Cope Stones are Loose


Jun 6, 2010
Okay, I so had a not so ingenious idea. It killed me to have to refill the pool each time my son and I were in the pool. when he was younger we used to slosh around like two rogue hippos so in order to keep water in the pool, I installed a gate valve on the over flow line. Foolishly I forgot to open the valve in the fall and over the winter had water levels at or above the stones. That combined with freezing temps, I know have a lot of loose stones on the perimeter of the pool.

Is the mortar under and between the stones just regular thin set from HD or is it something special. None of the stones which I believe are manufactured stone, are cracked so any suggestions on how to remove the mortar without breaking the stones would be appreciated. I realize it might be more efficient to purchase new stone, but presently have more time than money.

Thanks in Advance


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
Sorry, but you're buying coping or you're coping will not match. If you are successful for the most part, and do manage to save a large percentage, mixing the old and new will help the appearance. Don't expect the corners to be saved.

Some of the coping will still be set in place. It all must come up or you will have cold joints. Cold joints lose strength and don't adhere well. All traces of old mortar will need to be chiseled off the bond beam.

Most demo teams use an electric hammer with a chisel bit but a lump hammer and cold chisel can work too. That means some of the coping will break as you go because IT happens. I would suggest renting the electric hammer. The stones that are loose already might be salvaged but don't expect them to match the new ones. All traces of old mortar need to be removed from them too.

I hope that in addition to the time you have available, you also have a strong arm. Swinging a lump hammer is no picnic. Expect to get ticked when the coping keeps breaking or tiles fall off.