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Thread: New England Pool Needs some Love!

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    New England Pool Needs some Love!

    Hi everyone! Thanks for letting me join in the pool fun! I've been a pool owner for more than 10 years and have learned a lot over the years. I've replaced almost everything in my pump /filter system myself over the years and feel pretty good about what I know. But now the time has come for a true rehab. I uploaded a video to YouTube to illustrate the problems I'm facing and would love to get some comments and suggestions.

    See the YouTube Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iMCHDXPk_U

    [youtube][/watch?v=8iMCHDXPk_U]


    Here's a summary of the issues I need help with for my in-ground gunite pool:

    1. Pool is drained so I could check out the issues - Should I partially fill for the winter?
    2. Plaster is worn through in many places
    3. Decorative tile is falling off, again. What alternatives do I have to replacing?
    4. Top step of 3 has collapsed
    5. Cool Deck has been chipping for years. Can I fix this myself?
    6. Can I do some or most of this work myself? At least the prep? (Other than the acid washing)?

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    A VERY nice looking pool but in desperate need of some repair, as you know. I'll comment on a couple of issues.

    Decking - I think it ALL needs to come off. You can rent an electric jackhammer to sort of undercut the "kool deck". I would take up all of it. That part is DIY but replacing it with another finished surface is really not unless you have had some experience with it before and are an experienced mason. Whatever product you saw from Leslies will most likely not be adequate to restore your decking.

    Tile - I would remove it completely as well. Another DIY for removal but a pretty tough job unless you have the masonry skills required. The tile serves some functional needs as it gives you a "scum line" that you are able to keep clean. Running plaster up to the cantilever will result in some staining issues at the waterline that will be almost impossible to overcome.

    Step - That's amazing. Why do you think that concrete broke off? I imagine because it cracked and the freeze/thaw cycle finished the job.. That can be a possible DIY but, again, you'll need some masonry skills and the ability to make that repair so it doesn't reappear......I think you'll have to "peg" some rebar into the existing to have any hope of the patch holding onto the old concrete.

    Partially fill for winter - I don't think you need to do that but I live in the South and don't have to winterize my pool. You always have to deal with an empty pool popping out of the ground but that is usually pretty remote unless you know you have ground water issues. Others with winterizing experience will help more than I can.

    Plaster - unless you are willing to accept some rather unsightly patching, you are destined to replaster the pool. Sounds like you used the pool this season without too many problems so you could maybe take these repairs one at a time and spread out the expense. Regardless, trying to DIY most of the finished masonry jobs will really tax your skills and your back. Everything is possible but you would be biting off a huge chunk to try this work yourself.

    Still, very nice pool and almost surely worth the rehab expense. Keep us posted.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    Thanks so much for your quick repsonse, Dave! You've confirmed what I was thinking. And really glad to get more details from a professional. Some additional thoughts in repsonse...

    I agree about the Kool Deck - If I don't get it ALL up it's likely to chip and crack under whatever I put over it. I hadn't thought of a jack-hammer so I will defintely look into that. I was thinking about a small version of the machines thay use to prep the roads before paving that might break up the surface material as well, if there is such a thing. I've also heard of pool contractors SANDING the deck surface down to prep it???

    As for the tile, I'm with you - All of it needs to come off. The problem is I KNOW it's gonig to start popping out day 1 again if I put more tile. That's what heppened the last time! Maybe some type of paint or other material to address the water staining? I just can't bear the thought of replacing all the tile KNOWING it's going to end up at the bottom of the pool again!

    I think you're right about the step. Freeze, thaw, repeat. The pool is over 20 years old I think so it's not really a surprise. The surprise was when I put my entire 250 lbs. on it and went through it last year! I was thinking the same - Needs rebar pegging or some of those concrete screws they sell at Home Depot to give the new concrete something to hold on to. Same thing in the corner of the niche. (You can't really see it in the video but a chunk of gunite fell off there too.) Even then, I know contrete patching tends to fail more often than not.

    Would love to hear from anyone in cold weather areas about the water level. I'm tempted to partailly fill it or I'll probably have a drain cover in little pieces in the spring. I actually need to replace that cover with the new safety design anyway, but taking the chance on the lines freezing and cracking is another story.

    You've also confirmed what I suspected as well - There's a lot of 'finish' masonry work that is best left to a professional. Luckily my wife has 2 masons in her family!!! So I think my plan looks like this:

    1. Paritally fill, then cover the pool this winter to avoid any potential freeze damage, then in the spring...
    2. Get all the tile off - DIY
    3. Get all the Kool Deck Off -DIY using a jack-hammer, chisel, TNT, whatever it takes
    4. Repair the underlying concrete issues on the steps and the niche using some concrete anchors - I think I can DIY this using some make shift forms etc.
    5. Get someone in to acid wash all the plaster to finish all the DIY Prep
    6. Get a mason in to do all the finish work - Decking, Plaster, and Tile!

    I really like the idea of spreading out the jobs over time to spread out the cost. Not sure how I would do this. Maybe the interior first, then the decking? I'm also toying with the idea of selling the house in the next year or two so I'd have to do it all before then.

    I'd also really be interested in any other options for the tile and the decking. Could I...

    Use some sort of paint on the deck instead of a surface material? Something that would be easy to touch-up? I've heard Kool Deck is not really intended for harsh winter conditions anyway, so I don't think I want to put something like that on again. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Tile Tile Tile!!! Again, maybe some type of acrylic paint product or something that won't start popping off as soon as it's done? Really need some help on this one. This has been a CONSTANT problem.

    Thanks again for your kind assistance. I look forward to hearing back!

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    The problem is I KNOW it's gonig to start popping out day 1 again if I put more tile. That's what heppened the last time!
    Almost surely there was a flaw in the installation technique. Tile lines are virtually standard on IG pools and many, many thousands of those pool are in climates similar to yours.

    I'm not sure what caused the pop-off (it can be several things) but a properly installed tile line will stay adhered to your pool wall for years.

    Think of paint on ANY of your surfaces as a temporary patch that won't look all that good and certainly cannot be expected to last beyond a couple of years. That may be adequate if you plan to sell but do not expect paint to perform as the manufacturers claim......it virtually never does.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    Interesting. OK - got it on the paint thing. Guess I'll need to find out the root cause of the tile poppng off and see if I can address the underlying issue.

    Will keep you posted!

    Matt

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    I am unable to see the video because I am at work, but do you have an expansion joint between the coping and deck? I can think of a few reasons that the tile will fail prematurely which are related to either water getting in the soil behind the tile, or bad installation. Do you have an expansion joint and what shape is it in? If it has deteriorated, water will get between the coping and pool deck and the freeze-thaw of the water will cause the tiles to pop off.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    I don't think there is an expansion joint between the tile coping and the decking slabs. I will take a look. The only expansion joints I can see are between the decking slabs on the horizontal plane of the deck. (Under foot). Ground water getting in behind the tile is a possiblity, I suppose. The decking slabs are surrounded by grass and there is more than likely some water behind the pool wall. I think the lack of expansion joints makes more sense. Seems like the downward pressure of the decking slabs, with the tile running right up to the bottom of the decking canter-lever area could be causing the tile to fail.

    I'll look again for expansion joints and maybe you can check out the video to get a better look when you get home! Thanks so so much for helping!

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    Where the decking meets the pool wall, there is surely no expansion joint but the two surfaces should have a "cold joint" so they move independently. At the top of the scum line tile, it is imperative that the joining of those two perpendicular surfaces be caulked with polyurethane and not grouted. If grouted, it will crack guaranteed. Caulked, it will be allowed to flex and stay sealed.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New England Pool Needs some Love!

    If you're thinking about selling soon I wouldn't spend more in a rehab than it would cost to fill the pool in. Around here (Michigan) it is my understanding that pools do not add to value of your home. They are more or less neutral. I think it's likely you would not recoup your investment. You may want to consult a local realtor.
    45ish year old, 16x32, 19,000, IG, Concrete/Fiberglass Hybrid in need of restoration
    Sand filter with 3/4 hp AO Smith pump. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 1 return

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