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Thread: Caulking Advice

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Caulking Advice

    A little history. Our pool was built last fall and they had caulked our pool in late November. It was done poorly the first try and had them come back again the next day to repair and it was questionable at that. During the winter, we experienced significant frost heave throughout the entire concrete deck and still have 1/4-1/2" raise on the deck throughout. I believe that the poor caulk job allowing water below the deck contributed to the deck heaving. In the spring (May), they came out and tore the entire caulk out and it was easily removed in 90% of the pool by simply pulling it. The employee stated "I'm suprised on how easy it was to pull the caulk out." They were SUPPOSED to come and replace the caulk and never came back. I have begun doing it myself and have read many articles on how to do it. I purchased Vulkum seal and 3/4" backer rod for the entire pool.

    From many of the articles I've read, you should remove the foam that was used during the pour to replace it with the backer rod. It was easiest for me to remove the entire section of foam around the entire pool, so I now have 3 1/2 inches of void between the deck and the coping. Removing the top portion of the foam only resulted in about 1/4" of area to caulk and I wanted to make sure I had enough area to place the backer rod in the void. Can you tell me the pros and cons of adding sand to the void prior to placing the 3/4" backer rod in prior to caulking? Does it matter if there remains a void below the backer rod as long as the backer rod is tight and the caulk is done properly? I suspect that since the pool has been subjected to water drainage throughout the void since last November that I've gotten some erosion below the concrete, but since the concrete remains heaved, not sure what impact that has.

    Appreciate any advice or thoughts. I plan on completing the caulking sometime this weekend.
    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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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Caulking Advice

    Bummer, no advice???
    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: Caulking Advice

    From poolcenter.com:

    "Using sand in your expansion joint is a bad idea as it will not allow compression as foam will. And as your deck expands it will exert forces on your pool beam, tile and coping."

    Are you using the 45 or the 45 SSL caulk?

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Caulking Advice

    I believe in your terminology, it would be the 45 which is the self leveling. I just wanted to fill the void below the backer rod which is about 3 1/2" long. I think I'll just cut the foam I took out (3" long) down to 1 1/2" and reinsert and then place the baker rod above it to have a uniform foam support below the caulk. Interestingly, the area throughout the entire perimeter of the pool was VERY EASY to clean from the initial caulk since that caulk came out almost completely in one piece from last year. I'm really spending a lot more time than my PB would to get it right this time so it lasts for several years... I have white travertine and concrete and they initially used a beige caulk. This time I'm using the white caulk to make it match much better. I'm hoping with a real good caulk joint, my heaving problems will be in the past. Only this winter will tell how it goes...
    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: Caulking Advice

    From what I was able to tell, the 45 was pretty runny. The 45SSL is also self leveling, but is touted as being much easier to work with as it is a good deal thicker than the regular 45. How much did you pay for the 45? This is a project that I myself will need to undertake as well.

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Caulking Advice

    I bought it at PoolCenter.com and bought 10 tubes. $26.66 per tube. I'm hoping that it's real runny and goes quickly. I'll tell you how it goes after this weekend. I'm doing it tomorrow. Lot's of prep work tonight, but the entire joint is completely void and cleaned. Have to add foam, backer, tape real well and pump out tube after tube tomorrow. Working on getting only a 1/4" height all around to avoid using too much. I've caulked many things for many years, so I don't consider this a real challenge but we will see...
    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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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Mount Airy, Maryland
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    Re: Caulking Advice

    It's done and it was a 6-hour job on a 18x36 pool. It was very runny. I ran it all around initially and then pinched sand on top to make it look more like our travertine coping. There were about 4 spots where it leaked and had to work with it for several hours placing more backer rod pieces in to avoid leaks. All said and done, it appears to be very well sealed. As far as looks, the PB poured the deck last fall and it remains heaved in many places about 1/4" high so it doesn't really look that great to me, but I'm very critical. I believe it will seal the water well and hope to avoid more heaving this winter. Time will tell. It was very sticky and very runny, but I've found the few paces where it did drip, it was very easy to clean up after dry. I'd use it again. I had bought 10 tubes and only had to use 6.
    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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