Need Advise on Pool & Spa grout bleeding

sicamMay 20, 2013

We just recently completed constructing our pool and spa. Our pool builder used Mapei (North American Adhesive) 4300 grout (Smoky Coal); non-sanded. We had the grout cure for at least 24 days. After we filled up the pool with water (no chemicals and the water isn't heated), and noticed that when you touch any of the grout lines, the pigment or color washes off. Our spa, in particular, is unusable because of this since you end up with black pigment all over your body if you use it. Our pool builder indicated that it may take a year before this stops happening...but I am looking for advise to address this. Will sealing help? I've attached a video to show what is happening. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Did the pool builder actually come over and look at it? I am absolutely not an expert, but I watched your video and I KNOW that isn't right.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Yep; I totally agree that it isnt right. The pool builder had indicated that they have seen this before...and that it took months before the bleeding stopped. They're response (of course) is to wait to see what happens in several weeks. Unfortunately, I supplied the tile and grout to the builder to install... so I'm not sure if I have a leg to stand on to resolve this quality issue...however, I am not sure if they mixed the grout correctly. I have reached out to the grout manufacturer about this, and waiting for their response. Was just wondering if anyone in this forum have seen this before or have any ideas to resolve this (ie, sealing?).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 3:07PM
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First off let me commend your builder for actually waiting the proper time for the grout to cure. Most builders do not.

As far as the grout goes if it is unsanded than that was the wrong grout to use for the tile you have. An unsanded grout should not span a grout joint more than an 1/16 th of an inch. Sanded grout is to be used on anything wider than 1/16 th. I'm not sure if that is the reason for your pigment to come out of the grout but it may not have cured properly because of the joint width.

You may have to take out the grout and start over. Try an water proofer in your grout. It will seal the grout and keep the grout from bleeding white.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Call Mapei product support. They are big and an old company. Unsanded grout is for very thin grout joints !/8 inch minus usually. Also was the additive that was used in the grout mix compatible with Mapei grout. Mapei should be able to have an answer for you.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:17PM
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