Concrete is reputable for being strong and proven to last long. Despite being hard surfaces, concrete decks are not inevitable to damage; they suffer from spalling, cracking, and discoloration. Concrete pool decks are affordable, easy to install and the cost of maintenance is lower. They can also be customized to imitate expensive pool decking materials, making an aesthetically pleasing pool area. This article will address cracking- the most common pool deck problem, how it occurs, why it cracks, and how to repair your pool area.
Why is my concrete pool deck cracking?
Minor cracking is a shared pool deck problem, and it becomes a cause for concern if it distorts the appearance of your surface or a risk factor. If you notice the cracks have become a cause for concern, we hired someone when we did concrete resurfacing in minnesota and it went really well and allowed us to document this process.
Here are some of the causes of concrete cracks:
Soil expansion. A considerable portion of the US has soils that expand when they get wet. When the grounds get wet, they expand, causing the nearby concrete to crack. The more water penetrates the soils, the more the expansion and cracking.
Groundwater movement. Areas with high groundwater levels make in-ground pools to float through hydrostatic pressure. Any activity or shift of the groundwater will lead to pool-deck cracking.
Winters and Summers lead to the development of cracks. Rainwater or melting snow sips into concrete cracks and freezes. When water freezes, it undergoes a sudden expansion that exerts pressure on concrete, making it crack. This problem is expected during the winter season.
As winter fades away, the concrete moves from cool to hot, this sudden expansion and contraction of concrete leads to cracking. If your pool has no efficient control and expansion joints, the change reactions in season will be more severe.
Lack of proper control and expansion joints. Without appropriate expansion and contraction joints, your concrete will not have the ability to expand and contract effectively, and this will lead to cracking. It is also vital that the joints be appropriately placed to ensure the joints don’t develop into problems.
Construction of a low standard concrete surface. These are the problems that develop due to substandard building practices. Your concrete deck should be properly reinforced with steel for good adherence and preventing cracks. During construction, the soil below the concrete should be compacted effectively to ensure ground movement is reduced.
If you add too much water into your concrete, the slab will become weak, leading to cracks and surface problems.
Common types of pool cracks
Plastic shrinkage. When concrete is still in its aqueous state, it has a lot of water. When the water in the concrete dries up, voids are left in the concrete making the concrete weaker and prone to cracking.
Expansion and contraction cracks. These cracks are caused by a sudden increase and decrease in the temperature of concrete. The use of control joints controls the cracks.
Heaving cracks. They are caused by freezing of the ground, bringing a ground movement contributing to concrete cracking. Large plant roots are also causes of these types of cracks; they lift and crack the concrete.
How to Repair Concrete cracks
Now that you know why concrete cracks, it is essential to understand how to repair it. The materials for repair are available at your local home improvement stores. The process involves filling the cracks.
Concrete patch mix
The material used to patch depends on the characteristic of the cracks. This patch mix is suitable for breaks not more than a quarter inch. The concrete patch mix will match your deck’s texture, but there will be a color variation.
It is a resin-based filler and works well with small cracks. It is affordable and also aesthetically pleasing.
Vinyl works well with small hair-like cracks and wider cracks. It’s available in pre-mixed or a dry mix form. Use a trowel to apply for great results.
Dry mortar can be filled into the cracks, and this method is durable and less prone to shrinkage. Deep or more comprehensive cracks can properly be repaired by using a foam backer rod.
If you have patched your concrete and are unhappy with the results, you can resurface it with a concrete coating. Patching will allow you to decorate your pool deck, as well as cover repair.