Pools, what a great way to spend a lazy summer day. Kids and Grand Kids enjoying the water, friends over for a pool party as you BBQ Ribs or Burgers, or just a relaxing evening enjoying the crystal clear water as the sun goes down. Having your own pool is a dream come true for many families, one that can build unity and be a gathering spot for family and friends for years, even generations to come.
Then there is the cost and hassle of chemicals and maintenance, all of which pales compared to the nightmare of settling pool decks. At 1-855-752-2522 we’ve about seen it all. Here are some things to know about settled pool slabs;
How we approach settled concrete slabs around pools varies with the type of pool, be it Gunite, Fiberglass or Vinyl.
Let’s first discuss Concrete or Gunite Pools; these pools have the most robust construction of the three and are considered the safest to work on, having been constructed of a special concrete reinforced with rebar.
Typical deck construction on Gunite pools is to lay the deck over the top of the vertical wall of the pool, which is then caulked with waterproof pool caulking. This method leaves a very clean look with no bullnose tile to be found, though for aesthetics they can be used.
Settling occurs two ways. First, over time the caulking seal fails, allowing water penetration which leads to the compaction of fill dirt under the deck and along the walls of the pool, which over time, caves the soil in toward the pool and gradually leads to “pivoting” of the concrete deck.
The second area is on the outer side of the deck, where the deck meets grass. This settles slightly as water saturates the soils along the edge of the deck and grass junction. As this settles ever so slightly the slab pivots, opening up the caulk line allowing water to again, penetrate and further saturate and compact soils.
We have two good views and a video of a pool deck “pivoting” at www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com in the before and after pictures section as well as in the video section.
The diagnosis – if we were to completely lift the slab off the side of the pool you would find large voids along the pool, with the largest at the edge of the pool, even though the settling appears to be on the opposite, or grass side of the deck.
The cure – while the safest of the three, due to its robust construction, Slabjacking can exert tremendous pressures, thousands of pounds per square foot in some circumstances, not something we wish to have against the side of a pool. 1-855-752-2522 uses a hydrophobic Polymer (waterproof) that is injected and allowed to flow into the voids along the pool, consolidating loose soils and filling voids. This Polymer is very light, only four pounds per cubic foot but extremely dense so it is much safer than pumping a slurry which weighs between 100-140lbs per cubic foot against your pool. After these voids are filled any settling is taken care of on the opposite side of the slab.
Fiberglass and Vinyl pools are much less robust and as such, are approached much differently than concrete/Gunite pools. Due to the flexible nature of Fiberglass, and especially Vinyl pools, we do not attempt to fill voids along the vertical walls, doing so could bulge the pool walls and there would be nothing we could do about it after the fact. We will raise decks settled toward these pools only after extensive testing and then only with a disclaimer in the contract. Decks settled away from these pools are generally safe to raise and pose minimal risk of damage to the pool itself.
When it comes time to raise your pool deck call the concrete raising and leveling professionals 1-855-752-2522. Whether a Residential, Commercial or a Municipal pool, Slabjack Geotechnical is the right call – superior Equipment, superior Polymers, superior training, produces superior results.