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Thread: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

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    Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    It will be 3 years in July since moving into this house. There was about a 10ft wide swath of Kool Deck near the steps leading into the pool that was completely delaminated. Our realtor had former experience working for a pool builder and said that kool deck was more susceptible to failure when used with saltwater pools. Can anyone confirm this to be true? Repair of the Kool Deck was part of the purchase and our realtor recommended a company that used some "special" sealant over the concrete that would prevent or greatly increase the time to delamination. The coating applied to the concrete was a viscous white liquid that remained slightly pliable after curing. The edge of decking where it meets the tile was sealed with a black elastomer sealant which has the appearance of silicone or possibly polyurethane. The guy that did the repair said that the in-floor nozzles on the steps were pushing water against the decking and it was getting under the deck and ultimately causing it to delaminate. Seems reasonable to me.

    Fast forward to the present. Just shy of 3 years and the decking is coming up in the area repaired. The failure is actually starting at the edge of the slab farthest from the pool. So far, there is only a 2-3" crack on the corner of slab but a larger area surrounding this crack has the distinctive hollow sound.

    My questions are:

    1-a. Can anyone confirm that Kool Deck is more prone to delaminate when used with saltwater?

    1-b. In the case the answer to 1-a is yes, what would be the recommended course of action to use a more suitable decking choice?

    2. Is there anything that can be done to repair the delaminated decking? I'm wondering if there is some way to inject some sort of adhesive to prolong the life of what's there... My engineering background tells me it's not at all feasible to even try this, but want to ask just in case.

    3. Does 3 years seem like premature for the type of failure described? I'm checking with realtor to see if there is any warranty on this, but doubtful anything will come of it.

    Thanks in advance,
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    Bumping back to the top, hope someone has some input on the kool deck.
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    I don't have KoolDeck but I think lots of folks on the forum do and some with salt.

    Whenever I see a post like this where the same failure is happening in the same exact area, my first thought is its not salt. If it were salt, it would happen everywhere around your pool. When you describe a "hollow sound" that just makes me doubly suspicious that there is something wrong with the underlying concrete slab that is causing this. My first guess would be that there is a leak or water penetration under that part of the slab and it's working it's way through the concrete and causing the Kool Deck to delaminate at the interface.

    Unfortunately, you only option is to cut out that section of the deck to inspect the underlying grade and fill to see what's going on. If it's the pool leaking into the ground under that part of the deck, then you've got a bigger fix on your hands.

    Often times, sadly, these nuisance occurrences are just symptoms of a larger problem.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    Matt is most likely correct. Even when pool owners use non-SWG (e.g. bleach) methods for sanitization, they can still end up with a significant concentration of salt in their water over time. Therefore, one would expect to see delamination with some of these high-salt non-SWG pools. Anecdotally, this doesn't seem to be happening very often. You might have something non-standard happening with that big of concrete.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    When I moved into my house with a pool, the kool deck started delaminating and could not determine why. I had the water tested for salt which was off the chart. I drained the pool and started over but it was too late for my deck. Delamination all over. Now looking for alternative deck options.
    10,000 gallon IG pebble pool, 1,200 gallon raised spa, built 2006, Hayward Mega Plus 700 cartridge filter, Hayward Northstar SP4015NS 1.5hp pump, Hayward Super II 2.5hp spa pump w/blower, Jandy AquaLink RS, SpaLink RS controller, A&A Quik Leveler, Quik Clean In-floor cleaning/leaf vac, Laars LX 400 heater, Fiberstars 6004 fiber optic light. Massive delamination of ShastaDeck cool decking.

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    Actually I don't have any Kool Deck. My entire deck is topped with textured acrylic. It looks similar, but unlike Kool Deck is nonporous and much more durable. I recoat the deck with the acrylic color top coat every few years. The deck looks like new after more than 10 years. It has been recoated twice in that time. To avoid any peeling, I am always careful to insure the coating seals around the edge to where it meets the tile, since it's a cantilevered edge with no coping.

    I do have a neighbor that had Kool Deck that was eroding and peeling in some areas. They simply coated the entire deck with the same acrylic color top coat that I use, right over the Kool Deck. That was about three years ago, and it has held up well. You lose the cooling effect of the Kool Deck, but gain the durability of the acrylic surface.

    I really wouldn't know how to deal with a large area that was delaminating. If the problem is just losing the texture. Probably best to remove any areas that are loose down to the concrete surface and retexture using acrylic products for better durability. Then recoat the entire deck with an acrylic color top coat.

    If the problem is in the underlying concrete, you have a much bigger issue, and will probably have to cut and replace a portion of the deck.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Kool Deck Delamination vs Saltwater Pool?

    Hey folks! I am back on to solving this issue and began searching...my thread immediately popped up...I'm not sure why, but I never saw all these responses.

    So, to start with, I'd like to say thanks for the replies! Over the course of the year, the delamination has progressed and will soon begin to...shall I say...liberate itself from the rest of the deck area.

    With regard to the root cause, I'm inclined to agree with some sort of leak which allows pool water to percolate up through the slab. In the past, I have used the bucket test to determine I did not have a water leak....recently, I've noticed that the water bill has been consistently higher than usual, so I'll be performing that test again. The problem area is somewhat centered over the locations for floor skimmer sock and an aerator nozzle. I think I'll dig a little trench just beyond the slab and also do the bucket test to see if there's a leak.

    Thanks again for the responses.
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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