Deterioration and dilapidation, like cracks and the peeling of the pool interior, is a pool owner’s worst nightmare. Structural damage is a serious sign of degradation, and will require immediate and often expensive solutions. That said, many pool owners pay special attention to pool maintenance.
Others even hire professionals to keep their pools from developing damages and keep them pristine. If you’re worried about your pool and looking for ways to maintain your pool’s structural integrity, this article is for you. We’re going to talk about pool cracks and how to keep them at bay.
But first, what exactly are pool cracks?
Pool cracks are visible fissures and fractures on the pool’s surface. They typically appear on the pool’s surface in small and long lines that can sometimes run all the way through the body of the pool. Here are some common reasons why you get pool cracks.
- Soil movement.
- Rootbound soil.
- Poor workmanship.
- Improper design and engineering.
- Pool interior shrinkage.
Movement of the ground, a rootbound soil, and improper design and engineering often create pool cracks that require your immediate attention. That’s because they compromise the structural integrity of your pool and can spread to the deck surrounding your pool. They are usually represented by long and deep breaks and breaches on the pool’s wall and floor. Not only will this call for an extensive (and not to mention expensive) repair, but it also poses danger to anyone using the pool.
The deep cracks on the pool’s floor and on the pool’s deck can cause someone to trip and hurt themselves. It can even cause the pool to leak which can compromise the integrity of the structures surrounding the pool, your home included.
However, not all pool cracks mean that there’s an issue below the ground. Poor workmanship and the shrinkage of the pool’s interior surface can create cracks and crevices that often only affect the pool’s surface.
They are considered to be more cosmetic than structural. That said, it’s still important to address these types of pool cracks as they can still hurt swimmers and damage swimwear. If you’re not sure of what type of crack you’re dealing with, contact a pool professional, like the guys at Stanton Pools, to help you find out what type of damage your pool has.
But of course, an ounce of prevention is always better than tons of cure. Here are a few pool maintenance tips to help you prevent pool cracks.
1. Keep your pool filled with water
That’s what pools are made for…right?
Well, yes, but there’s a good reason why your pool should always be filled with water. When your pool’s interior is left to dry and is exposed to heat, it can develop blisters and fine hairline cracks. That’s because the materials and the actual design of the pool’s interior are intended for prolonged water exposure and can be vulnerable to sun and air exposure.
That said, you would notice pool professionals would want to fill the pool with water in as little time as possible. For projects like pool resurfacing and pool remodeling, the newly installed interior is often left to cure in less than a day.
Furthermore, in-ground concrete pools run the risk of popping off the ground, especially if your pool is located in an area with a high water table. The hydrostatic pressure on the ground pushes the pool upward and without any water pushing the pool to the ground, you’re most likely to deal with something more overwhelming than pool cracks.
2. Look out for broken tiles
Another tip that can potentially help you prevent pool cracks is looking out for broken tiles. Here’s why.
Broken pool tiles can be a cause for the water to slowly seep in the concrete below. The water can steadily cause structural degeneration, damaging the pool’s foundation overtime. With the foundation compromised, you’ll soon find yourself seeing cosmetic cracks that will lead to structural cracks.
Make sure to check the pool tiles regularly for any signs of damages. If you’re busy, you can hire pool maintenance professionals that offer services which include visiting and inspecting the pool’s overall structure, including your tiles.
It doesn’t even have to be a pool finished entirely with tiles, it also applies to waterline tiles and step markers. That said, you’d also want to check the peeling of pool plaster and the spalling of pool pebbles where water can potentially penetrate the interior’s surface.
Should you see any damages, you can patch them using patching solutions you can buy in your local hardware stores. If you’re unsure about what to do, you can contact your local pool professional and have them repair any damaged tile, pebble, or plaster.
3. Maintain proper water chemistry
Proper pool water chemistry is a must for any pool. Not only can it keep the pool water clean and free of any microorganisms, like algae, but it can also help prevent problems like scaling and calcium hardness.
Poor pool water chemistry is typically associated with a slew of common issues like cloudy pool water, staining, and metal corrosion. All the aforementioned problems usually affect the pool’s interior surface, weakening the material, and causing the surface to break and crack.
As we’ve briefly covered above, small cracks can lead to more serious problems and is why you should always maintain good water chemistry. You can do it yourself using test strips and test kits you can get from your local DIY store or you can ask a professional to help you test and adjust your pool water’s chemistry.
These tips can help keep your pool from having pool cracks, although it does not make them immune to it. If your pool already suffered damages, both structural and aesthetic, here are a few things you can do to help address these issues.
4. Patching up small cracks
As we’ve mentioned in the ‘look out for broken tiles’ tip, you can patch up small cracks to stop them from turning into deeper and larger cavities. Here’s how you do it.
First, drain the pool water just right below the visible crack. Try to chip out a small amount of the material surrounding the crack. With a sponge or an old towel, wipe the exposed area dry.
Then, grab some cotton balls or the same old towel and wipe it with acetone, that’s so you can remove any oils on the surface that can decrease the adhesion of the patching material.
Next, apply the patching solution to the cracked area, and because there are different varieties of patching solutions, follow the instructions on the packaging to achieve the best results.
Lastly, let the patching solution dry before filling the pool with water.
5. Calling a professional
There are some cases where using patching solutions may not be enough. This calls for the expertise of pool professionals. Contact your local pool guy and have them inspect the damage. This may involve resurfacing the pool and using the chip out method or the hydroblast method to remove a reasonable amount of the material to repair the crack.
They may use the same material instead of pool putty or patching solutions to repair the crack which gives the repaired surface a seamless look.
Just make sure to ask your pool contractor for patching options if you want the surface to look like it’s as if there wasn’t any kind of repair done on it.
Pools are designed to be strong and durable. However, several factors like acts of nature and exposure to the elements can weaken the materials used in the pool overtime. Always pay attention to proper pool maintenance and address damages while they’re still manageable. They’re not indestructible, but with these pool maintenance tips, you can extend the lifespan of your pool.
Interesting related article: “The best mascara for swimming.”