If you own a swimming pool, you may have experience with pool cracks. This issue is something you definitely want to avoid if at all possible. When these cracks do occur, you want to deal with them as quickly as possible as they can cause a number of issues with your pool and the surrounding area. If you are not sure what to do, call Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance today for pool service.
Pool Cracks Are Something You Want to Avoid with Your Pool
What Causes Pool Cracks?
When you first install your swimming pool, everything looked amazingly smooth. Like everything, though, that can’t last forever. Dealing with weather changes, heavy use, and even accidental damage can all contribute to the development of cracks in fiberglass pools.
Prior to installation, you do need to make certain that the site of your pool is as level as it can possibly be. If it’s not, it’s possible that the ground can shift after you’ve installed the pool. A heavy earthquake can also cause this to occur. These shifts can lead to cracks that are so bad that you have to have the pool removed and replaced. Because of this, you want to double and even triple-check that the area is level.
In most cases, though, you’ll only notice very fine spiderweb-like cracks in the gel coating of your pool. These may look like the cracks you see on a car’s windshield when a small pebble hits it. While these small cracks aren’t a sign that your pool needs to be replaced or that there’s a leak, they still need to be repaired.
Other things that can cause minor to severe cracks include the pool itself shifting and direct damage to the pool’s structure. If the pool was installed correctly, the chance of it shifting is quite low. Damage that actually causes leaks is also fairly rare, although it is possible to do things that can damage a pool that severely.
If your pool is made out of concrete, you need to be concerned about shrinkage and freezing temperatures. When the concrete expands and contracts, it can leave behind cracks that can be quite deep.
The Different Types of Pool Cracks
While most cracks occur in the gel coating, there are other types of cracks that can happen. The pool shell and even the plaster can develop cracks over the years. The deepest cracks may be found in corners and other correction points. Some cracks form behind the tiles. It’s often hard to know when you have cracks here since they aren’t visible.
Why Are Pool Cracks So Dangerous?
Pool cracks are dangerous for a number of different reasons. First, they can damage your pool’s structural integrity. This can lead to leaks or a shift in your pool’s structure that result in more cracks. The cracks can also spread to the decking around the pool, causing damage there, too. These cracks can pose a danger to anyone using the pool. Someone could trip, a board in the deck could break when stepped on, or the pool water could leak into the surrounding area. That could actually cause structural damage to your house if the ground becomes so wet and soft that your home’s foundation starts to sink.
Repairing Small Pool Cracks
If you see any very tiny cracks around your pool area, in the tile of the pool, or around your deck, the first thing you can do is take a small amount of clear silicon and fill in the crack. Make sure you’re using silicon designed for outdoor use, not silicon that’s rated for kitchen or bathrooms only.
For cracks that are a bit larger, you may first need to use a screwdriver to remove any little pieces of loose material inside the crack. Otherwise, your repairs will be attached to material that’s not very stable. It’s likely this patch won’t hold for long. Now that you’ve removed any other damaged material, you want to fill in the crack with either silicon or pool putty (a specific type of epoxy designed for repairing pool cracks). If the crack is wide enough that you can get a screwdriver head inside it, you likely need to go with the pool putty. Push it down into the crack as far as you can, then wipe off any excess. This patch can be applied while the pool is still full of water.
It’s important that you deal with these small cracks as soon as you see them. Otherwise, it’s possible that water from your pool can get underneath your deck. This water can cause wooden decks to start to rot, which brings about many more problems.
Repairing Moderately Severe Pool Cracks
Cracks that are more severe may require draining the pool. Make sure you run your water pump’s hose as far from your pool and deck as possible. After the pool is empty, you’ll again want to remove any loose material from the crack. After that’s done, make a cut into the crack in the shape of a V. Fill this crack with pool plaster, a material you can find at many hardware stores. It’s similar to cement in consistency and should be worked as far down into the crack as possible.
Once that’s done, you can refill the pool. The plaster is actually designed to cure in water, so you can refill the pool right away. You may want to place a damp towel over the patch while the pool is filling so that it doesn’t dry too quickly. That can cause the patch to flake off.
Repairing Major Pool Cracks
For major cracks, you can attempt to fill them yourself using pool plaster. However, because these cracks indicate major damage to your pool, most people choose to call on an experienced pool repair company such as Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance instead.