What Imbalanced Chemicals Do to Your Pool’s Finish

Any responsible pool owner knows that it’s of the utmost importance to maintain their pool’s chemical balance. These chemicals don’t just help a pool keep its pristine and shimmering appearance, but they also prevent the growth of bacteria and algae. If these chemicals become unbalanced, they can harm your pool’s finish and negatively impact your health. If your pool’s finish becomes damaged enough, you may need to contact So Cal Pool Plaster for pool restoration services


Any discussion about pool chemicals needs to start with chlorine. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant, and it helps prevent the growth of bacteria in a swimming pool. However, it needs to be carefully balanced in order to work effectively. This is measured using the pH scale, a scale that specifies how acidic or basic a body of water is. The ideal pH level for a pool is around 7.4 to 7.6. If the pH levels drop too low, the water is acidic. Acidic water isn’t just an irritant to the eyes and skin of anyone swimming in the pool, but it also damages your pool’s finish, eating away at its surface. Your pool’s finish can become rougher to the touch and give space for algae to grow, further damaging your pool’s appearance. Underwater metal equipment such as lights and the piping of the pool can also be damaged by corrosion.

At the same time, pH levels rising too high can be detrimental as well. Anything above a pH level of 7.8 is considered to be basic and reduces the effectiveness of your pool’s chlorine. High pH levels lead to scale building up on pool equipment and the pool’s finish. If you’ve ever had scale buildup on a faucet or showerhead, you know that scale is ugly to look at and uncomfortable to touch. Having scale on your pool’s finish is just as much of a nuisance as it is on your appliances. If the scale gets too encrusted on the surface of pool tiles, you may even have to hire a pool tile repair service to replace them.   

Calcium Hardness

Calcium is another critical chemical concern for maintaining pool finishes. Similar to the way in which chlorine levels can drop into acidity or rise into alkalinity, imbalanced calcium hardness can lead to corrosivity or scale buildup. Water with low calcium hardness will try to leach it from nearby surfaces that contain calcium, such as plaster, grout, and tiles. Given that these materials are all used in pool finishes, this can lead to etching, pitting, and surface stains as calcium is leached away from your pool. If the damage becomes too widespread, you may have to hire a pool replastering service to restore your pool’s finish. If the calcium hardness gets too high, in contrast, it can promote scale buildup like with high pH levels.

Total Dissolved Solids

While technically not chemicals, this category is still a major component of a pool’s chemical balance. “Dissolved solids” refers to all non-liquid materials that are in a pool, such as calcium and sodium, as well as dust, plant matter, pollen, and more. Water that has been completely distilled, for instance, has zero dissolved solids in it. There is some debate over how much total dissolved a pool can have; 1500 parts per million (PPM) is held as a standard by some, while others maintain that a pool can operate without issue at 5000 PPM. Too many total dissolved solids can impact the efficiency of your pool’s chlorine, giving the water a dull appearance and helping algae bloom in the water and on the surface of the finish. 

If a chemical imbalance has damaged your pool’s finish, you can trust the pool replastering services of So Cal Pool Plaster. We offer a wide range of pool finishes, backed up by a comprehensive pool restoration service. We can replaster your surface, perform pool tile repair, and even add new features as part of a pool renovation project. If you’d like to learn more about our services or get a free estimate on the cost of your pool project, give us a call at (714) 617-8182.