Buried Pool renovation

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,231
Pacific NW
I remember one guy doing a renovation, he had a few bad cracks but was able to patch them with staples and hydraulic cement. Hopefully that will work for yours if need be.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,040
OV, CA
Its my understanding.. the cracks are no big deal if they are only in the plaster. If they have gone through the shell, the shell can be "Stapled together" so its still structurally sound. (there are YouTube vids that show the procedure) So perhaps the next step is to chip out the plaster around those cracks to see how deep they go.


Either way.. IT LOOKS LIKE A POOL! That's close enough to call the local skate boarding kids and charge them a buck a head to ride that jungle gym!
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,060
Tucson, AZ
The plaster will need to be chipped out and removed. If your excavator guy wants more work then hire some guys with some demolition hammers and start chiseling out the plaster and tile. A couple of guys with some good tools can get the plaster out in half a day. Then your excavator can haul it off with all the fill dirt.

If the cracks are simply in the plaster then they are cosmetic and you simply replace the plaster. If the go through the shell, then you’re going to need a structural engineer that knows pools or a very trustworthy pool builder (I know, that’s an oxymoron in some areas) to vice you guidance on how repairable it is.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,060
Tucson, AZ
To "vice you"... Now there is a subliminal Freudian Malapropism!

sorry Matt I couldn't resist
iPhone keyboards and my fat fingers don’t get along. Not to mention Apple’s predictive text and auto spell have gotten worse with every iOS update, not better.

But I leave it up to the reader to figure it out .... and you need to get your mind out of the gutter 😝
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,040
OV, CA
iPhone keyboards and my fat fingers don’t get along. Not to mention Apple’s predictive text and auto spell have gotten worse with every iOS update, not better.
It was sad the day darnyouautocorrect.com went off line.
(I guess I can't link to the mashable article, darn filter)
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,060
Tucson, AZ
If the cracks are structural and point to signs of sub-base movement or erosion, then a structural engineer absolutely needs to be consulted first in order to come up with a remediation plan. You don’t want to do anything or add anything to the pool until the geo-structural questions are answered. I would say that any Pool builder that values their reputation and professional liability wouldn’t touch that pool until a structural engineer looked at it.

@jimmythegreek any thoughts on this one?
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
290
Katy, Texas
I was half expecting to read that you found a '62 Volkswagen in the deep end. My PB told me he actually did dig up an old VW when building a pool out in the county. A friend of ours bought a house during the repo days of the 1980's. He had a mentally challenged son and decided to fill in the pool. That later hurt the resale price--not the lack of a pool but rather that there was a filled in pool which would complicate building a new pool. Big 1 acre lot but the filled in pool was in the best place for a pool.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,628
Morris Cnty NJ
I would just keep digging it out amd then clean it up well. That's gonna show you what's what. In the one pic the crack is pretty open I'd bet its thru the shell there. Realistically anything can be fixed. With old pools you never know the history. Did they not want a pool anymore, did the shell crack, no money for repairs, plaster, etc. I excavated out a pool shell for a bank owned a few years ago that was filled with no permit in north jersey. After ripping concrete with a hammer, and filling hole I got my balance check and told the bank rep it was a shame, pool had nice plaster and tile it still looked good after 14yrs underground. She told me the owner passed that's how they acquired it but their granddaughter drowned in the pool and they filled it in days later in anger. I couldn't blame them for that
 

michmela44

Well-known member
May 21, 2020
55
Lousiana
It's been a bit, so I can give a little update. Dirt guy got his bobcat fixed and was able to come back yesterday, so the pool is finally empty


The hole in the deep end isn't as big as the one in the shallow end.

In the meantime, while i was waiting for them to finish, I also started chipping out some of the plaster



Heat Index was around 107 so I only did it in small time intervals through the day. I'm using a smaller demolition hammer because I didn't really want to bust too much of the concrete out. I've seen some Youtube videos of pool companies chipping out plaster and it they are using big jackhammers and taking huge chunks out of the pool. I'm not real sure how clean the chip out needs to be, but if it needs to be completely free of plaster, I'll come back and grind it off or something.

I chipped away by a few of the cracks and they are in the shell, but didn't look as bad as I thought it might.


So, as of now, I am just going to continue cleaning and chipping out until we can get a pool company that is willing to do anything. we had one come by today which is the first one to even half-way seem interested. I'll post more about that visit later.

I was also led to believe that plastering was a very delicate process that required a lot of skill because the coat needed to be even, etc....but on this pool, the plaster is as thin as 1/4" in some places, and 1-1/4" in others.....



At this point I'm assuming DIY all the way until someone talks to us. Other than the guy today, the only other company that called us back said they won't touch it. they will demo the entire thing for $10k then start fresh building a new one.

We also have another company coming on Friday.
 

michmela44

Well-known member
May 21, 2020
55
Lousiana
Pool guy #1 came yesterday and this is the first person that actually was willing to look at it so far.

It was hard to gauge how he really felt about it and at some points seemed to be OK with the idea of renovating it, but also mentioned that he thought we should demo it and rebuild. We told him him we are either fixing this one or filling it back in, a new one isn't an option.

He took some measurements and asked a few questions, but I'm not really sure this guy was one of the people who actually works on the pools or really knew the most about them. It took him a bit to latch on to the idea that all of the concrete around the pool was coming up and we would have full access to replace anything we needed to replace.

A few things that stuck out to me through the interaction are:
  • I asked him whether they normally used 120V or 12V lighting. some members of my family or concerned about electricity in the pool. He gave me a bit of a confused look as though it was a question he didn't normally have to answer and that 120V was the only ever used. Is this something to be concerned about? I know the lighting is grounded through the pool rebar, etc.
  • My wife mentioned to him that we wanted to go with a saltwater pool. His initial reaction wasn't great. He asked why we wanted to go with saltwater and then gave a little speech about how everything is going to rust more. My understanding of a saltwater pool is that the salt content isn't really any more than a traditional pool, which isn't very much, which means I wouldn't expect the air to all of sudden be saturated with salt enough to cause a problem. I'm also in Louisiana where the humidity is very high and everything rusts like crazy. Not so sure I would notice a difference.
  • I showed him the crack and mentioned that we had been looking into repairing it and mentioned the torque-lock stuff. He nodded when I said it but then later made a comment like "we normally just use staples". I have been watching a lot of videos about this stuff and obviously the guy who sells Torque-Lock clearly thinks his product is superior to everything else, and as someone who doesn't really know any better, I feel like I would trust that system more than gluing in the staples. What's the general consensus around here? Is Torque-Lock overkill for these types of cracks? I'd rather spend a little extra if its worth it to know we are getting a superior product, but is that pressure mechanism does nothing and the carbon fiber staples hold just as well, then maybe we'd just go with that. If spending an extra $1,000 to make sure that crack is repaired properly is what needs to be done, then so be it.
  • For the bond beam, he said he thinks they would just replace it. Cut off the rest of it all the way around the pool and re-pour the entire thing. Make some sense or completely unnecessary if the portions that are left intact are in good condition?
He left and said he would email us something early next week, but we have a bit of mixed feelings about what type of quote this will be and whether they are actually interested in doing the work.