Asked on Jul 1, 2013

How to give a "spruce-up" to pool tiles gone wrong?

PamSteveK Jones


Our jacuzzi is missing a few tiles, and it appears the grout is disappearing and black stuff is growing in some areas. It is a very old pool which needs to be redone, but budget prohibits a complete redo at this time. Also, has anyone had any experience with pressure-washing a pool deck. Lots of dirt and dust, don't want to use chemicals, and sweeping doesn't do the trick. Deck is painted concrete. Thanks to any advice!
Would like to remove this stain.
Would like to clean up whatever this is, re-grout and reapply the tiles. Other tiles are missing, but none have this gross look.
11 answers
  • Mary
    on Jul 1, 2013

    I'm not sure of the cleaning method that would be best for this, but the black stuff looks to be mold with some sort of roots growing in it. I realize that there isn't a budget to get it done at this time, but maybe you could us a bleach/water solution and a stiff scrub brush to get it clean.

  • Margee F
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Thanks Mary. I will try this.

  • Mix some muriatic acid with some water & scrub - I think it is 1 cup per gallon & then spray off after scrubbing. You may then wish to check with a pool company (supply house) around about a sealer you can use & also about getting some replacement tiles When you do go to replace them make sure you let the water level drop below them so you don't have issues there & be careful about getting to much stuff in the pool

  • Grout Shield Distributors
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Hello We have an cleaner and a color sealer that will fix this problem so once you clean the mold from the pool area and regrout you can color seal the rest of the grout to match or even change the color to make this look Almost brand new again.The best part is we have an active mildicide in our sealer to prevent mold grouth again if you have any questions just call or reply to this comment.Here are pictures of a molded Bathroom before and after mike

    q how to give a spruce up to pool tiles gone wrong, home maintenance repairs, how to, tilingq how to give a spruce up to pool tiles gone wrong, home maintenance repairs, how to, tiling
  • Margee F
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Hey Grout Shield, Thanks for the response. Do you have a website i could refer to?

  • Margee F
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Thanks to SLS Construction Solutions. Great suggestions!

  • Richard Beyer
    on Jun 21, 2014

    SLS Construction is accurate if you are cleaning freshly applied concrete or grout haze off. NEVER use Muriatic Acid or any acid for this matter on glazed ceramic tile, stone or grout! It will break it down and destroy it! A mild bleach solution and at maximum, clean with a pressure washer or use an industry trusted cleaner. The old published method for grout cleaning during the 1980's was to use vinegar. The tile industry found acid completely ruins grout by attacking the portland cement and breaking it down, causing premature grout failures. Acid will etch stone and tile. If the tile glaze is important to you, using muriatic acid will remove the shine from most all tile surfaces. Acids are used as a method to enhance the coefficient of friction (slip resistance). This is best done by professionals who specialize in this procedure. Acid cleaning is best left to a professional. Using Acids is not a DIY project and could cause you and the surface harm.

  • Mike Miller
    on Jan 25, 2015

    Muriatic acid and water with dish washing liquid to kill the fumes and make the solution stick...Also Borax is much better for killing mold than bleach... bleach only kills the surface ...Put a cloth soaked with borax and water overnight then scrub with the same solution the next day..

  • K Jones
    on Feb 22, 2015

    The black stuff is algae can grow roots into cement surfaces. I would start by getting a toothbrush (check the Dollar Tree) to help remove any grass/debris stuck in the areas. As far as using Muriatic Acid, it will work but keep in mind it will likely erode the grout some. Due to age, I would be concerned. If this doesn't bother you, it does a great job and is by far the most economical (approx $4 gallon. Check with your local pool dealer, service techs for mixture recommendations. I know they use a stronger method than 1 cup to gallon; take pics with you). Another method: Wet the area, then use a chlorine tablet and rub over black algae; it can also be broken-up to reach other areas. The chlorine tablet rub penetrates the grout and will stay in place for a while thereby killing algae deeper into the surface. A chlorine shock can also be dissolved and applied with a rag or a soaked paper towel in chlorine left on surface will also be effective. You would need very little. A spray bottle is also effective. Keep in mind the low pH of the chlorine will rust and break any metal working parts after a period of time. Keeping the recommended level of chlorine in the water deters further growth. Anytime you heat the Jacuzzi, or add water, you are lowering your chlorine level. When you know you must add water, I added shock as water filled. Keep a close eye on the chlorine level before and after use until you become familiar with it's needs. If you are using another method of sanitizer, check with the dealer for recommendations. You do not want bacteria growing while in use. **USE CAUTION** Be sure to wear heavy duty rubber gloves, mask, and protect your eyes while cleaning. The fumes from muriatic acid can take your breath away and knock you out! Chlorine fumes are extremely strong and dangerous!! The fumes also applies to anyone nearby and winds carry them! Absolutely no children should be around-you need to keep yourself safe and you can't if you are also watching them. *This appears to be an older style of tiles that may be hard to locate. I think I once saw this pattern at Victoria Pool Serv. & Supply, Inc, Victoria, TX many, many years ago. Good Luck and enjoy!

  • Steve
    on Aug 11, 2016

    Hi Margee, hate to be the spoiler here, however as per the deck it can be cleaned with either liquid chlorine [ pool chlorine is stronger than household bleach , same stuff tho , or T S P Tri Sodium Phosphate a strong cleaner you can buy at a paint store or Home Depot, the issue with your tile altho it can be cleaned & re-grouted I wouldn't expect it to last as the deck is moving and this is what is cracking the tile, in order to correct this [ keep in mind all concrete expands and swimming pool decks move thats why they have expansion joints between the deck & coping . the deck is normally 4 " thick the expansion joint needs to be apx 3/4 " to 1 " wide with no " slag " excess cement or rock / gravel between the deck & coping when the mastict the flexable material installed in this joint before installing the joint must be free of any debris, foam backer rod is used so as not to pour excess mastic down & away. a lot of times when a pool man replaces this medium they fill this void with sand prior to pouring the mastic , which is wrong & more than likely add to the problem.

  • Pam
    on Mar 29, 2017

    You want to make sure that before you do lots of repairs, you want to take care of the rust! If you don't solve your rust problem when fixing tubs and pools, it will come back and then you'll just have to keep repairing everything. I would call some professionals in to make sure that it gets fixed the right way so you don't have to worry about it again.
Your comment...