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Thread: Slippery Pool deck!

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    Slippery Pool deck!

    I put in a new pool last year. I was going to go with a brushed concrete, and finish with "Cool Deck" later. However, the concrete subcontractor (along with the pool company owner) suggested I look at some "stamped" concrete - with color - patterns. They said it would not be slick, as it would be sealed with a sealer that had "grit" in it. AND, it wouldn't be very hot.

    Well, several problems: 1) it developed thousands of little bubbles! They pop, and flake off (and end up in the water!).
    2), it is slick as can be!

    Concrete guy said "Don't worry; I'll reseal it (with Sure Seal 30), and add a whole lot more grit. That will solve both problems". What happened? I now have thousands of BIGGER bubbles (look like huge blisters), and it is still slick! He put a whole can of "aluminum oxide" in the mix.

    So no he tells me the distributer advised him to put some sort of "emulsifier" on the sealant, which would sort of "liquify" it, to resorb the bubbles, and then would solidify again. PLUS, they said manually broadcast the grit on the surface, rather than mix it in; this would create the grittiness I need so that my grandkids and neighbors aren't breaking arms and skulls!

    I SO wish I had gone with my original plan. The deck LOOKED great before the sealer was added (oh - the finish is called "Italian Slate") - it is just too slick, and the bubbles look ridiculous.

    Is there ANYTHING I can do at this point to fix the problems???

    Thanks -


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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Slippery Pool deck!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Bubbles can result from concrete that is hot or gets hot before the sealer cures. To prevent it, you can work in cooler weather, and/or put the sealer on in thinner layers that cure more quickly. But the weather can be tool cool and cause bubbles, or wind can kick up and cause the top of the sealer to dry faster than the sealer underneath and cause bubbles. The bubbles come from different parts of the sealer curing at different rates which can trap the solvent under partially cured sealer. Thin coats are the secret, but it's a lot more work.

    Often there is a solvent that you can brush on the sealer after the bubbles form that will re-liquefy the sealer and allow it to coat the deck. Acetone or Xylene are recommended by some manufacturers, though you should see what the particular sealer requires. You can roll on some solvent and then roll the sealer out again.

    Another issue can be poor adhesion to the concrete. That can be addressed by doing a muriatic acid etching of the surface before applying the sealer.
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