Cracking Gunite

Jul 12, 2016
9
Porter, Texas
#1
Not sure if I am in the right section, but wasn't sure which category this belonged in...our pool will be two years old this July..Last year I found some hairline cracks along the wall in the gunite where the skimmer basket shelf was..the pool builder sent out the gunite installers, they fixed it and said it was common for that area...just yesterday I found three more, not anywhere close to the original ones...One under my rock wall waterfalls, one on the sun shelf going across the shelf and down the side and one going down the side of the pool that, to me is much bigger than a hairline crack..it also cracked my border tile in half ... The pool builder will be coming to look and I know it's under warranty, but I am concerned...is this normal for it to keep cracking ?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,643
Tucson, AZ
#2
Are these plaster cracks or gunite cracks? The plaster cracking is not common but it is fixable. The gunite shell cracking is a HUGE deal as the gunite is the structural body of the pool holding all of that water weight in place. A crack in the gunite shell indicates some serious soil movement may have occurred. Soil movement can also cause the plaster to crack as the shell flexes.

So which is it?
 
OP
OP
E
Jul 12, 2016
9
Porter, Texas
#3
How can I tell the difference ? There are two small ones that look very thin, so it may just be the liner, but the other one cracked a tile and is pretty wide, in the scheme of things..thats the one that has me worried..how can I tell if it is the gunite or just the liner?
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#5
If your pool is full of water then it is plaster cracking, not gunite. Hairline cracks in plaster are not that uncommon. I've had several including one that leaked water. My PB fixed them with pool putty which cures underwater. The one that leaked hasn't leaked in several years.
 
OP
OP
E
Jul 12, 2016
9
Porter, Texas
#7
Yes, the deck is cracking in different areas, one is perfectly in line with the other cracks they previously fixed...we do have cracks across the patio, one even over the existing concrete patio they covered with the pebble decking..the deck is separating from the coping, but they told us that was normal and to fill it in with this expandable caulk we can buy at Home Depot..i will take pictures in the morning and post them
 
OP
OP
E
Jul 12, 2016
9
Porter, Texas
#8
Update..Called the pool company, they sent the out the company to fix the plaster, after talking to the guy I don't feel better...I mentioned this is the second set of cracks, with one cracking the tile and he said that was uncommon...With walking around and looking I found more cracks in the deck and even one set of stairs seems to popping off the tile on the bottom of it..He said that that it was very odd for the all the flagstone coping to have been popped off and the space between the deck and the coping...One of my decks now is about 1/2 inch higher than the original one that was built with the house...he did ask if my auto-fill was always running and I, truthfully couldn't tell him...thats when he mentioned leaking...EEK !!! Especially with all the cracks and the running autofill...he fixed the cracks and sent pics to his boss...my husband called the pool builder again and told them we want someone to come out and look at all of this and explain it...In the meantime I did a little experiment today....took a pic of the water meter before l left today, no one in the house, no water on...came home 2 hours later and it had used 9 gallons..Our last water bill was for 22,000 gallons, which seems pretty high, even with our sprinkler system....So we are waiting now to see what our next step is....sigh..pool is not even two years old
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,643
Tucson, AZ
#9
Normal daily evaporation rates can be anywhere form an 1/4-1/2" of water in the pool. 9 gallons in 2 hours is not that big. If you want to see if the pool is leaking then you need to find the autofill shutoff valve (the autofill line should be tee'd off of an outdoor spigot somewhere) and turn it off. Then you do a bucket-test -

Fill a large plastic bucket (like a 5 gallon pail from Home Depot) with a measured amount of pool water. Sit the bucket on the first or second step so that the water level inside the bucket is close to the water level of the pool water and mark both the inside and outside levels with either some tape or a Sharpie marker. Then leave the bucket there for 24 hours. After 24 hours, if the outside water level has dropped a lot further than the inside water level, you likely have a leak somewhere.