Concrete pool decks can be put under a lot of stress, especially since they’re constantly being exposed to the elements. A common occurrence with decks is cracking, which could stem from a few different causes. In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can repair cracked concrete pool decks for your tenants.
What Causes Pool Deck Cracks?
As the first step to repairing any cracks in a pool deck, it’s important to have an understanding of what caused it so you can take measures to prevent cracks from happening again. There are several different reasons why a pool deck can crack, among them are shrinkage cracks, structural cracks, freeze cracks, or product failure cracks, where the concrete mix that was poured simply was not mixed correctly. Shrinkage cracks are the most common kinds with pool decks, as they occur when the concrete settles, dries, and tightens causing it to pull itself apart. Another key factor is looking at the weather; if there are heavy bouts of precipitation, extreme temperatures, or fluctuations between wet and dry conditions, you’re at a higher risk of pool deck cracks.
How to Repair Pool Deck Cracks
Most of the different cracks can be repaired using the same process, except for structural cracks. Structural cracks require a method called concrete leveling or slab jacking to raise a portion of concrete to meet the rest of the deck. For the other kinds of cracks, follow these steps:
Clean the debris from the crack. If debris is not cleaned out, it could cause micro-fractures in the concrete due to air in between the particles. These micro-cracks can lead to bigger ones over time and could also deter your concrete mixture from adhering to the rest of the deck properly.
Fill the fracture with cement. While mixing cement to fill the cracks, make sure to mix in smaller batches as it’s better to have to mix more cement than to have too much, potentially causing it to dry before use. Spread cement in the fissure and pack it down as much as possible. Remember that cement can shrink as much as 15% after drying, so the more cement you have in the crack, the less likely shrinkage cracks will appear. Scrape excess cement away and level the filled crack with the rest of the pool deck.
Apply epoxy to fortify your repairs. The epoxy acts as both a sealant and as a hardening agent, protecting the filled crack from varying weather. Pour a small amount of epoxy over the cement and spread it with an old paintbrush, dabbing the mixture down into the pores of the cement. This will help waterproof the crack to ensure it is sealed correctly.
Testing your work is just as important as laying the concrete or epoxy. Once both mixtures have dried and cured, pour a small amount of water onto the repair. If you see and drainage or notice disappearing water, this means that it’s still possible for moisture to enter the crack, which could lead to it opening up again. If the water pools and remains, you’ve successfully filled and repaired your tenant’s pool deck.
If all you notice are smaller cracks that are able to be filled, following these steps can ensure a successful repair. For other, more serious cracks, or if you suspect cracks due to foundation damage, contact us for help.