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Thread: Pool tile and roots issue

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    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Pool tile and roots issue

    Hi there - First time poster - so hopefully doing this right.

    Had a few (about 7) tiles start to separate from pool wall just under the edge. I carefully removed and found roots growing in from in between the bottom of the cool deck and the top of the pool. (sorry - not sure the proper terminology). I removed most of the growth before taking the pics (uploaded as attachments) - but you can see it is coming in from the top down.

    Not entirely sure where they are coming form as they were very thin and fiberous (at first thought it was asbestos or something) There is a medium (10 ft tall) palo verde about 20 feet away on that side of the pool -and a large Saguaro cactus (15 ft tall - about 20 ft away) and a couple medium size shrubs about 6 ft away.

    The wall seems pretty good shape. So I was just going to clean everything and put the tiles back up BUT wanted to see if there were any suggestions about how to make sure the roots don't just come back? Is there any type of caulk or sealer that would be recommended to put in between where the cool deck hits the pool top? Also - anything that is good at killing roots directly?

    Thanks for any insight
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    Charles in Mesa

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Pool tile and roots issue

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You could find where the roots are coming from and try to put a root shield where they go under the decking. You would have to cut the roots at that point and hope they don't just grow back deeper. Anything you use to kill the roots will probably also kill the plant, so I wouldn't do that unless you were planning to get rid of it anyway. If you can cut the roots at the deck and water the plant as needed it should send the root system deeper instead of spreading out to catch shallow, surface ground water.
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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Pool tile and roots issue

    Welcome to the forum. Very nice pics showing the issue clearly.

    "Roundup" (or the generic glyphosphate) about once a month for at least three months. Then, you can probably use sealer but you have to KILL it first.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Pool tile and roots issue

    Zia's suggestion above is a good one. The roots are coming from somewhere and are following the water.

    I would trench down at least 18 inches along the deck edge on that side of the pool and insert something like painted steel roofing. That should last 5 years or so before rotting out. As Zia states the main danger is the roots will just go under it. After you cut the roots you may want to spray them with a herbicide to kill them.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Pool tile and roots issue

    My guess is that it is likely the saguaro. Their root systems are filamentous, 4-6" deep and can easily spread out as far as they are tall. They have a very shallow taproot and so the cactus uses its surface roots for water capture and stabilization. You will NOT be able to remove it without a permit (~$40 or so) and you typically have to pay for it to be relocated. Saguaro can only be cut down when they are dead or present a property damage hazard.

    I would do as the others suggest and cut a deep trench and use a combination of materials to act as a root block. The saguaro roots won't go under block set as deep as 18" so it shouldn't be to expensive to come up with a solution that works.

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    Sabercatpuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Deltona, FL

    Re: Pool tile and roots issue

    You could try using something like this Shop Union Corrugating 8-in x 20-ft Copper Roll Flashing at Lowe's just like you would plastic edging where the pool deck and ground where the plants are meet, though pushing it under the surface so it isn't visible. The copper will tend to send the roots a different direction, but shouldn't kill the plant. At least that is the theory.

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