Before we talk about inground pool cracks, lets looks at the different types of inground pools. Inground pools or dug-in pools are mainly found in three types. They can be concrete pools, vinyl-lined pools or Fiberglas pools.
Vinyl lined pools
They come in three types. These are the steel wall vinyl liner, composite wall vinyl liner, and the cement wall vinyl liner. They are popular because they are not as expensive as concrete pools. The steel wall and the cement wall vinyl liners can be done in whatever shape one fancies. Yet the steel wall vinyl liner will eventually corrode.
Vinyl lined pools do not normally crack but sometimes they may get holes which leak. In this case fixing these holes is simple. Application of a patch kit is enough and the pool will not need draining.
These are one piece pools built by the manufacturer and shipped to the user. They come ready made and are easy to install.
Fiberglass pools may only experience spider cracks on the gel coat. These are surface level cracks and are not structural in nature. They are hardly visible and most pool owners generally ignore them. Causes of these cracks include:
- application of too much pressure at a particular spot at the time of manufacture
- or installation.
These pools are highly durable and are normally known as gunite or shotcrete pools. They are highly versatile in the pool shapes as well as in the finishes that they can allow. The construction of this pool involves:
- plumbing installation
- construction of rebar reinforcement
- application of the concrete
Then the concrete is left to cure for a month and then the interior finish is done. They are the strongest in-ground pools available in the market.
Pool cracks can show up in this type of pool. But not all cracks are cause for concern. Some cracks are considered as surface cracks and are easy to repair. These are handled during normal pool maintenance. Other cracks may be an indicator of structural problems with the pool and these need more extensive work to repair.
Inground pool cracks found in concrete pools result from various factors. These include:
- Improper curing of concrete caused by: hot temperatures, too much water in the mixture, little moisture during curing.
- Unprofessional workmanship such as not properly compacting the soil under the pool may also result in cracking.
- Additionally pools built on a hill may experience shifting soils underneath them which may also result in pool cracks.
Fixing serious pool cracks in concrete pools – Videos
Seasoned professionals have various ways of repairing simple and complex in-ground pool cracks
The first step is to investigate the cause of the crack. By knowing the cause of the crack, a professional will then be able to apply a suitable fix. Sometimes a crack will only be surface deep. Concrete setting as earlier mentioned may cause this. These surface cracks are often fixed by cleaning them up and applying pool putty. The crack is then smoothed out.
However some cracks go way deeper than the surface and the cause of these needs establishing. The best way to do this is to widen the crack and dig dipper into it to establish the course. For serious cracks, the deeper one digs into it, the more damage they discover. Sometimes tree roots will have pushed their way through the cracks and even worms move about within the cracks. These are only indicators that the crack has been letting water out and tree roots have followed the water to its source.
Where the structural steel is compromised, it may need replacing at the specific area. Otherwise reinforcing is the solution. Reinforcing requires drilling holes in the solid areas around the crack. Then use epoxy to anchor the new steel into the holes. Finally mix concrete and apply it. Application of a bonding agent on the surfaces receiving concrete is good practice.
A staple made of steel or carbon fiber further hold the two sides of the crack together. To apply this staple make cuts perpendicular to the crack a few inches from each other. Then drill holes at the ends of these cuts to hold the staples in. The staples are then held in by epoxy. Once done, plaster is applied into the holes. This method seals the crack much better than when only a sealing agent is used on the crack.
In-ground pool cracks need to attending to as soon as they appear. Their cause needs to investigation and the cracks sealed professionally to avoid further and more costly damage. It is prudent to seek the advice and service of a professional as soon as you find cracks in your pool.