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Thread: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

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    Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    I just bought a house with a concrete pool and the deck slabs have heaved. There was also a leak at the back of one of the slabs (the one that heaved the most) and while digging down to the pipes I did not run across any gravel, so it appears who ever poured the slabs did not do a proper job.

    Since all the slabs have settled or heaved at some point, the previous owner's response was the fill the growing void with some sort of rubber caulk stuff. The "stuff" is still pliable, but it did not bond to the deck or the beam / tile.

    Since I am in Michigan, my first thought is why in the heck would you even make a cantilevered deck like this? Any slab like that is going to move at some point, and it seems like a coping would help isolate the slabs from messing with the tile / pool edge.

    Any suggestions as to the best course of action would be greatly appreciated. My first thoughts are to cut the slabs about 16" from the pool edge and have a proper coping put in, as well as new tile. Then I could break up the remaining slabs and install a new deck of some sort (undecided at this point).

    Also, after looking closely at the photos I took, it seems the current tile is a little high. It looks like the top of the tile is above the beam. Is this typical?

    I have more photos too, but it seems the limit is 3 per post.

    Thanks!
    Matthew
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Leaky 44,000 gallon 1972 concrete bean
    crappy deck
    black pump (1HP I think)
    big filter that looks like a WWII mine
    white PVC plumbing above ground, black stuff underground
    solar panels with a Jandy-thing

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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    Welcome to TFP!

    This is a common occurrence down here in North Texas too due the heat and clay soil.

    You would have to be a pretty handy guy to fix that yourself. New coping and a new tile job is the answer.

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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    All you have to do is look at the pictures in this thread right here to see a similar construction method.

    I bet water intrusion under the coping/deck along with freeze -thaw cycles did most of the damage.
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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    It's a little hard to tell from the pics but the tiles DO look a bit high. There is no structural reason for that not can I think of why they would do that.

    Nevertheless, you have a big job to make it right, I believe.

    A cantilevered deck like yours can be done successfully if the drainage and preparation are good and it looks like yours wasn't.

    Cutting back 16" is a plan but the time and effort you may spend will still end up with uneven, cracked and heaved decking.....right?

    I think I would brace myself and start looking into replacing the entire decking. If you can remove the old concrete, get some rock under there as a good substrate, I think you can have a great looking pool and deck (that will stay stable) for not too much more than trying to fix that first 16".

    I would certainly get a masonry expert out there to give you some ideas.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Welcome to TFP!
    You would have to be a pretty handy guy to fix that yourself. New coping and a new tile job is the answer.
    Well, that's a problem you see, I tend to believe I can do anything... So far I have never gotten in over my head and I'm getting pretty familiar with concrete.

    Thanks everyone for the responses. I think I have come to the same conclusion that the deck needs to be replaced. The reason I was considering cutting first and redoing the coping/border was to no have to deal with the whole deck all at once. However, having the whole deck removed would allow me to fix the known leak by completely replacing the piping instead of making another splice. I didn't like the deck anyway.

    I did have a pool company come out, but they don't do masonry repair. They suggested a concrete guy, but he only does things like pour slabs and such. I live in the middle of no-where, so finding a pool company who will consult with me on this is proving difficult.

    Anyway, a few questions come to mind now that my goal is the remove the deck before snow falls:

    1. How do I close the pool? Without the deck there is no way to secure a cover. Also, I'll need to take the fence down so I can use my loader/backhoe to assist with the job, so that means a big hazard this winter for the kids, dogs, and wildlife.

    2. I have heard and read over and over to not drain a pool, or that it is unhealthy for a concrete pool to sit empty for any period of time. Right now the water level is half way drained, so I could fill back up to just below the skimmer, or drain it the rest of the way. I have no idea which would be better. I have to imagine pieces of concrete will fly into the pool as I break it up, so it will have to be drained and cleaned at some point before using it again.

    3. Should I redo the plumbing? Right now the pump is in a garage that is about 30' to 40' from the pool. With everything ripped up, should I move the "works" closer to the pool and build a pump-house? I have been told that shorter runs are better, however, it has worked fine (ain't broke, so don't fix it) in this configuration since 1972 (that's when the pool was built). I have been known to rebuild something that was working in order to "make it right".

    Here are a few more photos:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Leaky 44,000 gallon 1972 concrete bean
    crappy deck
    black pump (1HP I think)
    big filter that looks like a WWII mine
    white PVC plumbing above ground, black stuff underground
    solar panels with a Jandy-thing

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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    1 & 2. Since you can't really close, I would drain it. Do you know if you have a hydrostatic relief valve in case the water table around it wants to "float" the pool? If not, do you have any concern about the water table being high? That would be my only reason not to drain it, however, I live in the South so am not as aware of freeze/thaw issues up there.....others may be more helpful

    3. The run length is not very relevant to efficiency. If it's in good shape and out of the way, leave your equipment right where it is.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Deck heave and tile cracking. Options?

    Thanks for the tips. The filter is huge and seems fine, and the pump is in good shape and I actually have a spare that I got from a person filling in their pool. I guess that is a good reason to leave it where it is.

    I thought about the water table and the floating of the pool, but I'm not sure. The fact that the pool was leaking all summer and dumping four to five inches of water per day into the ground around the pool makes me nervous.

    I finally got a pool builder to come out and quote me on the repairs and such, so that happens tomorrow. I described the pool and he said it sounded like one his dad built! He also thought the deck is probably original, which surprised me. Even though it is messed up now, I have to admit that for a 40-year-old deck I would say it was done really well to last this long. He also said that the water level is at a good place to leave for the winter, especially since I probably won't have a deck to secure the cover to.
    Leaky 44,000 gallon 1972 concrete bean
    crappy deck
    black pump (1HP I think)
    big filter that looks like a WWII mine
    white PVC plumbing above ground, black stuff underground
    solar panels with a Jandy-thing

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