4 day old concrete coping hairline cracks - feedback please :))!!

jvasilash

Silver Supporter
Dec 22, 2019
7
Vancouver BC
First off - thanks to everyone here for supporting us newbies who just want to do something great for our kids ...

I have a question related to our recent coping pour, and unfortunately the PB has made it difficult when i question anything (sounds all too common in this business!)

These links to a couple videos shows the coping on day 4 - when it rained - which of course accentuates the cracks. when its dry at least for now you can barely see the cracks

- TOP

- SIDE

some detail:

- The coping was poured 5 days ago (Tuesday May 26) on a warm day (the sun came out just when they were pouring!) ... temp hit probably 75 and got windy too. ...then it was around 80 degrees for 2 days
- Today (Saturday) it rained for the first time and the hairline cracks started appearing at every 20-30 inches The water accentuates of course. but pretty much all the way around the pool
- Wondering if this is something to stop the presses about, or if this is a "there are 2 types of concrete" situation?
- i am so tired of them saying "dont' worry, we've been doing this for 30 years" ...if we werent watching this project every step we would have their cookie cutter pool, not the one they sold us in the 3d flyover .... truth be told, it's been a nightmare I've ended up project managing. at the expense of time with my 1 and 6 yr old which hurts the most

I've attached some pictures too. truthfully we just want to get to the end - it's been an epic nightmare - but we have seen they DO great work and understand concrete - how could they mess this up.

Anyhow all i am asking now is if this coping is a no-brainer stop the presses, and start over ... OR strategies to use with a pool builder that says "they know concrete for 30 yrs" but messed up something basic but really important!! ..... .. thank you for your time, this place is wonderful.

*** Link deleted by Mod***

thank you guys!!!

Jason and Candace
 

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bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Saturday at 10:39 PM
That's really unfortunate. It looks like you have a couple things working against you: there was more than likely too much water in the mix which leads to shrinkage cracks and the control joints were saw cut after the concrete had already set up.

75 degrees is not abnormally warm for concrete and in my opinion the cracking is excessive.

The cracks won't hurt anything since it's really just a cosmetic defect but I know it would bug me. If you do by chance get to redo the coping and stick with concrete then specify a 5000 psi mix, 4 inch slump maximum and place tooled joints at 24"
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,769
Tallahassee, FL
If they are SO proud of doing this for 30 yrs then why are they not already removing it and doing it right this time? They should have told you............hey this is not right so we will be taking care of it right away.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,844
Morris Cnty NJ
That's a shame. Theres no fixing it only coverup now. Agree with Brian those are shrinkage cracks. If they know their concrete this ahould never happen. Agree with Brian totally
 

jvasilash

Silver Supporter
Dec 22, 2019
7
Vancouver BC
Thanks for your replies - i never thought we would be the tragic story, we've worked so hard to this for the family.

@jimmythegreek are you saying a coping like this - poured over rebar and right on top of the rails for the autocover - cannot be undone/redone? we were told by another concrete expert who builds bridges to "reject" the work. Not sure if that is even possible in this situation? ...

If there is a way to fix this - we will bring it up now. If there is simply NOT, then i just want to keep them working - it's been a brutal project, with loads of complications around details - BUT we thought we could trust them with concrete - this seems so basic.

last question - we are up in British Columbia and definitely have freeze/thaw cycles here - will these shrinkage cracks typically just be cosmetic, or is it likely they will just get bigger. What can happen from your experience? what if we have SWG - are they at increased risk of more cracking / effloresence?... lots of questions, sorry! ...

Either way, we also want to keep them moving and have to select either SWG or Chlorine and VU/Ozone this week ...

thanks again for your thoughts on this - we have to find a way forward (or backward) :(

JV
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,799
Northern NJ
They can saw cut a control joint in each crack. The lines will not be evenly spaced but you can make it look like a bunch of grouted joints.

Get the SWG. It does not effect the concrete coping.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,844
Morris Cnty NJ
What I meant is theres no repair. It's either caulk or hide the cracks or rip it out and redo it. If that was my job they wouldnt even call me they'd be ripping it out before I got to work. If it's only a few spots they could demo sections and repour but I dont know how bad from pics
 

jvasilash

Silver Supporter
Dec 22, 2019
7
Vancouver BC
To
Wow that's terrible I cannot imagine those not getting worse with freeze/thaw cycles. I would insist it be done again.

@jimmythegreek, @PoolGate , and @bdavis466 .. thanks for your replies they seem pretty clear, but i feel to be fair that was in the wet and zoomed right in for what its worth - you cant even see the cracks when the coping is dry it actually looks quite good. the sealer was just one coat and they say this is not the finished product - i think theres more sealer and process coming ...


in this video i zoom in on the only crack i could see today. I'm not kidding myself i know that doesnt mean they have gone away - but they ARE VERY small cracks. Perhaps for peace of mind i should have an engineer see in person?

I just hope the first video i shared when wet and not a "finished product" in their words didnt skew opinion ... reality is I really dont want to make a massive issue out of this if i dont have to since at this point if we bring it up hard - we are afraid they will just quit, as they have other jobs waiting and we might be too big a pain in the butt for them since we live a LONG way out

Thanks again guys
JV
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,884
Damascus, MD
To



@jimmythegreek, @PoolGate , and @bdavis466 .. thanks for your replies they seem pretty clear, but i feel to be fair that was in the wet and zoomed right in for what its worth - you cant even see the cracks when the coping is dry it actually looks quite good. the sealer was just one coat and they say this is not the finished product - i think theres more sealer and process coming ...


in this video i zoom in on the only crack i could see today. I'm not kidding myself i know that doesnt mean they have gone away - but they ARE VERY small cracks. Perhaps for peace of mind i should have an engineer see in person?

I just hope the first video i shared when wet and not a "finished product" in their words didnt skew opinion ... reality is I really dont want to make a massive issue out of this if i dont have to since at this point if we bring it up hard - we are afraid they will just quit, as they have other jobs waiting and we might be too big a pain in the butt for them since we live a LONG way out

Thanks again guys
JV
They won't quit but they will put you to the back of the line. Sad I know I was afraid to say anything to my builder as well. It is a builder's market. I do suggest a concrete expert give you an official evaluation.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,844
Morris Cnty NJ
See if they can slurry mix it or caulk it in then apply sealer. If its not too noticable unless zoomed in on it they can hide the hairlines if they really try to
 

jvasilash

Silver Supporter
Dec 22, 2019
7
Vancouver BC
Thanks again guys.

Is the real question how deep do the cracks go?

Ie. If they are very small / hairline cracks - barely visible when dry, is there a chance they can be sealed and won’t take on water? (Ie will be less risky in freeze / thaw scenario)

Maybe our solution for now is to keep them going, and get a concrete or engineering guy to look at it up close just to be safe
There’s no way these guys will start this over I can tell

JV
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,884
Damascus, MD
Thanks again guys.

Is the real question how deep do the cracks go?

Ie. If they are very small / hairline cracks - barely visible when dry, is there a chance they can be sealed and won’t take on water? (Ie will be less risky in freeze / thaw scenario)

Maybe our solution for now is to keep them going, and get a concrete or engineering guy to look at it up close just to be safe
There’s no way these guys will start this over I can tell

JV
I would think they go all the way through the concrete I am not sure it is possible for them not to. I was told all concrete cracks it is just a matter of when and where. The hope is that it cracks on the control joints. For it to happen this quickly says there is something wrong. Mine has a small hairline crack but it didn't crack until the 2nd year I had it. I have not seen any additional cracks but for all I know the control joints did their sacrificial job. I am just glad I don't see any.
 

wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
176
okc/okla
now is the time to get this fixed if you can not live with it once cracked no matter why it happened its all ways cracked . those control joints should have been good enough if no heavy equipment or ground movement near by. then poured wet or drying to fast or not properly cured . even when it was saw cut matters cut too late ........ cracks do happen even to the best . How many sections have cracks ? also you have cracks in the saw joints so sealing with spray on sealer really does not stop freeze thaw there a caulk type sealant does but can be kinda ugly i do see dowels out of coping so you will have it tied together with deck (btw look to see if cracks are right at rebars sticking out. to high rebar can cause cracks too) i would check to see if they are going to use expansion material against coping to help with pressure on it if deck is not locked in it may not be used anyway sorry for no real solution good luck . jimmie
 

TimpoolTn2019

In The Industry
Oct 29, 2019
24
Tennessee
one other thing i noticed was the coping was attached to the pool shell which will move with the pool but it has rebar sticking out of it for attachment to the deck slab which will “not” move with the pool she’ll resulting in structural cracking of the shell or deck.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,844
Morris Cnty NJ
The rebar behind coping needs to be cut flush in back. Have them use expansion joint behind the coping dont let them pour right up to it. 3/8 is a usual gap
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,884
Damascus, MD
My pool and my deck are completely separate structures. My builder specifically pointed this out. You can connect the 2 with a mastic joint but my builder said this was not necessary. I have gone without this for 3 years but the gap is concerning to me now as the foam between the deck and coping is starting to degrade so we decided this year to have it done. Our local pool store will do it for around $8/foot. I could do it myself but I just assume have them do it and be done with it.

Your builder sounds a little sloppy so also make sure you have no support rebar sticking up out of the ground not connected to anything. This is a serious safety concern for getting electrocuted. I found 13 pieces in my build. The builder told me the deck concrete guys were responsible for removing it.
 

wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
176
okc/okla
there is something i have done its like highway joints use smooth dowels greased to allow expansion joints to move but not settle or raise up or down so a very heavy coating of grease on rebar and foam expansion material against coping is a idea i think with this and the cracks the OP may want to go ahead with a engineer for opinion .

1 more thought is there a blue print for rebar on this build if so who sighed off on it ?