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Thread: Repair and seal stone waterfall

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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    North Florida
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    Repair and seal stone waterfall

    Our waterfall was built with soft, porous stone (I'll skip the story) and was not sealed in any way. Some of the mortar (concrete?) near the edges of where the water falls, has come loose and/or developed fine cracks. This has allowed the water to find its way outside the stones and onto the deck. The water on the deck appears within just a few minutes of turning on the waterfall. It's not gallons and gallons, but quite noticeable.

    We have some deterioration of the stamped concrete deck, about 8"x10", where the top layer of the concrete is gone and the aggregate is exposed. I blame it on the pool (salt) water collecting there, especially during freeze/thaw cycles in winter...we don't close the pool and the waterfall runs as part of the freeze protection cycle for the pool. It's gotten worse each winter (just 2) and I'd like to get this repaired before another winter makes things even worse.

    While the longterm solution to the waterfall issue is probably to demolish the existing waterfall and have it done right with the proper stones, that's not in the realm of possibility for us right now. I'd like to just seal up the cracks and voids as best we can and perhaps put a penetrating type sealer on the stones as well, at least the interior portions where the water is supposed to be falling.

    Any advice on products and/or techniques to use??? Please don't advise us to contact our PB...that's NOT an option.
    Sandy

    15,600 gallon, screened 15 x 30 sport pool with 6 x 8 baja shelf, IG plaster (Diamondbrite??), Hayward cartridge filter, 1-HP Hayward pump, Hayward/EUS Mark VI heat pump, Polaris 280, AquaRite SWCG

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Repair and seal stone waterfall

    Sandy,

    It might help if you could post some pix.
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    Re: Repair and seal stone waterfall

    Sorry you're having troubles with deterioration. Water is bad enough, throw salt in the mix and it can be quite harsh. What kind of stone is your waterfall? There must be a sealer that will secure any further damage, unfortunately I don't have a recommendation for you. Our pool isn't even 6 mos. old, and I thought I covered our deck from salt damage but it seems the product I used has failed. I've got several areas where the dog gets out of the pool that are being eaten away by the salt.

    You may find a penetrating sealer is not going to work. That's what I used and I'm very disappointed. Generally on a stamped deck they will use an acrylic or epoxy sealer. Maybe that will work for your waterfall. I don't like them because it takes away the natural look. You will need to decide what you're willing to sacrifice.

    The cement repair should be fairly straightforward. I would get in contact with either a pool remodeler or a very crafted stone installer. They would generally be able to provide you with sealing services.
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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Florida
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    79

    Re: Repair and seal stone waterfall

    Butterfly and Vegasmom...thanks for your replies.

    Our camera is on the fritz right now, so no pics for now.

    I don't know the type of stone, but it's actually native to our neighborhood and some unearthed at the time of the dig. I suspect a lot of it is limestone or sandstone because what's coming off the rocks on the outside (dry) area of the waterfall feels like sand. Surprisingly, the rocks that have the water running over them haven't seemed to deteriorate at all, nor have I noticed a lot of sand in the pool!

    As far as the suspected salt deterioration on the deck...there's only this one area where water has gotten under the smooth layer of the concrete. Our deck had been sealed, including this area, and the rest of it seems pretty good yet and this is the 3rd summer. We also have a dog that hops in and out of the pool fairly regularly and haven't noticed any salt problems on the deck because of it.

    I actually think the damage to the deck would have occurred with non-salted water as well. I think it was a matter of the leaking waterfall keeping that area wet enough on a continual basis for the water to find its way into a hairline crack and, with freeze-thaw cycles, it cracked and lifted that top concrete layer. The resulting crater allowed more water to pool there and find its way into adjacent areas so the damaged area increased in size the 2nd winter.

    We have a call in to a PB who's supposed to be the best in town (NOT our original PB) to come over to give us a bid on this repair. We expected that they'd have a solid list of qualified subs, like stone masons, they could call on for this type of thing. They're apparently too busy to even schedule an appointment for an estimate on repair work, however, as it's been well over a week since we first made contact with them and no one has contacted us to even schedule an appointment for that estimate. So, that's why we're lookin into doing something DIY.
    Sandy

    15,600 gallon, screened 15 x 30 sport pool with 6 x 8 baja shelf, IG plaster (Diamondbrite??), Hayward cartridge filter, 1-HP Hayward pump, Hayward/EUS Mark VI heat pump, Polaris 280, AquaRite SWCG

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