Contractor damaged deck and coping

gb99

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2013
118
Boston, MA
Hello TFP:

I'm having part of my pool deck removed to make space for a new addition for the house. The contractor (demo guy) was SUPPOSED to SAW CUT the pool deck prior to excavation work, but what he did instead was use the bucket of his excavator to slam down on the pool deck and then lift up on the concrete deck in order to break it. I just happened to look out the window and see that in one instance, him lifting the concrete in this manner caused an entire section (between compression cuts) of the deck to lift up, all the way to the coping. The pool has entry steps at the end where this work is going on. I took some pictures and it clearly shows the deck separated from the coping in various spots, along with cracks in the deck.

Can the coping be repaired in sections or does it need to be repaired all around the pool? The pool was here before we bought the house, so I don't know if the concrete decking was poured onto the frames that support the pool walls. What other damage should I look for and who would you call to assess the pool structure to determine what needs to be repaired? What's the proper way to repair the deck?

Thanks in advance.
 
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cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
4,314
Fletcher, OK
That really sucks "for them" let them know the damage they did and will need to get fixed.. You do not need to tell them how to do there job but they are required by law and insurance not to damage other things... They will need to find a company to fix the damage they caused..

As for doing parts of the deck and coping or the whole thing I am unsure....
 
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jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Regardless of what happens, when the concrete gets demo'd, it must be saw vit near the pool amd that last 12" near coping busted by hand with a chipping gun. The concrete is under the pool wall and the braces I've seem many pools damaged by concrete deck demo
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
4,880
Damascus, MD
Oh that is not good at all. I suspect to do it right your entire deck needs to be redone. Might want to call in another company to assess the damage. Good luck!
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
584
Upland, CA
I had a contractor do some damage on a non-pool project once. When I called another contractor to do the repairs he refused. I called another and he also refused. Apparently, if they get wind of the fact that there's a potential dispute involved they don't want to get involved at all. One of them was kind enough to explain that they repaired another contractor's work once, and that eventually meant the insurance company summoned them to testify as a witness in their court case against the previous contractor. He didn't want to be involved in anything like that again. I don't blame them, but in my case it meant I never could have the damage repaired because nobody wanted to touch it.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
6,889
Central California
I saw this thread last night and just couldn't find the words. The needlessness of it all. I can't imagine how the operator thought that was going to work out. I'm assuming you would have been after a straight edge somewhere in there, and so why he didn't wait for the sawing is beyond comprehension...

Anywho, sbcpool brings up a pretty nasty possibility. I had something like that happen, and my homeowner's wouldn't touch it, siting the contractor's liability insurance is the only coverage to go after. So hopefully there is some insurance that might pony up. If not, best to try to work things out with the contractor first. And while I'd shudder to allow him back on my property after that numbskullery, it might be your best best. The stress I endured over my resolution was pretty bad, and regardless of the outcome you don't get compensated for that!

How's the rest of your pool deck look? Some of it looks a little, uh, worse for wear. Maybe there's some sort of deal to be made. Instead of the contractor getting fired and eating the cost of repairs, or you ending up in a winnable-but-uncollectible lawsuit, you could negotiate a brand new deck, all around. You get a substantial discount on a new deck, the pool gets fixed, there is no mismatched concrete patching, and the contractor doesn't make or lose too much in the deal. Otherwise, it could work out that only a lawyer walks away happy (this looks like it could easily exceed a small claims case). It's not exactly a win-win, more like a not-lose-too-much-not-lose-too-much...
 

gb99

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2013
118
Boston, MA
Thank you everyone for your responses. I am as shocked as you all are, especially since one of the first things we discussed was carefully working around the pool. The general contractor we hired said this will be resolved, and the sub-contractor has supposedly agreed (not directly to me, but that's why we hired the GC). They'll remove the damaged decking, reset the coping and liner (as required), and pour new concrete into the coping for those impacted areas. I'll make sure they inspect underneath the concrete deck to assess what other damage may exist.

I've removed the pictures for now while this gets resolved, just in case any of the involved parties goes searching the net for whatever reason. Can't be too careful in these situations, can we?

As for replacing the entire deck, that did cross my mind, but I'd rather not deal with that right now. I always liked the look of a wooden deck surrounding the pool, so maybe I'll spend my time, $ and energy on that path after this construction is done.

Thank you all again and please let me know if there are other things to consider. Have a great weekend.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Central California
Pool decks are supposed to be electrically bonded to everything else electrical in and around your pool and equipment pad. But there is rebar involved, and there appears to be no rebar in your deck (which is odd, because there also appears to be no old cracks). Have a discussion about bonding with the contractor, if he understands that and knows what to do about that (especially with the new vs existing deck), then that's good. If he doesn't know what you're talking about, best to bring in someone that does. I honestly don't know what is done if some deck is new, some old, some with rebar, some without, etc. or how retrofit bonding is done. A qualified electrician (one that KNOWS pool electrical) might be needed for a consult.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
420
Houston, TX
I think in a situation like this you should have a pool company come out and look at the repairs that will be needed. I am not all that familiar with liner pools , but in some pics I have seen it looks like the actual pool wall is tied into the concrete surrounding the pool.
 
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PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
4,880
Damascus, MD
Pool decks are supposed to be electrically bonded to everything else electrical in and around your pool and equipment pad. But there is rebar involved, and there appears to be no rebar in your deck (which is odd, because there also appears to be no old cracks). Have a discussion about bonding with the contractor, if he understands that and knows what to do about that (especially with the new vs existing deck), then that's good. If he doesn't know what you're talking about, best to bring in someone that does. I honestly don't know what is done if some deck is new, some old, some with rebar, some without, etc. or how retrofit bonding is done. A qualified electrician (one that KNOWS pool electrical) might be needed for a consult.
My poured concrete deck does not have any rebar. There is a gravel substrate and the concrete was poured directly on top of that. But there is bonding loop around the deck underneath the poured concrete. If they remove the decking above someone needs to make sure that the bonding grid remains intact. It is very possible they will damage it while prepping for the new deck.
 
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gb99

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2013
118
Boston, MA
I will be sure to stay on top of the bonding wire and actually spoke with the GC about that prior to this project starting.

Does the pool need to be filled with water in order to properly set the coping for “receiving” the new concrete deck? The water level is currently at the bottom step of the stairs (pool is about 2/3 drained).

Thanks again!
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
The pool should remain full. If there is heavy rains you could have liner float amd damage from it. Only lower water level for a repair then fill back up