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Thread: How to fix concrete coping

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    How to fix concrete coping

    Hello everyone! I am a new pool owner and I had a not so great experience with the building of the pool. Short version is that we needed multiple sub-contractors to come in and none of them seemed to care about the work being done, they just wanted in and out. The actual contractor is a friend and my next door neighbor. He builds very nice custom homes and got into the pool business with a guy who turned out to be a pathological liar. I was his 1st vinyl pool. He feels terrible about things and wants to make things right.

    That said - I have issues with our cantilevered concrete coping. The wrong mix was used (had a very coarse aggregate) and they took no time to work the edges when removing the molds. There were gaps, holes, embedded foam, lots of visible rock, etc. He didnt like it, we hated it! To sort of fix things he brought in his stucco crew and they buttered on a thin layer of thinset mortar. That covered all the visible issues but aesthetically I feel it is worse. It doesnt match in color and it just looks bad.

    He has agreed to fix the coping this winter when we close the pool for the season. The pool is perfectly usable right now, it just looks bad.

    My question is - how does one go about fixing coping? He hasnt elaborated yet, he just put into writing it would be fixed "correctly". I am not entirely sure he knows how to do it yet but he is willing to hire in the people that do know. Since I do Not know, I wanted to at least get an idea of what should happen so I am better able to make a decision come repair time. I have full veto power on any sub coming in to do the work if I am not happy with the plan. The coping is part of our deck with no seams other than the stress relief cuts that radiate out.

    My two thoughts on how it could go -
    Cut out the existing coping and pour fresh concrete with new molds (would require draining pool and releasing the liner from the track - correct?). Issue there is getting it to match or just purposely use a different color of concrete for the new coping as an accent.

    Cut out existing coping and put in something like prefab bullnose pieces or tiles.

    I could be way off on both which is why I wanted to ask here! I am sure he will not want to spend much, he already lost quite a bit on our pool. We want to make sure the job is done correctly and looks great. He is my friend and neighbor but this is business and a big investment for us!
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    Do not drain the pool. The liner can shrink. The liner does not need to be detached.

    I need to see a picture. Put a pic in a Photobucket album. Hover over it and 4 coding options will appear. Copy the 4th one and paste it here. Use a new line to delineate multiple pics.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    I'll need to take some photos. Basically I want the coping to look smooth and even. Right now it is somewhat smooth, not even and just looks sloppy since the thinset mortar doesnt match in color and the way it was applied. If I look at my neighbors pools, all of their coping looks like perfect extensions of their deck with no openly visible flaws, aggregate, etc.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    A separate topic, but the pool will need to be drained. The pool base is also a mess. It was done quickly and sat way too long before the liner went in. We have sink holes forming in the base now. Nothing too big - the largest is maybe 8" long, 3" wide and 1" or so deep. You can see it with the naked eye from above the pool surface and definitely feel them though! I know the liner will be stretched in all of those spots so we may end up with a new liner anyway. That would be our THIRD liner! As I said - this was a mess... At least he is trying his hardest to make things correct and we have it all in writing.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    To repair what you are describing you will probably have to cut it out and start over.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    That is what I hope will happen. I actually hope that maybe we can put in some tile or stone, but I have no idea how that will look with our current liner. I still want to keep the edges somewhat rounded if possible since I have three little boys.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    If your looking for the best advice from the experts here, you really need to post pics of your pool/coping. Suggestions/recommendations can be made that you might not have considered because a text description of your situation is limited by your expertise. It only takes a few minutes even if you've never done it before. I would think you'd have numerous photos compiled from construction, no?

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    Sorry for the long delay in pictures. My wife wasnt about to let me take my DSLR into the pool, my phone takes lousy photos, so I had to find the charger for our waterproof camcorder (just a Playsport). Still took me a lot of trial and error to get them to come out half decent. These look better than the coping actually looks, but you can get an idea of what I have. You can see the sloppy work, where they got it on the liner and in the track, where they missed applying it, etc...







    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    I don't know what it looked like before the face of the decking was done but will tell you its SOP. The colors never match exactly. They can't due to the different batches and materials used. This is normal.

    As for that which got into the track and on the liner bead, gently scrape it off. It's not on like epoxy.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    It looked 10X worse before they put on the thinset mortar. So this repair is SOP? I guess every friend and neighbor I have with pools got lucky. In the past three years we have had 11 pools go in this small neighborhood of ours (by multiple contractors), and all but one has concrete coping (the other has custom stone, but that is his job - a custom stone contractor!). All of their coping looks like a nice seamless extension of their deck. No visible aggregate, no unevenness or rough edges (they had to sand our coping twice to try and get it evened out), the coping is the same thickness the whole perimeter, etc.

    Prior to the thinset coating I had rocks sticking out (the aggregate in the mix, it was like a #57 limestone/driveway rock), I had styrofoam stuck everywhere and if you pulled the foam out you were left with voids - it wasnt just stuck to the surface, I had voids under the deck where you could clearly see the clay dirt, there was a very rough and sharp seam the entire perimeter from the molds where they needed to sand it down multiple times, one section is clearly thicker than the rest of the deck. I really can go on and on. Maybe I am being overly picky but when friends, neighbors, family, and the contractor himself notices it immediately maybe I am not! I had a neighbor get a pool installed about the exact time we did ours. Their concrete crew was there most of the day with 6 guys working on his 16x32 pool. His coping looks flawless. The crew here spent maybe half a day, there were 3 guys total and I am left with a mess. They wanted in and out as fast as possible.

    It still comes down to sloppy work. Even if the thinset is SOP, they still missed spots all over the place where you can see the old concrete. It is also really uneven in the coating. Some spots are so thin you can scrape it off with your fingernail, other spots are glopped on. Had they done something to make it even or give it a finished edge or look we would probably be OK. As it sits, we are not OK. Our pool was not expensive compared to many I have seen on here and I have some family members with really fancy pool/spas. It is still a very large investment for us and we expected a whole lot better than what we got...
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    Coating the facing is SOP and not a repair. That the mason crew may not have been the best doesn't surprise me. Three on a team not normally enough man power if the pour was via wheel barrows. Men to pour it in the forms, man with a rake, man with bull float, and one finisher/edger. I don't see how three men could do it.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    I have the same problem. Did you get yours fixed yet?

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: How to fix concrete coping

    Not fixed yet and wont be fixed for a while. Since the pool is usable the contractor agreed to let us use the pool until we are ready to shut down for the season. Once we are done he is going to fix it along with some other issues. I am still not sure what he plans on doing for the fix!
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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