The fact is, owning a pool is not all swimming, splashing and pool fun. Apart from maintaining the equipment, regular cleaning of pool walls and bottom are necessary to provide pool users with enjoyable pool time.
Pool stains and scale buildup
Scaling and staining have various causes and a few different methods of cleaning. Scrubbing and washing are no good, though, if you don’t eliminate the causes of stains and scale. Otherwise, you’ll have to clean your pool more often than you’d like.
How to remove Calcium Scale Deposits
These deposits often form along the waterline of your pool. They are caused by high pH levels, increased alkalinity, or too much calcium in your pool water.
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Sudden and frequent temperature changes together with quick evaporation cause deposits to settle along the side your pool wall. If the deposits are not removed soon, it can cause permanent damage to the pool surface.
The first thing you need to do is to stop using your swimming pool until a water test can be performed. If the test shows that the levels are within range, you can use a stain and scale remover to remove the deposits from the water line. If the pH, alkalinity or calcium levels are too high, they will need to be lowered before you move on to using stain and scale cleaner.
You should start with lowering calcium hardness first. Calcium can only be lowered by partially draining and then refilling your pool to get the optimal calcium level of 200-400 ppm. Calcium level higher than 400 ppm can cause scaling of the pool surface and equipment. It can also cause cloudy water.
Then, once you also get alkalinity within range, pH can be adjusted and once pH is balanced, you can move on to the last step.
Use a surface cleaner to remove the build-up. Before adding the product, read the instructions on the container and grab a pool brush to brush down the walls as needed.
How to remove yellow or brown stains on my pool walls
These colors of stains are usually the result of rust. Caused by iron in pool steps, nuts, bolts and other pool parts, these stains can be removed either by scrubbing or with a help of chemicals.
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In addition to steps, rust can be caused by hair accessories that are lost in the pool, such as hairpins. Other culprits of rust stains include old pipes, metal drains, light fixtures as well as lost nails, and other metal object or debris that find their way into your pool.
The way to clean your pool walls from rust stains depends on the type of finish which is susceptible to rust staining.
Plaster pool finish
This type of finish is common in older swimming pools. They are popular as with a plaster pool, you can expect to get at least five to seven years out of the plaster before you need to refinish the pool.
Plaster pool, or as many call it a concrete pool, is still the most common type of finish for inground pools. This finish is a mixture of cement and water and is more likely to stain because the surface of the finish is porous.
While the finish appears to be smooth, it actually isn’t. This means that grime can seep in and become difficult to remove. Overtime, the plaster begins to chip away and erode. This is what allows rust to stain your otherwise beautiful pool.
Vinyl pool finish
Although it’s more resilient to staining, vinyl is not stain resistant. Pool steps can leave stains and rust on the finish, and years of use can take a toll on the finish. Vinyl pools with steel fasteners and copings are often causes of rusting as well.
The most common vinyl blemish is the fading caused by sun followed by damage and tears caused by sharp pieces of equipment or debris in the pool.
How to remove rust stains
A fairly easy test to confirm a rust stain is using vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Get any Vitamin C tablet and rub it on the stain. If the stain comes off easily, it was rust.
There are a number of readily available and effective products to remove iron stains. You can get swimming pool stain removal products online in just a few clicks..
Another rust removal method also involves acid. You need to place a pipe on the stain, with the other end of the pipe sticking up out of the water. Pour a dry acid down the pipe straight onto the stain. This requires protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and protective clothing. Hold the pipe in-place for at least one minute before slowly removing it.
If you have many rust spots or large smatterings of rust and you can’t get rid of them, don’t risk damaging the pool. Call pool cleaning specialists.
Pool chemical + metal objects = stains
Most metals, when in contact with swimming pool water chemicals, will react and leave a stain on the spot where they were in contact with the pool’s plaster. The most common objects which stain pools are soda or beer cans, pop tops, coins etc.
These items can cause a stain as quickly as overnight. Therefore, make sure to keep such objects out of the pool and when you see them, remove them right away.
There are a few easy ways to remove stains of this type
For instance, you can attach an emery stone to your swimming pool cleaning pole and rub off the stain. Although this method is the quickest and the easiest, it may not always work because it’s difficult to transfer a lot of force down the flexing pole to efficiently remove the stain.
Another way is to turn off the pool pump and wait for the water stop circulating. Next, pour a small amount of granular chlorine. Wait a couple of hours and the stain should bleach away. BE CAREFUL: in very rare instances, chlorine can actually make a stain of its own. If you have a lot of stains, better try one spot first and see how it works before pouring chlorine on all the other stains.
Now, chlorine might not stay still on the stain, so an easy way to deal with this is to put chlorine into a nylon panty hose and use a string and a pole to place it right on the stain. Do it in one go and don’t dip the chlorine in and out of the pool several times: granular chlorine can be explosive when in contact with small amount of water. Once you put the panty hose with chlorine into the pool, leave it there until chlorine dissolves.
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If you have some wet/dry sandpaper or Scotch-Brite®, you can also try getting into the pool and sanding of the stain. This method leaves a much smoother surface and there’s little chance that you will damage the plaster.
Remember to use a stiff brush on a plaster-lined concrete pool and for fiberglass and vinyl pools use a softer brush. For tile, make sure not to use anything too abrasive or stiff in order to avoid scratching the tiles or destroying the grout.
As for different brushes needed for cleaning your pool walls, here are a few notes:
Wall and floor brush – A nylon-bristle brush is the tool to use for cleaning the walls and floor of vinyl, fiberglass, and painted pools.
Algae brush – For concrete pools, you may need a brush with stainless-steel bristles to do the job well and not leave any algae behind.
Tile brush – For pools with tiled walls, a handheld tile brush is excellent for removing calcium scale and other deposits without damaging the tiles or the grout.
Waterline tile scum can be removed with a nonabrasive chlorine-based liquid and a tile brush or even a sponge. For tough spots, you can use a nylon scouring pad or a pumice stone. Whatever type of pool you have, always use a cleaner recommended by the pool manufacturer.
In general, brushing the pool walls at least once a week will certainly help to eliminate most causes of dirty walls like calcium scale and algae buildup before they turn into even more serious problems and cause you a lot more hassle.