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Thread: Cracked tiles

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    yorgo0396
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    Cracked tiles

    Bought this home/pool one year ago. The tiles were all off on one side of the pool so had a pool company come in and completly reinstal for a cost of 15,000.00 dollars.
    Its gone through one winter (in southern Canada, Toronto) and I am noticing separation on the grout lines. The picture shows the worst area but the crack extends appox 5 feet. It is only a small crack (1/16) but its been only one season.

    Had the company in and they said they would re-grout. They said it is a problem with leakage from the deck and if they need to remove tiles to have a look I would need to pay. My problem with that is all the tiles were off last year when the did the work so why did they not notice something then?

    I am new to pool ownership and not sure how much I should go after them for a complete fix on this. Is this just the nature of pool ownership. Spending 15 thousand and having it go in one season seems a waste.

    Any advise?
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: Cracked tiles

    As explained to me by an excellent contractor:
    Barring any leak that would compromise the mortar job, the mortar used for grouting SHOULD be 'cured' in a special manner, and that includes indoors or outdoors on floors, walls, kitchens, baths, and pools. This curing process is almost never done, and one of the results is cracking, like you see on your pool.

    Grout SHOULD be misted or sponged with a wet sponge several times per day for several days, up to a week after installation.
    Here's why: The grout should dry at an even rate from outer surface to base, guaranteeing a solid and firm mortar.

    If you don't mist or sponge:
    As the grout dries first at the surface, it shrinks. As the grout dries deeper in the mortar joint, the deeper grout shrinks too. But the grout on top has already dried and shrunk, so the surface grout is forced to shrink even more, creating cracks in the mortar.

    If you mist or wet-sponge the grout several times per day, it will keep the surface grout a little moist, and will allow the entire thickness of grout to dry and shrink in unison, as one unit.

    Since I was told this, I've grouted a lot, cured it in this manner, and never had a crack, ever.

    Good luck with your repair.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    yorgo0396
    Guest

    Re: Cracked tiles

    Thanks for the curing tips, not sure this was even done after the instal.

    However the grout showed no signs of cracking/expansion for 5 months during our summer. The cracking occurred only until after the winter months.

    Also, the picture did not show the amount of white build up that occurred under the most severely affected area. I had already cleaned it off using acid.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Sebring, Florida
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    Re: Cracked tiles

    I can't tell from that pic but it appears that the pool deck and the pool wall are not separated by a flexible expansion joint. That's a NO-NO and the crack is the result. The horizontal surface of the deck and the vertical surface of the pool wall expand and contract in different directions and require a caulk joint

    A pic a bit further away would confirm that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5
    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    South Florida
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    Re: Cracked tiles

    Dave is correct about the expansion joint, though not all pools have them. They are certainly most effective in locations with temperature/weather extremes.

    As to the white build-up, here's a bit of information on Grout Efflorescence from a manufacturer's website: http://www.mapei.us/pdf/techbulletin...escence_tb.pdf
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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