Deteriorating coping

EmmaApp

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
83
Houston
Hello wonderful TFP family!

Firstly, let me say - I wouldn't be the proud owner of a 24,000 gallon pristine pool without y'all.... If I hadn't found this site last year when we bought this house, I would probably be cowering in a dark corner, bottle of cheap vodka in hand, crying over the expensive swamp in our yard.

So.... my current obsession (or actually my husband's). The coping on our pool seems to be deteriorating (see pic).
I've read on here that in some parts of Texas the sandstone is poor (we're in Houston and I think it's sandstone coping) and also in my research I've discovered that sandstone isn't a good match for SWCG (all choices made many moons ago).

Replacing it isn't in my budget right now, so... what can I do about it?

I've approached a couple of pool companies to "seal" the stone, but they don't seem to understand what I'm talking about. am I asking the wrong people the wrong questions? Is sealing the stones a real thing?

There's also a lot of historic mineral deposits.... would we need to have that "blasted" off first?

Thank you in anticipation!!

54626e4dfbf655cfa7d3f861d23418eb.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
25,142
Bedford, TX
Emma,

Why do you assume it is because you have a saltwater pool? We had the same basic problem with my daughter's pool and that was long before we switched over to saltwater.

Soft stone will just flake away... I bet if you look you will see two stones right next to each other ... one will be perfectly fine, while the other one is just flaking away.. I believe it has a lot more to do with the quality of the stone than it does with the pool being saltwater or not..

I doubt sealing really does anything to help...

Please post some more pics of the damage..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,263
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Sealing will not stop the flaking. There is a material to use to slow down the flaking, but it is really expensive. $1800 coated my coping, two applications. It solved the sand problem of my stone (it was likely swimming at the beach!), and probably reduced the flaking a bit, but it's still coming apart, and was doing so before I switched to an SWG pool.

As Jim describes, some of mine are fine, some worse that others. I have a hair-brained scheme brewing to cut out and replace the worst ones once they get too bad. I have a step-stone path of the same material elsewhere in my yard, so I have a built-in supply of color-matched stone. Cut it out, prep what's left. Cut new stone to fit, mortar it in. Virtually no cost. Have no idea if that'll work, but I'll give that a go before I plunk down to replace it all. And post the results, of course!
 

blakeusa

In The Industry
Jul 8, 2010
619
Ashford, CT
Yes rocks are made of minerals and not all are the same in terms of hardness. Flagstone is more of a surface rock and its much softer than say granite.

There is no real fix to your chipping spa front - other that cosmetic remedy's as attempting to grind down or blend the chipped edge with an angle grinder and a diamond wheel.

As far as the top picture its either calcium leaching from the rock coping or calcium from the pool water, but suspect its coming from the rock.

There are companies that bead blast pool coping in TX, but not sure if it will solve your problem. I also never really understood how you get all the glass our of the pool after you
bead blast it either, but maybe others can explain it.

As far as the salt in your pool being the cause of your problems.. I don't think its the issue. Its more just soft rock more like a sandstone.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,263
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
There are companies that bead blast pool coping in TX, but not sure if it will solve your problem. I also never really understood how you get all the glass our of the pool after you bead blast it either, but maybe others can explain it.

Two systems that I know of (though mine was done while pool was empty, awaiting new plaster). With water in the pool, they blast away, let it collect on the bottom, then vacuum it out. I think they count on the drains or your pool cleaner to get the last of it.

And there are systems that recover the blasting media at the nozzle (some sort of vacuuming going on), which virtually eliminates any getting into the water. Some must escape, and then get vacuumed up, either by the contractor, or later by your cleaner.

My stone guy was going to try his walnut-shell media, thinking it would just float, and then we'd skim it off. But I went with a different crew who did it "dry."

No matter, it can be done with water in the pool, and however they do it, they get the media out.
 
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