Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Hi,

    I had my pool completely redone only 2 summers ago, and now I find that there are crack lines and pieces falling out between the top of the tiles and the bottom (underside) of the coping. Should this be happening so soon? It is mostly around the shallow end, but all around the pool there is a line that has developed at the top of the tiles, whereas before it was this nice seamless joint. I know the warranty on grout and plaster is typically only a few years, but still...is this sort of thing normal? Also, can it be fixed without draining the pool? When I ran into these sorts of problems with my old plaster and tiles, I just used to pull out the loose stuff and put waterproof caulking to fill any holes or gaps. And, again, those problems occurred many years after the original pool was put in. My contractor told me that a renovation can often only go around 10 years, which alone is a rather depressing concept. Also I'm told that some pools 'take' to a renovation better than others. Is this grout problem indicative that I might have one of those pools that is not going to last long following the reno?

    Thanks for any advice. I have contacted the company that did the job and sent pictures.

    Regards,
    Keith
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    A pic would help but can you tell if the grout is failing from freeze/thaw or from movement of the substrate?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Hi Duraleigh...not sure really. All I'm fairly certain of is that the problem didn't seem to be there when I opened the pool. What I am sure of is that it didn't look like this when the renovation was completed nor until fairly recently I believe.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Is the deck above an integrated cantilever deck or is it coping of some kind?
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    I'm not familiar with cantilevered decks but from some quick research about it I'm fairly certain I don't have that. Mine is your typical poured, broomed concrete decking that is level with the coping, and then the usual vulcanized caulking (or whatever was used for the renovation) expansion joint between the coping and the edges of the deck. When the original deck was poured, it was over blue stones. Not sure if that answers your question.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    From the pics, there appears to be no damage to the top horizontal surface of the tiles. It's just that the grouting that is level with and goes against the top of the tile seems to be falling out. Still, I would think this invites further damage during the winter and certainly should not be happening so soon following renovation.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Can you delete one of your pics and post one pulled back about 2 - 3 feet from the pool. I can't really see exactly where that is occurring. It is a problem for sure.

    Do you have any financial leverage?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    What is the implication of your last question...(?) Are you asking if I have the means to pay to have repairs done? If so, most definitely. Remember I'm the one who forks out $$ to keep going with baquacil LOL! Although I just paid a decent amount to have the pool renovated. Wasn't planning on any additional big expenses in the foreseeable future with the pool.

    I will delete a pic and add one. Right now it's raining here so can't get one at the moment. I'm not sure why you need a broader view though. What you see in the pic is a close-up of what's happening. Everything else around the coping, etc., looks fine. Still, I'll do as you suggest as soon as the rain and drizzle moves out of here.

    When you say it "is a problem for sure"..are you hinting at major problems..as in the reno did not go well for some reason and will likely lead to larger issues? Or is it a simpler matter of needing some regrouting?
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Tried several times to delete one of the existing pics but it won't do it. I did take another one from a bit farther away but not sure it will help you. The forum is still telling me I have exceeded my upload quota by a specific number of KB. If I can delete one of the existing, I'll try again.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    IMG_6154.jpg

    Didn't realize I had to go into settings to delete images....so now I got rid of enough that allowed me to upload additional.

    Dave...let me know if this helps you at all. If it doesn't, I'll have to get a pic from inside the pool. Otherwise it's hard to see the grouting problem since it's all the way underneath the edge of the coping. You can kind of see a small hole where there is missing grout at second tile from the left and the same for the one all the way on the right. Again, I'm not sure what you are looking to see in a broader picture.

    If you need additional shots just let me know.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    No, that pic is great and gives me the perspective I needed.

    There is no structural problem but your PB should fix it.

    The Cantilevered decking rests on the pool bond beam but is not structurally attached. That is done on purpose and is very important. It allows the pool wall and the decking to move independently of each other since they sit on different substrates..

    So, the correct way to seal that joint where the two come together is with polyurethane caulk - not grout. The grout is inert and once the two surfaces start sliding over one another (it's microscopic) the cement grout cannot flex so it cracks and falls out.

    Polyurethane caulk will flex with that movement and give you a nice seal. Easy Peasey fix......sorry to be long winded.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JamieP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Waxahachie, TX (south of Dallas)
    Posts
    1,135

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Just curious... Is there a benefit of the Polyurethane caulk over silicone? I've got a similar situation and thought I had read on here that silicone was recommended, but I'm probably remembering wrong.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Polyurethane will last longer and will fill the crack better. It fills larger cracks. Dave got this right on. The surfaces on either side of this joint will move so a caulk is the answer
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    No, that pic is great and gives me the perspective I needed.

    There is no structural problem but your PB should fix it.

    The Cantilevered decking rests on the pool bond beam but is not structurally attached. That is done on purpose and is very important. It allows the pool wall and the decking to move independently of each other since they sit on different substrates..

    So, the correct way to seal that joint where the two come together is with polyurethane caulk - not grout. The grout is inert and once the two surfaces start sliding over one another (it's microscopic) the cement grout cannot flex so it cracks and falls out.

    Polyurethane caulk will flex with that movement and give you a nice seal. Easy Peasey fix......sorry to be long winded.
    Dave,

    So I have what is considered to be cantilevered decking? I consider what I have to be just a regular deck. What is the difference?

    My original pool had grout between the top of the tiles and the coping and it lasted for years without any pieces falling off. Eventually crack lines developed but even then it took a few more years before any pieces started to fall out.

    Are we talking about the same thing here? You seem to be referring to the joint between the deck and the pool wall...which...as I mentioned IS finished with caulking. Only the top inch or so was filled in with some sort of adhesive compound on top of which sand was filled in. I remember the guy pouring in the sand. So my joint between end of deck and the coping is caulk. What needs to be addressed is the grout issue at the top of tiles as shown in the first two pics I posted.

    Are you saying that there should be caulking INSTEAD of grout where the tiles meet the underside of the coping?
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    There are three different items that converge here. One is the pool structure itself. A large rebar cage encased in very strong concrete. It is big and has water in it which tends to minimize temperature changes and therefore movement. Second you have a concrete deck which tends to move laterally pushing on the third item in the equation the cantilevered coping. The coping is attached to the top of the pool (the "Bond Beam") usually by mortar. The coping is relatively thin and is often being pushed around by the deck. Because the pool structure to which it attached is relatively stable the pool doesn't move much but the coping moves more, stretching when its warm, contracting when its cold.

    Depending on climate, sun exposure, the exact makeup of the coping, and the mortar used to attach it to the bond beam the coping may last a long time or it may last less. Eventually the coping pieces will pop off and have to be replaced. But when that will be is something we cannot tell you. As long as the mortar is not compromised too deep in the joint we recommend polyurethane caulk, it stretches and moves so it will last longer.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    206

    Re: Grout is cracking and breaking up between the tile and coping after renovation

    Gwegan,

    Thanks for that explanation. Very well stated and helps me to get the bigger picture. That being said, though, I'm still confused as to what you're recommending for the problem I'm having. Are you indicating that there should have never been grout put in at the tops of the tiles and that it should have been caulked instead? I don't believe I've ever seen a pool that doesn't have grout all the way around the tiles - including up against the coping.

    Plus, are you also suggesting that the loose and cracked grouting is a function of either a deficiency in the mortar that was used to attach the coping to the bond beam or the manner in which it was attached? If so, it would seem that the coping stones might well get loose well before they should. I expect this reno to last at least 10 years before something major like replacing coping, etc. would need to be done again, especially considering that the original pool lasted nearly 30 years without a single piece of coping being loose until they were jackhammered off in preparation for new. I'm really starting to suspect that renovations simply don't hold up all that well compared to original construction, which I suppose makes sense although if you're taking the pool down to the original bond beam and effecting repairs on it as needed, and then putting on all the new coping and tiles, why wouldn't this be as long lasting as original?
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

Posting Permissions

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