Using chlorine to clean and sanitize your pool is becoming a thing of the past. Many are switching to saltwater or freshwater systems. Although the health and environmental benefits are great, what saltwater does to travertine and limestone pool decks and coping is a problem.
Travertine and limestone are both very porous stones. When saltwater absorbs into the stone’s pores, it can leave behind a white, chalky residue called efflorescence. If caught immediately, most times the efflorescence can be brushed off; however, if left too long, the only way to remove it would be with a heavy duty acidic cleaner.
Other possible outcomes with saltwater are spalling or leeching. Spalling occurs when saltwater crystals are trapped inside the stone, slowly breaking down the integrity of the stone and causing pits. On limestone Leeching is slightly different in that it breaks down the natural salt found in the stone leaving empty pockets and weakening the stone.
So I’m sure you are wondering how to avoid these problems. The first step is to make sure your pool deck and coping are sealed with an impregnating sealer and have it resealed every few years. This will help fill in the pores in your stone as well as help repel the salt in the water. Next step is if you notice any of the above happening, take care of it immediately. Even if it is at the end of the season, the longer you wait, the more costly the repairs will be.
More great information can be found on TravertineMart‘s website about all things travertine. As always, if you have any questions, please let us know.