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Thread: gunite pool repair

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Little Rock, AR
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    gunite pool repair

    I have found myself in a difficult situation with my 25 year old pool, AFTER having to fire a pool repair company. In addition to the company refusing to communicate with me, i.e., wouldn't return phone calls, e-mails for days on end, only working on my pool 3 days out of 40, they turned previous cracking into large crevices and holes. They accomplished this by using a gasoline powered, 8-bazillion psi pressure washer on my pool, thus turning the cracks into what you see in the pictures. I've left messages with 6 local "alleged" pool repair companies (not leaving any details, but only the information their voice mail requested) and after a month, have received zero return calls.

    I've cleaned, pressure washed, and painted this pool for the last 20 years myself. However, at 62 years old and owning a business that requires 60+ hours of my time, I just decided this year to hire it out.....big mistake to say the least. I've decided to repair this thing myself.

    After much research, I STILL cannot figure out exactly what substance to purchase to repair the holes in my pool.......

    My pool is a hollow cinder block with gunite surface, 16 x 38......10ft at deep end and 4 ft at shallow end.

    Any help would be appreciated.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: gunite pool repair

    First of all, welcome to TFP!

    I am sorry about your trouble, and also that you've waited so long for an answer. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be much help. This is a different situation for sure, and it's partly why no one called back as I'm sure you assume. It is however the busiest time of year for builders and they are making the new build big money right now. No excuse for not returning a call, but it seems to be the MO nowadays. Hopefully someone here can offer some help for you. Enjoy the forum.
    TFP Moderator
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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: gunite pool repair

    Welcome to the forum.

    How large, on average are the cracks? Are they on two corners or four? Are there other cracks other than the corners.

    They look large enough to get a flashlight to shine in......If so, can you see any rebar in the blocks?

    What does the decking look like? Has it cracked, settled, etc?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: gunite pool repair

    Thank you for replying....I'm late in responding, as I'm just figuring out how to use the forum.

    Average crack is as wide as a normal person's forearm. I can't see any rebar ........the decking is what, as I understand it, was referred to as cool-rock ....looks like pea-gravel adhered together with polyurethane, to use laypersons terminology....The company I fired DID use some sort of patching material which they left the one empty bag. The bag says Darragh Company non-shrink grout. I've included a picture of the area they started patching. I've also included an overall shot showing all the cracks they blew up into crevices around the entire area of the pool.
    s.IMG_0356.jpg
    IMG_0354.jpg

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    Re: gunite pool repair

    Thank you for replying....I'm late in responding, as I'm just figuring out how to use the forum.

    Average crack is as wide as a normal person's forearm. I can't see any rebar ........the decking is what, as I understand it, was referred to as cool-rock ....looks like pea-gravel adhered together with polyurethane, to use laypersons terminology....The company I fired DID use some sort of patching material which they left the one empty bag. The bag says Darragh Company non-shrink grout. I've included a picture of the area they started patching. I've also included an overall shot showing all the cracks they blew up into crevices around the entire area of the pool.
    s.


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    Re: gunite pool repair

    Please take my advice with a HUGE grain of salt since I am in no way a pool builder or an expert. This is based on my pool remodel that was done by a pool builder. Looking at your pictures, it looks like they might have chiseled out your crack to make it bigger in order to be able to fill it in with cement. If it was a fine crack, it would be difficult to fill it with cement. From what I can recall, my pool company used concrete to patch the big crevice they chiseled out for my main drain and for my pool light. During the chiseling, they made sure that they did not damage any rebar. Then they just filled in the crevice with cement. For my main drain, they had to chisel out a pretty big section. I would say the "crevice" they created to run new plumbing was probably 15ft long by 1ft wide and deep enough that the crevice went all the way to the dirt. The pool light was a about a foot larger in diameter than the can that the light fits in and made contact with dirt as well. Now for the main drain, the concrete has some small aggregate stone. However for the light, it looked like it was just plain old portland cement without any aggregate stone. The pool guy told me that it was the plaster finish that made the pool waterproof, and not the cement. I assume that your paint is what is providing the waterproofing and not the concrete.

    To be honest - I was surprise that they used the same stuff that you can buy at home depot. I thought they needed special "gunite" to patch in the holes and crevices. I honestly don't think that it really matter too much to them what type of cement they were using - they were using whatever they had on hand that day. If I was patching a small hole, i would have used hydraulic cement. The huge disadvantage of hydraulic cement is that it sets up VERY FAST. However, it is water proof. What is Hydraulic Cement? Uses and How to Apply

    Once again - please take my comment with a HUGE grain of salt as I am basing this on what I have seen and not on what I have actually done. And I can even be incorrect in what I saw.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Please take my advice with a HUGE grain of salt since I am in no way a pool builder or an expert. This is based on my pool remodel that was done by a pool builder. Looking at your pictures, it looks like they might have chiseled out your crack to make it bigger in order to be able to fill it in with cement. If it was a fine crack, it would be difficult to fill it with cement. From what I can recall, my pool company used concrete to patch the big crevice they chiseled out for my main drain and for my pool light. During the chiseling, they made sure that they did not damage any rebar. Then they just filled in the crevice with cement. For my main drain, they had to chisel out a pretty big section. I would say the "crevice" they created to run new plumbing was probably 15ft long by 1ft wide and deep enough that the crevice went all the way to the dirt. The pool light was a about a foot larger in diameter than the can that the light fits in and made contact with dirt as well. Now for the main drain, the concrete has some small aggregate stone. However for the light, it looked like it was just plain old portland cement without any aggregate stone. The pool guy told me that it was the plaster finish that made the pool waterproof, and not the cement. I assume that your paint is what is providing the waterproofing and not the concrete.

    To be honest - I was surprise that they used the same stuff that you can buy at home depot. I thought they needed special "gunite" to patch in the holes and crevices. I honestly don't think that it really matter too much to them what type of cement they were using - they were using whatever they had on hand that day. If I was patching a small hole, i would have used hydraulic cement. The huge disadvantage of hydraulic cement is that it sets up VERY FAST. However, it is water proof. http://construction.about.com/od/Thermal-And-Moisture-Protectio/fl/What-is-Hydraulic-Cement-Uses-and-How-to-Apply.htm

    Once again - please take my comment with a HUGE grain of salt as I am basing this on what I have seen and not on what I have actually done. And I can even be incorrect in what I saw.
    Pool Remodeled June 2015. 18K Gallon IG kidney shaped. Pebble Tec (Tahoe Blue) finish. Jandy ePump 2HP. Hayward SwimClear C2025 filter. Hayward SWG. Jandy iAqualink RS6 automation. 6 Deck Jets. Pool Remodel Link Future: Acid automation. Chlorine automation for winter. Solar panels.

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