it.  Stay ventilated, and protect any and all other materials in the vicinity – stone, metal, window glass, plastic – all can be damaged by acid.

Sulfamic cleaning solution

—–NEVER USE MURIATIC ACID ON GLASS TILE.  Just don’t.  Ever.——

#5.  GOOD CHEMISTRY

You want your pool water to feel good for swimmers.  And you need to keep it sanitized.  Equally as important is the relationship between your pool water and your pool finishes.  We recommend having pool water tested using the Langelier Saturation Index.  When we complete a project, we will have the fill water source tested (from the spigot), and then have the pool water tested so we can monitor chemistry and  make recommendations to the maintenance technician.  It is very important to stay on top of water chemistry.

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Here is a great example of an all tile spa we installed in 2012.    The contractor built a custom cover (shown above) to protect the spa when the client is out-of-town.   They also drain the spa during extended periods of non-use, and brush down the tile after they drain it.  The before picture is our professional architectural shot, taken weeks after the spa was complete.  The ‘after’ shot was taken last week with an Android phone..   It looks pretty darn good, 2 years later!  The cantera decking is aging more than our glass tile!

pool maintenance

 

If you love the beautiful shimmer of glass tile in water, you should definitely incorporate it into your new pool/spa!  There is nothing more beautiful than the vibrant sparkle of iridescent/metallic glass tile in a pool.  Just be sure to have a realistic plan for maintenance so that you get to enjoy your installation for years to come!

 

Did you know that ALPENTILE holds seminars teaching proper maintenance of glass tile in pools?  

Call us now to arrange an in-depth educational seminar!

 

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