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Thread: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

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    Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Hi all. I have been a pool owner for 2 years. The pool (in-ground, gunite) came with the house my husband and I purchased.

    Back story. There was a planter integrated into the edge of one section of the pool. The pool-side edge of the planter consisted of stone coping. The stone was in poor shape, sections missing and not adhered at all anymore. We were having a concrete contractor come out to extend our patio, so while they were here we asked them to remove the rose bush and fill in the planter with concrete.

    So, the problem. As they finished the job, I noticed that the new concrete was in direct contact with the pool tiles, which seemed like a red flag. After a little research, I now now a lot more about pool construction than I did previously. Being a cantilever edge, there should have been an expansion joint between the pool and concrete deck. The lack of one could not only cause the tile to crack, but could also damage the bond beam.

    Response from contractor: The owner of the concrete company will not acknowledge that this is a problem. He now tells me they do not work with pools, and they will not redo the job under any circumstances. They are willing to refund our money. Or they will guarantee the concrete for 10 years but that is for repair of concrete in the event it fails, not in the event of tile or pool damage.
    My question. I now realize that I should have done more research before embarking on this project , but given where I am at now, I need to know how much of a problem this is. Should I hire a more qualified professional to rip out the new concrete and start over the right way? Wait and see if it becomes a problem? As a third option, my hubby is considering chipping away the concrete along the tile edge, which makes me nervous and does not seem to address full problem.

    The next step in this project was going to be SunDek application. ...I don't want to have that done ($) only to have to tear this section out a year later.

    Thanks for sticking with me if you're still here. This has caused me quite a bit of stress. Open to any and all opinions. Trying to figure out how to post photos.image1.jpgimage2.jpg
    13,000 in ground, gunite, chlorine

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    Re: Am I screwed? (concrete job on pool deck gone wrong...)

    More photos of job in progress and "finished" status per contractor...




    This last photo is after my husband cleaned the concrete off the actual tiles with a stiff-bristled brush.


    Again, this is all going to get spray deck, the issues are (a) structural integrity of pool and tiles, and (b) secondary, that the edge looks different from rest of pool (here it is flush with tiles, versus indented, as you see to left, to allow for slip joint).
    13,000 in ground, gunite, chlorine

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    In case it helps, here are some "before" pics (these are from 2014 on/around home inspection and closing day). Say anything, but please don't tell me how much better you liked the planter/rose bush.





    13,000 in ground, gunite, chlorine

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    I'd get the money back and move on if they really mean it. You'd probably lose some as part of future concrete removal but you can consider that your tuition fee. I'm sorry for the bad news but I'm afraid waiting what's is going to happen might not be a good idea especially if you have plans for subsequent projects: the new piece looks bonded to the pool and older concrete around it. So when those pieces move due to thermal expansion/contraction something will crack. Another hidden problem is how they went about pouring new concrete- I doubt they protected back of the pool wall with expansion joint from touching new concrete. If there's direct contact there and the new piece moves towards the wall it would put pressure on the wall perpendicular to its plane from the back and the wall might crack. Cutting grove above the tile line is not going to address this problem unless the 'groove' is wide enough in vertical direction to reach soft base under new concrete.

    I went through similar experience last year- got the pool with the house, the deck moved and took with itself not only upper row of tiles but also about 1" of the pool wall behind them. Luckily it didn't extend deeper and didn't crack the wall lower- I just got nice long horizontal crack on top of the wall. I cut that 1" out, cut and put about 1" expansion joint material between the backfill and the new 1" concrete patch I put in place. I also used builder's paper to ensure no bond between the patch and the deck on top so the patch only holds to the beam at the bottom. So far so good- I installed tiles back covering the patch and put sealant instead of grout between top of the tiles and the deck. Holds fine after 6 months.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    I had written a whole essay on how to fix it, but then I stopped and thought, and decided that the best course of action is to tear it out and have it repoured correctly.

    I'd take whatever moneys that the contractor is willing to refund and find someone that you're comfortable with and have that piece torn out and redone.
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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    I'd take whatever moneys that the contractor is willing to refund and find someone that you're comfortable with and have that piece torn out and redone.
    This. On a good note, concrete is actually fairly soft for quite some time. Do your rip/replace as soon as possible to minimize damage removing the new concrete.
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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Thanks all for your responses. The concrete pour for that section was only $300 but it would help some if we could get the refund.

    A pool contractor is supposed to be coming this morning to take a look at the situation. Sounds like he wants to sell me on a bigger project though, like all new coping for example. Anyone happen to know someone trustworthy in the Atlanta area who would be willing to take on a project of this relatively smaller scope? Or, how in general do you go about finding these type of qualified individuals other than google and angie's list?
    13,000 in ground, gunite, chlorine

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica K View Post
    Or, how in general do you go about finding these type of qualified individuals other than google and angie's list?
    I have great results using the blog (not sure what to call it) called "Nextdoor". There's one for the neighborhood I live in and includes the nearby surrounding neighborhoods. They seem to be across the nation. Residents need to register (are the only ones who can access it), and there is no fee. People post things they have and know regarding almost everything. And you can post things or info you're in search of. I love it much better than Angie's List.

    I googled "Nextdoor Atlanta, GA" and many neighborhoods popped up, so maybe your area is included. Google 'Neighborhood' followed by the name of your neighborhood. If you live in a more rural area, try using the name of the closest neighborhood. They are moderated by a team of 'leads' similar to TFP, but they aren't experts. They are residents from your neighborhood, and they make sure everyone posts with respect.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Thanks, Suz. I will try that. I'm also working backwards from the Sundek contractor to see if he has referrals.

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    If there is a 'Neighborhood' group for your area, there probably won't be a current post for recommendations for your specific needs. You can post your IN Search of , and also do a search on the forum for past posts.

    Good idea checking for referrals from Sundek!
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    After seeing the before photo: What was the original home owner thinking putting that there in the first place?
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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    would the original contractor be willing to remove their creation (with guarantee of not damaging anything around) for the $0 refund? You'd be at square 1 for sure but this could be cheaper and provide them the exit option?
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Borjis, thanks that at least makes me feel better for ripping out rose bush. It was kind of pretty when it bloomed. There was some dead electrical remants that suggested that there was either lighting or something else there originally.

    max2k, good idea. It doesn't hurt to ask. It sounds like the owner is mad that one of his project managers took on the job in the first place and wants no liability for my pool, but I'll see.

    It seems pretty challenging to find someone competent to take on the smaller project. I was not home to meet with the contractor today, but my husband said he is preparing a quote for replastering pool, recoping with stone, and retiling (!). My hunch is that the right people to hire generally work as subs under big pool general contractors. My next strategy will be to ask for referrals from pool cleaning/service companies. They must run into customers with similar issues on a semi-regular basis.
    13,000 in ground, gunite, chlorine

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    Re: Concrete job on pool deck gone wrong

    Don't have any structural advice for you, but if it was my pool I'd totally want a waterfall/feature in that spot. You made the right choice removing the rose bush.

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