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Thread: Frost Heave - thoughts please

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Have we just got bad luck or what? If you've followed a few of my posts, here is what we discovered on Monday when I went in to check our water under the Looploc cover. This pool was constructed from August through November and closed in December. We're a little worn out!!!

    http://www.golfmd.com/baurphotoalbum/po ... haseVI.htm

    What will be involved with this repair?
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Ouch!

    It looks like the deck settled (a lot!) How was the compaction before the deck was installed?

    It also looks, or sounds, like the coping wasn't properly grouted/ sealed

    Fortunately, you have a warranty to cover you. Unfortunately, the fix won't be easy nor fun

    Please keep us posted (excellent!! link with the pics and descriptions )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    I dont think the deck moved, the coping did. I cant tell from the pictures, but it looks to me like the coping got pushed up on the cantilever pool edge by about an inch, and caused the back side to drop below the deck by about an inch in a few places. If the deck moved in places, it would be out of level somewhere. And, if the deck moved, I wouldnt think the coping would have separated from the top of the pool. Look at the back retaining wall. If you see the same block course with the same height all across the length of the wall, I dont think its the deck.

    How much did you lower the water before you put the Loop-Lok on? This looks like a case of the cover displacing the water in the pool up high enough to sit right under the coping. When the water froze, it pushed up on the edge of the coping. Put a level on the coping back to front. My guess is it's out of level about an inch, front to back.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Actually, I believe the deck went up by about 1 inch and almost all around the pool. The deck and seal stuck on the deck are about 1/4" to 1" above the coping all around. I'm guessing the reason that the damage occurred on the skimmer is the fact that the skimmer was concreted to the deck and when the deck rose, it pushed the coping up with it. Does that make sense. Otherwise the entire pool had to sink which is hard for me to believe. The water was and still is much lower than the skimmer. It's at the same level as some of the other pictures which is about 12 inches below skimmer at this time.

    Do you have to cut the concrete to repair this?
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Ok that makes sense about the skimmer. Is that the only place where the coping is raised off the pool?

    Hard to say what the fix is. So the whole deck, all the way around, is raised? What kind of material is under the deck?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    That was the only place the coping came off the shell. It was all dug out dirt (from 6' to 2') so it was all undisturbed soil and it has probably 2-4 inches of 57 stone but there was a LOT of excess material spread also.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    It is definitely frost heave and will go back down somewhat when things thaw out. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it is to remove the patio and about 8 inches of the subgrade under it so that it slopes away from the pool to a perimeter drain at the base of your retaining wall. The perimeter drain needs to be dished out below the subgrade to mitigate future soil saturation (similar to a foundation drain for a house). Any areas where masonry ruble was used to backfill the pool walls should be cleared of the ruble and replaced with compacted soil so you don't have low pressure areas collecting water. They you should put down a compacted crusher run base for the new patio to be poured on.

    In general, the pool is the lowest area of the site and although you put in drainaige pipes behind your walls, the water is still moving below them and collecting under the patio.

    Its probably going to be a battle getting someone to take full responsibility for the problem. I know of a very similiar situation that happened last winter and the homeowners insurance company paid for a portion of the repair along with the pool contractor. The pool contractor did not make the repair.

    Its obvious from all of the hard work you have put into this project that you have dreamed about its completion with every shovelful of gravel you moved and block that was laid. I'm really sorry that its been less than you expected but there will be a day when you can sit poolside with you wife and enjoy a cold one without thinking of the trials and tribulation it took to get there.

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    The funniest thing about prior to putting in the concrete, I told the PB that I had taken a lot of the rubble and used a lot of 57 stone and crusher run and compacted the entire deck area prior with a vibrator. He mentioned to me that it wasn't good to compact the base prior to putting concrete in. I've got a good friend that pours concrete and to the contrary. There are two drains - one in front of the block wall and one behind. I believe most of our problems occurred due to a REAL POUR job on caulking and resultant water damage underneath the deck.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Quote Originally Posted by XsAllOverIt
    That was the only place the coping came off the shell. It was all dug out dirt (from 6' to 2') so it was all undisturbed soil and it has probably 2-4 inches of 57 stone but there was a LOT of excess material spread also.
    Can you clarify this a little? Not sure I understand completely. You said it was dug out dirt, but then you say it was undisturbed soil? Are you saying it was undisturbed soil originally before they dug out 2-6 feet of dirt? Sorry, I'm trying to understand what type of material is below your deck.
    On a gunite pool, I didnt think they overdug the pool like they do with a vinyl liner pool.
    In any case, I think renovxpt is right. If any of the soil around the pool is dug out, it should be replaced with better material. A base of stone along the bottom then some processed gravel (some areas call it crusher run) should be put on top of the stone. I see a lot of folks filling up the overdug space with stone and they think thats the best material to use. It's not actaully. You need something more compactable under there. Stone wont compact and can shift quite a bit.
    Unfortuneatly, the fix it to pull the deck out and put in a better sub base, and pitch the deck toward the walls. I'd leave about 1 foot of space between the wall and the deck so water can drain back off the deck. You can fill the space with some river stone. Thats the way mine is done.

    I just saw your replay while i was typing. I'm not sure it's a caulk issue. That caulk will keep a little water out, but your issue is something that even the best caulk job wouldnt take care of. I think it's how the base was done. On the drains. The drain I think renovxpt is talking about is a space with no concrete between the edge of the deck and the wall.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Probably the best way to describe it is to point you to these set of pictures:

    http://www.golfmd.com/baurphotoalbum/po ... seIV-4.htm

    It wasn't overdug. It was undisturbed soil with about 2-3" of a combination of debris (coping pieces, wall pieces), crusher run and 57 clean stone. The area around that skimmer was mostly 57 clean stone because it needed about 5-6". I compacted the whole area several times prior to them pouring the concrete. They weren't going to compact it at all - go figure! The funny thing that the PB indicated was that I should use 57 stone for all my block wall work, because it's 97% compactable. I used crusher run from my earlier experiences. He built a wall exactly like ours several weeks later at a different site. Wondering how that wall will hold up.

    The deck has a good pitch toward the walls and has about a 6" spacing with crushed red stone and right below that a 4" black perferated pipe running the entire perimeter already.

    If I pull the deck completely which will be a monumental job, I'm going to run pavers throughout. The PB told me I couldn't use pavers with a sand base near the pool and they convinced me that pouring concrete was the right approach. Not going through this again. My whole goal was to go low maintenance for 15-20 years. Guess I haven't gotten there yet.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Sorry, I didn't see the drain in front of the wall in the photos. In our climate the frostline is 12 inches which is why we choose an 8 inch gravel base on soils with a high % of clay which is more likely to absorb moisture and heave.

    The caulk we use is designed to stretch at least an inch or more in severe freezing conditions although it looks like in your case it didn't hang to the coping that well. Application temperatures along with clean and dry masonry are critical to its performance. IMO a better caulk job probably wouldn't have prevented this. You still have the contraction joints tooled in the concrete that allow water penetration.

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    This picture is a great example of what I'm talking about. They were going to pour in 2 days and leave all of this as shown. Instead, I cleaned that entire area out, got a LOT of crusher run and compacted and layed the pieces back in and compacted again. Unfortunately, all my efforts still resulted in these problems.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    This is what it looked like when I got done, but they also added further 57 stone (clean) to get it up to the correct level.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Most patios, driveways, walkways etc are not poured on the gravel base previously described but it doesn't matter as much when a driveway heaves and usually goes unnoticed.

    #57 is generally considered to be self-compacting although it can be consolidated a little more through vibration. It also facilitates water collection and movement when vented to gravity or connected to a pump.

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    There weren't any contraction joints in the concrete. They only grooved it. Never cut it.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    OK, I think I got the picture now.
    I think the biggest issue is the base that was used. See, the problem is that different areas of the country use different terms for gravels, stone, crusher run, etc. #57 stone is probably too big to use under a concrete deck. The straight crusher run you used here doesnt contain any dirt fines. Up here in New England, what we call processed gravel is a mix of 1/2" stone and seived dirt. It compacts really well but yet drains extremely well. Not sure what they call it in your area, but thats the proper material to use under a deck like this. Normally, you would excavate 12-18 inches of material out and put in processed gravel compacted in 6 inch lifts. This makes a good, hard base for the concrete that will drain really well.

    Im not sure why the PB told you not to put in pavers with a sand base near the pool. It's done all the time. I prefer stone dust to sand, but both will work. If you pull up the deck, you will need to pull out about 18 inches or so of that stone, replace it with processed material up to 6.5 inches inches below the top of the coping (you want 4 inches of sand/stone dust base plus the thickness of the paver to bring the top of the paver flush with the coping). Then lay your pavers.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    I sometimes just want to go get a BEER in the middle of the day... That's probably another 2 months of my life coming up doing things I didn't need to do when I paid to have it done. I know I've got a fight coming up, but also will be pressured on getting it all done. I seriously doubt the PB will be willing to do much. When we had our coping re-done on the hot tub due to really POOR work, I ended up doing it because they never came back to do it and I just didn't know if they could do any better. I might just do the deck in pieces and try to make it look by design if the concrete deck comes back into place in most areas. I'll just cut out a good size section near the skimmer and repair and replace with pavers. That I know how to do right. Thanks for the info. This has been my first experience with a HUGE job and a contractor and we just made a lousy pick basing it off some gut feelings and referral. We're paying for it now.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Frost Heave - thoughts please

    Just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through this. I am in the Charlotte area with new concrete pavers (with stone dust) installed last year and it's great. Before that the deck was brick pavers with sand for the first 20 years of its life and it appeared to have held up pretty well also (even not having been installed with the correct base).
    18x36 IG Vinyl, 8.5 deep, 28K, Hayward C4025 SwimClear Filter, Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1HP

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