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One day, when you’re swimming in your pool, you notice that your pool tiles begin falling out-it’s like out of nowhere-they were just fine a few minutes ago! And now you, the pool owner, could be scratching your head: why are my pool tiles falling off? Don’t panic too much. You’re not the only one. The problem of swimming pool tiles falling off is actually very common. Continue reading to find out some common reasons why the pool tiles are falling off.

First, the pH levels in your pool.

pH is a measure of water’s total acid-alkalinity balance, which means how acidic or basic the water is, the proportion of acids and alkalis in the water.

After a pool has been used for a long time, chances are some pool tiles at the buttom or on the pool walls could fall off, which takes a lot of time and labor to fix it. There are a few reasons for the falling, pH levels in the pool is one of them. However, this reason could be neglected by some people. To prevent the pool tiles from falling off, we should pay particular attention to the pH level and adjust it from time to time and always keep the water balanced. Monitoring and the pH level and adjust it in time is not only good for the whole pool structure, but also makes your chlorine work best.

The total alkalinity (TA)

The total alkalinity is a measure of how much of the alkaline substances there are in the water, it’s also a measure of the ability to fight the pH level changes. This ability is also called the pH level buffering ability, which is the total combination of hydroxide, carbonate, bicarbonate and carbon dioxide. When the total alkalinity is low, it could cause concavity on the surface of the concrete and the falling of the pool tiles.

Solution: to add more sodium carbonate in the water and adjust the total alkalinity. When the pH is low (In some regions where it rains a lot, the pH tends to be lower. Because exhaust fumes from automobiles and factories are emitted into the atmosphere, and they contain compounds of nitrogen and sulphur. And when it rains, those compounds will go into the pools with the rain, which will lower the pH a lot), there is a tendency that the pool water will be corroded, which will cause depressions on the surface of the concrete and stains on the pool walls. If the pool water stays acidic for a long time, the pool tiles will fall off eventually.

Solution: use caustic soda or sodium carbonate adjust the pH to be around 7.5 

If the total quantity of Ca2+ in the water is smaller than the standard, the pool water and calcium carbonate will be corroded, which will lead to the depressions on the surface of the concrete and stains on the pool walls.       

Solution: use calcium hypochlorite cleaning products.


Second, how the pool tiles are installed.

Now you’ve got some very good quanlity pool tiles, but how the tiles are installed, what kind of materials are used, this is also a very important key. Inappropriate installation will also cause the tiles to fall off. Some people think that installing the pool mosaic tile is the same as those mosaic tiles used for your home decoration. But actually, it’s quite different. Because they’re in different environments. The tiles for home decoration are exposed in the air, while the pool tiles are submerged in the water. So, if you use the regular grout that is for home decor floor or wall tiles to install pool tiles, it can also cause the pool tiles to fall off.

To install pool tile, choosing the accessory materials is as important as choosing the pool tiles. Materials that are more expensive but with good quality can save you a lot of maintain cost in the future. Special pool tile adhesive and sealant shoudl be used for pool tile installation, because they’re made to be used in water environment. Compared with normal grout, they have a lot of advantages: easy and convenient to use; they make a good firm bond, about 2 to 3 times firmer than the regular tile adhesive; good crack-resistance; can prevent efflorescence from happening.

There are other reasons for pool tiles falling off, of course. But the two reasons above are very commmon ones. So, when you’re building a new pool at the beginning, use good quality pool tile adhesive and sealant, it can save you a lot of money and trouble in the many years to come after the pool is built. And when your pool begins losing tiles, don’t just simply stick them back on. You should check beneath the surface and find out why those tiles fell out in the first place. If it’s beyond you and you can’t figure out what is causing the problem, go to a pool professional for help. Or if you have any quetions about swimming pool tiles, you can contact us, because Bluwhale Tile is a pool professional.