As swimming seasons approaches, the time for inspecting your ground pool is now. You’ll want to check for any damage that may have occurred over the winter, just as you should inspect your pool before closing it up for the season. Unfortunately, finding a swimming pool crack can be quite a shock, but luckily most cracks are easily fixable and not an issue you have to worry about for too long.
What Causes a Swimming Pool Crack?
Swimming pool cracks are a common occurrence. Driveways and sidewalks also crack, and for many of the same reasons.
When any heavy structure is built on the ground, the ground shifts and settles beneath it over time. Even though we may not feel it, the earth moves and those subtle movements can eventually lead to cracks forming.
The type of soil your pool is built on or in can make a difference, too. If the soil is poorly compacted beneath the pool, it can lead to pool cracks developing. Certain soil types also make your pool more susceptible to cracks, including soils containing clay or are considered expansive.
Weather and the environment can also be a factor in crack causation. Heat causes materials to expand, and cold causes them to contract or shrink. Over time, seasonal expansion and contraction will lead to cracks in concrete surfaces. Many of these cracks can be pretty deep but repair quickly.
Finally, poor construction and workmanship can result in cracks in fiberglass and concrete pools. Improperly preparing the dig site before installing a pool can lead to significant issues with cracking down the road. Improperly tying the rebar during construction can lead to cracks, as can not keeping the concrete moist enough after it is sprayed on, a critical issue with gunite pools.
Thankfully, depending on the type of material your swimming pool is made of and the severity of the crack in it, the repair may be fairly easy to accomplish on your own.
Do-It-Yourself Fix Swimming Pool Cracks
If the hairline cracks in your pool shell are not too deep or complex, you should be able to repair them yourself with a few essential tools and a tube of Aquaguard 5000. The entire repair process shouldn’t take more than an hour to accomplish.
First, assemble your tools:
- A flat-head screwdriver
- A scrubbing brush
- A tube of AquaGuard 5000
With the screwdriver, scrape the crack out thoroughly to get as much debris out as possible. Then, use the scrub brush to remove any algae, bacteria, and dirt left behind. You want the crack as clean as possible. Next, fill the crack with the Aquaguard 5000 and allow it to dry thoroughly to set.
For minor swimming pool cracks, your pool should be as good as new if you follow these three simple steps.
You will need to add other steps to the process for a more complex surface crack in a concrete pool. Depending on the size of the crack, you will need to add a masonry drill or grinder to your tool arsenal and some eye protection as well.
First, you will have to drain the pool by accessing the relief plugs. Once you’ve located them, carefully chisel away the material that prevents you from pulling those plugs out. Remember to wear eye protection when using the drill or grinder. Then you should be able to remove the plugs and allow the pool to drain correctly.
Once you’ve drained the pool, you’ll want to make the crack wider at the bottom. The shape should resemble a dovetail when done. Once you’ve created the dovetail shape, use fresh water to rinse out the crack and wash away any residue or debris left inside.
Before you apply the pool plaster, make sure you read the instructions carefully and understand them completely. Then, apply the Aquaguard 5000 to the crack. Pay attention to the continuity of the pool shell’s color as you apply the pool plaster, so the plaster surface blends well.
Time To Call the Experts
As a pool owner, it is essential to know when to call in professional help with your concrete pool repair. Even if you are an accomplished do-it-yourselfer, there will come a point when you can’t fix things yourself and guarantee a job done right.
If the crack in your swimming pool is severe and covers a large area in your pool’s shell, it’s time to call in a professional. Severe structural cracks are still repairable in most cases, but an expert must complete the crack repair correctly.
Structural cracks require major cutting tools and fiber staples. To stop the crack and secure the pool structure, steel or carbon-fiber staples must fuse the crack’s sides. Also, a horizontal cut must be made on the crack and holes drilled in both ends of the cut. Then the staples are inserted and secured in place.
It may seem like a good idea to put off repairing a small crack, especially when you spot cracks in your pool at the end of the season. However, putting off a repair can prove disastrous.
Over the off-season, the effects of fluctuating temperatures and settling ground can expand the crack, leaving you with more severe damage when good weather comes and it’s time to open the pool again.
If the crack is in a spot where water leaks, it can cause water damage to your property, including your home’s foundation if it is close to the pool. It could also damage any deck or patio structures around the pool. A slow, steady leak can also be detrimental to your plumbing system over time.
About AquaGuard and Aquatic Technologies Group
For more than 35 years, Aquatic Technologies Group has brought commercial pool professionals and homeowners highly effective protective coatings, hydraulic cement, and patching products for hot tubs, spas, and swimming pools.
We partner with certified pool maintenance professionals across the country, all ready to answer questions and guide you through the crack repair process. We also help you find AquaGuard products and service dealers across the country.