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Thread: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

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    Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    Posting it here as we all building pools or had built them. We were all set for pavers until the lead inspector from the city told me pavers on highly expansive soil is a bad idea, he said water will get through the pavers at can cause damage to the shell of the pool due to the expansive nature of the soil and concrete is a better option? Pool builder foreman said the same thing?

    I thought the pavers with the sealed sand joints would not let water get to the soil?

    Thoughts?
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    I cannot answer your question, but I would suggest to discuss this issue with your Pool Builder and his pool engineer (if he has one).
    Does he offer a warranty on the pool shell? If so, are there any limitations to the warranty because pavers are used vs using concrete.

    One thought that immediately came to my mind. If the soil is expansive enough to crack a 8 inch thick reinforced concrete shell, what do you think its going to do to a 3 or 4 inch thick deck? Food for thought.
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    Yes they have an engineer, well actually they hired one for the pool plan. I will talk with them again about this. The pool has a lifetime warranty.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    Expansive soil would more than likely lift the pavers/concrete before the shell was damaged since it would be the path of least resistance. Concrete decks are far from water tight so I don't know that you would be gaining anything anyway.

    Pavers would be a whole lot easier to repair if they ever did lift.
    -Brian-
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    Thanks Brian! I appreciate your help!! Everyone has me running scared!! So many opinions that contradict the others.

    I am by far not the only person with a pool in ca on expansive soil.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    I don't know that I can help, especially about shell issues but.... I have a high water table but not so sure about expansive soil. We have clay, but some areas of the country have different issues.

    Not sure what they mean by "sealed sand joint", but we went with uni-lock pavers with the most expensive sand-grout "stuff" and "sealer" and even with repeated regrouting, the grout doesn't hold up and sand ends up in the pool. Just my experience.

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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    Pavers are much more porus than concrete. That may or may not be important.
    When your PB submitted your plan to the engineer he had to describe soil conditions. The engineering attachment to your pool plans describes what the PB should do in expansive soil conditions. Did he follow the specs in the engineering attachment?

    I tend to agree that expansive soil should not be a problem. First the pool should be engineered for the soil. Second, if there is still a problem you can stabilize the soil prior to placing the pavers. Third, expansive soil will move the deck before it moves the pool structure. The deck has control joints, the pool has none. In that contest the deck moves first usually.
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    I dont think there is any reason to be running scared. It's natural to do that though, so try and relax.

    Lots of us around the country have very expansive soil, me included. If the pool designed and installed properly, you shouldn't ever have a problem with the pool shell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    Thanks Brian! I appreciate your help!! Everyone has me running scared!! So many opinions that contradict the others.

    I am by far not the only person with a pool in ca on expansive soil.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    I don't see how the pool deck in any way protects the shell from the soil it is in. It shouldn't matter for the shell if you have pavers, travertine, concrete, etc... The shell needs to be engineered to withstand the soil that it is in. The only concern I would have is what deck material would hold up itself to the soil type. I have extensive paver work around my pool but my pool is in limestone so I have a different situation than you do. Even with a deck water is going to get into the soil around your pool from your neighbor's yard or something. That will cause the soil to expand/contract so the deck won't matter much.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    thanks for walking me off the ledge, lol.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
    TF-100, Doheny Discovery robot.

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    Re: Pavers vs concrete around pool?

    This sounds like a lot of BS to me. In LA City you can build a slab-on-grade house on expansive soil. They just stamp the plans "Expansive Soil" and you have to engineer the slab per the engineers & the city's recommendations.
    .
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