The deck surrounding your pool serves an important function. In addition to providing a comfortable walking space for swimmers, the deck prevents any surrounding dirt or mud from entering the water.
A concrete pool deck is a durable surface choice, but it can reveal its age in several ways. Read these signs that you may need a new pool deck and what you can do about it.
The Pool Deck Has Multiple or Large Cracks
Concrete naturally experiences small cracks over time. Repairing cracks is simple and involves sealing them with a concrete sealer to keep water out and prevent the crack from growing larger. A common cause of cracking is the cycle of freezing and thawing. Water enters tiny existing cracks and other spaces and expands when temperatures drop below freezing.
Fortunately, our part of the country enjoys a relatively mild winter with little or no freezing, which eliminates cracks caused by freezing and thawing. However, there may be other reasons your pool deck has a lot of cracks, which could indicate an underlying problem.
The soil beneath the pool deck plays a role in whether or not the concrete experiences cracking. Soil that contains large amounts of water will expand and create cracks in the concrete. Also, improperly compacted soil has a tendency to shift or sink, which affects any structures resting on top. In this case, the pool deck might experience upheaval or tilting and crack.
Sadly, some pool contractors lack knowledge or patience to create a quality concrete pool deck. If this is the case, you may have problems from the following:
- Lack of proper reinforcements within the concrete only weakens its integrity, making it easy for cracks to appear
- Cheap concrete or poorly mixed material will end up being naturally weaker and susceptible to cracking
- A weak concrete product often results when the right control and expansion joints are not used
Nearby tree roots can also threaten a concrete pool deck as they grow beneath and lift the concrete surface. Fast-growing trees are especially dangerous to concrete because they spend much of their energy growing roots horizontally rather than vertically.
Pool Deck Does Not Drain Properly
You might notice puddles or pools of water remaining on the concrete deck hours after a rainstorm or swim session because water cannot drain off the deck. Puddling can occur when the slope of the pool deck is less than 2% and is usually a result of the type of screed job or poorly compacted soil that has settled over the years
Water from puddling generally will not harm your concrete - after all, it surrounds your pool - but puddles are certainly annoying and mean your deck rests at the wrong slope. To prevent the growth of algae or mold and the resulting discoloration or potential for slips, you have to regularly remove the water with a broom.
Options for an Ageing Concrete Deck
Fortunately, there are options available for an ageing concrete pool deck with excessive cracks or puddling.
To make your pool deck look like new, consider resurfacing the concrete. In addition to looking great, all those little cracks get covered up and are protected from further damage. This is a weekend makeover you can accomplish yourself depending on the size of the deck. A 40-pound bag of concrete resurfacer covers about 35 square feet.
Replace With New Concrete
You might decide to replace the old concrete entirely. Once the concrete has been cut and removed, you have the opportunity to fix any problems with the soil. This prevents the possibility of the new pool deck cracking or puddling down the road.
To discuss your options for cutting and removing your old concrete pool deck, reach out to Capital Concrete Cutting.