Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    8

    Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    Hi all,

    First time pool owner here. Just bought a house with a very old inground pool and the expansion joint caulking desperately needs to be replaced. Below is a link to article we found with instructions on how to do it yourself (which we'd prefer). Basically it says to do the following:

    • Thoroughly clean out old caulk
    • Insert backing rod
    • Apply self-leveling caulk


    Does this sound right to everyone? Anyone have any other suggestions or additional tips for us?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    http://blog.poolcenter.com/article.aspx?articleid=6289

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    23,994

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    Yes, that is right. It needs to be poyurethane self-leveling caulk. Sikaflex is the brand my PB uses.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,083

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    I have found the self-leveling caulk very difficult to work with.

    If your joint is sloped away from the pool, the self-leveling feature will let the caulk run out of the high side and overfill the lower end.

    I'm sure with experience I could've done a better job but a DIY guy doesn't get much to practice with.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Mesa, Az
    Posts
    536

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    I agree wholeheartedly with duraleigh on this. Self-leveling is no product for amateurs.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    dw9000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    178

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    I just did the cut joints on my pool deck, a little different than the expansion joint around the perimeter, but I used Vulkem 116 and it flowed very good and easily applied. I sat the tubes in the sun for a few minutes prior to using and cut a very small end so I didn't get gobs coming out.
    http://www.tremcosealants.com/products/vulkem-116.aspx


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt3NxNyo9fU

    I've tried the self leveling before, unless you have the backer rod snug in place and even all the way around it was difficult for me and in all honesty, where I did apply it (sealed concrete walkway to black top driveway),, it only lasted one season and now it is cracking up.

    Coping-Repair.jpg
    In-ground block / vinyl liner 33' x 22' x 5',, approx 25k gals
    Cartridge Filter
    Floor drains, 2 skimmers, 3 return lines (2" plumbing ultra-flex PVC)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange, TX
    Posts
    66

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    I used the Vulkem 45SSL which is a Semi - Self Leveling Sealant in a tube. (You need a quart sized caulking gun). Worked great and is recommended for pool expansion joints. It flowed just enough to level itself as needed, but wasn't so watery that it ran everywhere like a full self level would have. This stuff is pretty pricey from poolcenter.com, but I found it for half the price at coastalone.com and they have a few different colors to choose from. Once the joint was cleaned I used a shop vacuum to vacuum the joint and then used the garden hose spray to clean some more. Once dry I installed all the backer rod then went to caulking. After each tube I applied a sand coating to the top and then moved on to the next tube around the pool. If you are going to use on any vertical surfaces such as steps you will need to put a stop in place because it will just run down with gravity. Also, if you have any plastic type expansion joints that butt up to your pool joint I would recommend putting a little silicone in the gaps where these joints meet prior to caulking. Otherwise you will lose some of your caulking product into these gaps and the joint will slump in these areas. I learned this after the fact.
    20,500 gallon free form, 6X9 hot tub w/ spillover, 18" jumping platform w/ 3ft shear descent on chopped rock, Travertine coping, 2.5HP Hayward 2-speed filter pump, 525 Hayward Cartridge filter, 350K BTU Hayward NG Heater, 2HP Hayward water feature pump, Satin Matrix Northshore Carribbean, Jandy PDS-8 Controls

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    8

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    Thanks everyone for the great tips, much appreciated!

    Do others have experience with DIY caulking jobs lasting just one season? Seems like a lot of manual labor for it to not last long. Is it expensive to have a professional do it?

    Again, many thanks!

  8. Back To Top    #8


    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
    Posts
    3,294

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    We used a professional to do ours.

    Very pleased with the results. It wasn't cheap because we had about 180' to caulk (pool to deck and walls to deck) at $4.75/ft. But it really gives it a finished appearance and functional too of course. I did do some grinding of the areas to be caulked in preparation because the foam, especially around the wall/tables, was not consistent. So I essentially created a joint to be caulked by going down about a 1/2" into the decking in several stretches. Glad I did that as the look is very consistent now.

    Below is something I posted in someone else's thread on the topic of our caulk guy...

    Here is a website from the guy I'm going to use to caulk my new pool and other joints around the pool deck. After talking with several pool builders, they feel this is the highest quality way to fill these gaps. It's a non-sag (i.e. non-self-leveling) caulk and they also use a professional grade urethane sealant on it.

    http://www.caulking-unlimited.com/

    Here's a link to the post with an after and before picture.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...l=1#post586383
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Mesa, Az
    Posts
    536

    Re: Caulking expanion joint, DIY tips needed

    The key to caulking that lasts is surface prep and using the proper primer (if required). Setting the backer rod at a consistant depth is also important. They make a wheel for this (looks like a pizza cutter).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •