Pool decks offer a perfect spot where you and your family can access the pool and have a great time.
They are customisable, reasonably affordable and can significantly improve the aesthetics of your home. However, even the best pool decks get damaged over time since they are constantly exposed to pool chemicals and moisture. Similarly, weather changes are among the most common factors that can cause pool deck cracking and discolouration of the surface.
If you’ve noticed such signs, timely repairs are crucial to prevent further damage. Fortunately, there are various ways by which an entire pool deck resurfacing project can be completed taking the DIY route, and this guide can help you know all about them.
How Does A Concrete Pool Deck Get Damaged?
A concrete deck is prone to cracking due to weather changes, the most common type of damage it suffers from. In summer, the heat can cause the concrete to expand, and it contracts when the temperature comes down. This is called thermal expansion, and it can result in cracked concrete.
It is most common when expansion joints need to be placed appropriately. Similarly, the freezing and thawing cycles during cold weather can cause concrete pool decks to crack.
How To Repair Swimming Pool Deck
The most common way to repair a concrete deck is to fill cracks using grout or epoxy. But there are some other ways by which this can be accomplished.
1. Applying A Concrete Patch Mix
Concrete patch mix is suitable for filling concrete pool deck cracks more than ¼ inches wide. The biggest advantage of using this compound is that it can match the texture of the concrete near the cracks. However, it may have a slightly different colour than the surrounding concrete.
2. Using Epoxy
If you’re wondering how to repair a pool deck, using epoxy is among the best methods. Epoxy is a resin-based compound, which is well-suited for repairing cracks wider than ¼ inches. But you should avoid filling active or structural cracks with it.
3. With A Polymer Filler
Similar to epoxy, these are resin-based fillers but can even be used for narrower and smaller cracks in your pool concrete deck. The main difference between these and epoxy fillers is that the latter takes more time to cure and has more strength.
4. Using Vinyl
Vinyl filler differs from most products for repairing concrete cracks and can be used for wider and smaller hairline cracks. It can be purchased in pre-mixed form or as a dry mix and has to be applied over the crack using a trowel.
5. Sealing With Cement/Grout
Portland cement grout is a great option for sealing larger cracks in your concrete deck. Besides filling in the gaps well, it can improve the pool deck’s appearance. But this can be pretty complicated, so you should try other solutions before this one.
6. With Mortar
If the crack is deep enough, you can fill it with dry mortar. Mortar does not shrink quickly and is durable, but you should avoid using it to repair shallow cracks.
The Repair Process
Depending on the size of the cracks present in your concrete deck, you can use the following pool deck repair methods.
1. Repairing Small Cracks
Whether the cracks are small or large, the first step is to clean the deck properly by rinsing it using a hose. Use a scrub brush to remove debris trapped within the cracks and chip away loose pieces. Then rewash the surface and let the entire deck dry.
Once it is dry, slowly apply your preferred filler into the cracks while checking to ensure it settles properly. Then leave it to cure for about 24 hours before sealing up the concrete decking using water and Portland cement.
2. Fixing Large Cracks
Use a garden hose or pressure washer to wash your existing concrete deck while removing the debris with a scrub brush. You can tap on the surface to check for hollow sounds indicating loose portions, then remove such pieces by chipping them away. Once this is done, rewash the pool deck and wait for it to dry.
To fill larger cracks, it is a good idea to apply polyurethane fillers, or high-strength epoxy is a good idea to use a putty knife or trowel. Alternatively, you can use a specially developed cement sealing mix to help resolve concrete cracking problems.
After carefully applying the filler in wider cracks, let it cure for a reasonable time before applying a second coat. When repairing larger cracks, work from the outer edges and move towards the middle. Any excess filler can be removed by using a damp sponge.
Common Problems When Repairing Concrete Pool Decks
When repairing concrete cracks, you may come across certain problems, such as:
1. Difference In Texture
When repairing an above-ground or an in-ground pool, you can match the texture of the repaired portion with the surrounding concrete. However, it may not be an exact match in most cases, and the repaired crack may still be visible.
2. Colour Variations
Ensuring that the colour of the repaired portion of your swimming pool deck is similar to the rest of the surface can be quite difficult. One method to deal with this problem is to paint the entire concrete surface using outdoor paint once the pool deck resurfacing pool decks project is complete.
Get Your Pool Deck Repaired!
Repairing your concrete pool deck is relatively easy, but it does require a lot of patience and a reasonable amount of time. Also, depending on the cracks’ size and location, you will need a specific set of tools.
Before starting such a project, it is a good idea to adequately research the sealants and fillers, which can help select the most appropriate one. And once the repair process is complete, apply a coat of sealant to prevent new cracks from developing.
This will also help improve the deck’s appearance and ensure that it lasts for a long time.