Pictures of Salt Water flagstone or coping damage?

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Here is the piece of flagstone on the path, it is the only one like it. Those layers peeling off are about 1/8th". The stuff on the right is the top layer and on the left is the third layer where the second layer is peeling off too. But, if I knocked off the first and second layers that third layer is sold stone and it wouldn't keep delaminating like that.
20160512_182413.jpg

Here are the worst pieces of coping, installed July 2012. The layers peeling are paper thin. Kind of cool actually.
20160512_182549.jpg
20160512_182525.jpg

The rest look like this.
20160512_183831.jpg
20160512_183854.jpg

Too bad that solar cover is there, now ya'll can't see my sparkling clear TFP water! :mrgreen:
 

marcgr

Bronze Supporter
Oct 4, 2015
106
Austin, TX
Thanks! That looks like a property of the rock, not a property of the salt... Especially the one that's far away from the pool... And it's not so bad that it would dissuade me from a SWG...
 

GregH

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 5, 2009
32
Dripping Springs, TX
I'll look for pictures, but I had problems with Arizona Flagstone that appeared to be damaged by the salt water. Nearly all of it appears to have eroded, with one stone loosing the entire top surface in about 3 years. We've since sold that house/pool so I'll have to look for some old photos. The other symptom was a brown sand in the pool year round, the same color as the flagstone (a copper/chocolate brown). It seemed to me like the flagstone was going through a natural erosion process that was accelerated by the salt.

The other problem was what looked like soft spots in the plaster after only 2 years. I don't recall how long that pool builder waited before adding salt, but it may have been added before the plaster cured.

I just looked at the picture of the path above, and that's what my one coping stone did that I mentioned above, so that may or may not have been affected by the salt in my pool.
 

Jaimslaw

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2015
304
San Diego, CA
Here are some pics of my flagstone at areas around my pool (sorry for the washed out potato quality).

Notice the pic of the front sidewalk which gets a lot of sprinkler over spray - but does not show the same degradation. This may be demonstrative of a salt related cause, given the absence of the degree of damage to these flagstone pieces.

I think it's more a matter of the flagstone piece (or same run/color of flagstone pieces) being susceptible to regular water as well as salt water. Whose to say that those damaged pool wall pieces wouldn't end up show the same type of damage had they been installed in the front walkway.

The damage always starts out as a hollow, slightly domed spot in the stone that starts to separate in a a thin 1/32" layer. After years of picking away the layers that lift up, the piece can lose 1/4" or more from its original thickness (see pic showing grout differential; also pic showing a crater-like hole or depression).

Actually, its not as bad when you are looking at the backyard as a whole - the degraded flagstones sort of blend in given the overall rugged and natural look flagstone has (tho a PB I had do a bid for replastering the pool noticed it right off). If I want, these pieces can be removed and replaced.

It will make a big difference in the rate of wear and tear if you seal the stone with a quality stone sealer - no less than every two years (and with a salt resistent sealer). That really cut down on the damage.











 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
I finally had some damage to my pool from Salt. Heater Thermostat went out. Took it apart. Salt pretty much fried it. My stone is fine!
How do you know salt caused it? In a non-SWG pool, the salt level can approach 1000ppm. How can you say the salt level at 3500ppm caused a problem that a salt level of 500-1000ppm would not have? :stirpot:
 

skylar18

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2013
299
Austin, Texas
How do you know salt caused it? In a non-SWG pool, the salt level can approach 1000ppm. How can you say the salt level at 3500ppm caused a problem that a salt level of 500-1000ppm would not have? :stirpot:
:p

I don't....but I had spent so much time researching and worrying about salt and flagstone that I thought I would throw all the people who told me I was nuts a bone! Just kidding everyone! I spent by far more time researching this topic then what it has taken me to seal it every year. I'm still knocking on wood every time I say this but it has worked for me so far, love the look and love the SWCG. I truly have a minimal effort pool all year round.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
LOL! I think that everything that goes wrong in a saltwater pool is caused by salt. :-D
 

espejo

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 25, 2014
161
Kingwood Texas
My pool at my last house was maintained on bleach additions and it had flagstone coping and it had similar flaking as seen in these photographs. I wonder if this is just "normal" for flagstone and/or how much is caused by water chemistry. I don't know but I have a SWG now with travertine coping and while I have not had it too long I am checking water chemistry every couple of days and other than some minor tweaks have been able to maintain the recommended TFP levels for SWG. Even with the heavy rain we have had in Houston lately. Time will tell so I will report back in 5 years.