Pool Cracked - leaking (Plaster vs Fiberglass finish?)

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
275
Lafayette, Ca / USA
I'm not sure how old our pool is - could be 20-25 years. We had an issue 8 years ago that caused us to have to totally strip the Fiberglass & have 20 "rebar staples" drilled & epoxied over cracks in the wall. Then re-Fiberglassed. Expensive as you can imagine.

So of course any warranty is no longer available and we JUST got another crack - the the same general area - and pool is now draining. Yes, we get earth movement in our area - doesn't everyone?

We're at a loss as to how to address this. Do pools just "age" to the point they must be totally removed & rebuilt? Just to re-FIBERGLASS doesn't seem like a good solution without addressing the crack in the GUNITE (or cement) underneath. Is it possible to just expose that section, epoxy/fix the underlying CRACK then just re-Fiberglass just that section? or must the entire pool be stripped and re-FIBERGLASSED? or would PLASTERING be better? ugh....

We're distraught over this and could really use some expert opinion/advice. We're in the SF BAY AREA. (If any Bay Area pool contractors can assist, we'd like to hear from you.) Thanks everyone.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,949
Chapel Hill, NC
About the only thing that would cause your pool to crack is subsidence of the ground beneath it or possibly an unevenly rising water table (unlikely). Can you post pictures?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,190
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Fiberglass over gunite is not usually a pool construction we hear about. There are hybrid pools that have fiberglass panels with a concrete floor. Hybrid Pools - Further Reading

Plaster will be no better then fiberglass in preventing future cracks.

Have you considered putting a vinyl liner in the pool?
 

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
275
Lafayette, Ca / USA
Thanks for your wisdom guys. We have a Pool company coming over on Monday to assess and make recommendations. They don't "DO FIBERGLASS" however. And from my brief discussion, they suggest that since it's an older pool, it COULD be the cement/rebar combination or the quality of the cement pour was not good. I know I said "Fiberglass over Gunite" .. but the Gunite might actually be just Cement? or is that the same thing? The Repair job we had 8 years ago was very very involved - they tore off the previous Fiberglass, drilled holes on each side of every crack (there were like 5 MAJOR cracks on the Same Wall), inserted 15 REBAR "staples" over each of the cracks, epoxied in, and re-cemented over each & smoothed. It looked good. They said "THAT WILL FIX THOISE CRACKS FOR A LIFETIME" (which was a 7 year warranty to them). Then they SPRAYED Fiberglass over the entire pool surface. It really looked great when finished. But like I say, we're back to yet another crack in the same general area that extends all the way to the floor now. So not sure if we're just throwing good mony after bad in attempting to repair this - vs. Rip the whole thing out and install a new pool ... ka-Ching !!!

So I know the pool contractor coming over Monday doesn't do Fiberglass - only Gunite & Plaster. So will be interesting to hear what they recommend. (If you guys really wish to see a picture I can snap one today & post). General question: Is "POOL REFURBISHING" a real thing that actually works? or best to remove and build a new one? THANKS !!!!!!!
 
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cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
275
Lafayette, Ca / USA
Here's a Pic ... btw, a follow-up question for you guys ... Do you think an application of FLEX SEAL PASTE or AQUABOND might seal it enough to get us a couple more years? or will the underlying cement (??) need to be fixed FIRST ? It's clear that the crack extends all the way up thru the coping. :-(

20201113_090529.jpg
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
99
Knoxville, TN
I have a crack in the plaster on our pool as well. The leak detection company I hired didn’t find anything leaking through it, but did find two leaks in the skimmers.

even though they said it wasn’t leaking, I used some of the two part marine epoxy to fill in the crack. We have white plaster so it matches ok. You might get a leak detection company out to verify it leaks and try something similar. Our plaster is 20 years old so we’re just buying time before a replaster. But if yours is cracking like that so fast, it seems like somethings going on in the dirt underneath.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,949
Chapel Hill, NC
Here's a Pic ... btw, a follow-up question for you guys ... Do you think an application of FLEX SEAL PASTE or AQUABOND might seal it enough to get us a couple more years? or will the underlying cement (??) need to be fixed FIRST ? It's clear that the crack extends all the way up thru the coping. :-(
That looks like a major structural crack, I don't think Flexseal or Aquabond is going to work. The repair that was done a few years ago was the correct approach. Sounds like the pool has subsided even further since then.