Pictures of Salt Water flagstone or coping damage?

marcgr

Bronze Supporter
Oct 4, 2015
104
Austin, TX
We've all heard that the Texas poolbuilders are recommending against SWGs because of possible damage to stone around the pool.

So far I don't think I've seen anyone post a picture of the damage caused by a SWG here. In fact, when googling for things like "salt water chlorine generator damage" and selecting images, I can find about 3 photos online, all of which are on websites of people who are selling stuff that's either an alternative to an SWG or a sealant to mitigate the purported damage from an SWG.

Does anyone here have a picture of any damage that's been caused by salt water? A genuine TFP user account?

Thanks,

Marc
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,561
Fletcher, OK
I also have only seen photo's on websites that sell alternatives... hmmmmmm

I would love to see some actual photo's, even if its not damage but before and after...
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Sorry, all I have is flagstone that is undamaged by my saltwater pool. :) Good idea for a thread.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
I agree I am not sure I have ever seen any pictures outside of marketing material.

I recall some pictures of damaged flagstone around a non-SWG pool and out on walkways (happened at my previous house for a couple slabs in my front yard). Flagstone, even the same color, can vary in integrity so much, some if it flakes just by looking at it ;)
 

familytr33

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2016
81
South East USA
I have white river rock coping stones. They are all fine after 10+ years of salt water

However, the grout between the stones is going, and probably needs to be attended to in the next year or 2.

I'm not the original owner and I don't know that grout was sealed properly at build time. I also can't say whether it's down to the salt water or whether regular pool water would have had the same effect.

To the OP - I would be more concerned about salt if I was in an area that experienced significant freezing in winter. Salt's hygroscopic nature will attract more water into the pores of the rock/stone. This can cause increased expansion during freezes, which could be destructive to rocks, stones, concretes and grouts. However, salt will also lower the freezing point of water and may mitigate the effects of moderate freezes.

ft.
 

gotsno

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2014
69
Gardners, PA
No but I have seen what chlorine can do to sidewalks. In my opinion chlorine is much more damaging to pool liners, pipes, decks, sidewalks ext. than saltwater. Now if our saltwater pools where as salty as the ocean then it would be a different story.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
No but I have seen what chlorine can do to sidewalks. In my opinion chlorine is much more damaging to pool liners, pipes, decks, sidewalks ext. than saltwater. Now if our saltwater pools where as salty as the ocean then it would be a different story.
Do you mean pouring bleach on concrete? Because that is VASTLY different than the concentrations in pool water. The recommended chlorine levels in the pool will not damage anything.
 

gotsno

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2014
69
Gardners, PA
Do you mean pouring bleach on concrete? Because that is VASTLY different than the concentrations in pool water. The recommended chlorine levels in the pool will not damage anything.
No I do not mean pouring full concentration on concrete. I am talking about chlorine pool levels over time on concrete. I will agree to disagree chlorine over time can damage concrete. It will take longer than full concentration but eventually can cause damage.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
No I do not mean pouring full concentration on concrete. I am talking about chlorine pool levels over time on concrete. I will agree to disagree chlorine over time can damage concrete. It will take longer than full concentration but eventually can cause damage.
We are certainly in disagreement on this. Sure I will agree that pool water with chlorine in it might impact the concrete more than water without chlorine in it (you know most municipal tap water has more chlorine in it than pool water right?), but I think it would take many decades to even be able to see a difference.

Low pH pool water would have a much higher impact than the minuscule chlorine levels.

But you seem to stipulate that the salt water from the pool will have less impact? Even though it has basically the same level of FC in it?
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
I suspect over time rain does more damage to concrete than pool water level chlorine concentration ever will, I know my outdoor concrete that was poured at the same time my indoor pool was (built in 1980) shows much more deterioration than the concrete decking around the pool does.
 

Jaimslaw

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2015
304
San Diego, CA
The problem with drawing conclusions about flagstone's potential for damage from SWGs is that flagstone has so many varying degrees of density and composition, depending upon where it is quarried. Even flagstone from the same area will vary considerably in its susceptibility to degardation from salt exposure.

Around my pool, the salt only affects one color flagstone...those 5 or 6 pieces really take a hit from the salt, whereas all the other colored flagstone pieces right next to those suffering salt wear and tear are completely unaffected and intact. So had my surrounding flagstoned pool walls been made without that one line (color) of flagstone, I would be concluding that salt isn't an issue with flagstone. Conversely, if the majority of my flagstone walls were of that one susceptible "color" or "variety" of flagstone, I would be condemning the use of a SWG set up with flagstone.

So really, there is no general conclusion you can draw about SWG's compatibility with flagstone, except maybe, "it depends upon the nature or type of flagstone installed."
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
That is my question too. What indicates that salt caused the damage and not that the damage would have occurred anyway? I agree that different compositions of flagstone wear differently, I have several different types also. Some of the flagstone in my coping has lost a few layers from flaking but I don't have any reason to think that salt caused it. My most degraded piece of flagstone is in a path away from the pool with no salt water exposure at all.
 

marcgr

Bronze Supporter
Oct 4, 2015
104
Austin, TX
Thanks to everyone who posted! The conclusion I'm coming to here is, although there are many theories why this may or may not be true, out of a body of several thousand pool owners there is no existence evidence that this problem actually happens...
 

Jaimslaw

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2015
304
San Diego, CA
Sorta like aliens. Lots of theories but no pics! :mrgreen:
Keep an eye out as I will be posting plenty of pics in the next day or two of those flagstone pieces around my pool that have suffered obvious damage - whether salt or plain moisture damage remains unclear; and perhaps incapable of being established as empirical fact in the absence of applying a scientific method of sorts.
 

Jaimslaw

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2015
304
San Diego, CA
pooldv, post up pictures of your walk way flag too that is no where near the water.
Actually I was going to do just that as a portion of the front entrance walkway is of the same flagstone; there are areas that get a lot of sprinkler over spray (ie fresh water) showing no damage (but still of questionable probative value IMO).
 

Austintatious

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2014
81
DFW Texas
Thanks to everyone who posted! The conclusion I'm coming to here is, although there are many theories why this may or may not be true, out of a body of several thousand pool owners there is no existence evidence that this problem actually happens...
Yea, im still gonna spend 50 bucks every 2 years or so to seal up my stone.