You go outside to admire your beautiful swimming pool, yet instead of crystal-clear water, all you see is a series of cracks in the pool. Is the crack dangerous? Will it cause a pool leak? It’s important to find out the cracks’ origins to answer these questions. You also must determine if the crack will affect the pool’s structural integrity.
How Cracked Pools Occur
Gunite swimming pools have a shell constructed of a concrete mixture, making it extremely durable. Cracks in a gunite pool may be superficial, meaning they’re only in the pool plaster. These cracks are on the surface and not part of the actual pool shell.
A structural crack in your swimming pool, however, is a serious issue and must be dealt with quickly. Ignoring structural cracks can result in a leaking pool, which may cause damage to your landscape and nearby building’s foundation. It may also make the ground wet, increasing slipping hazards. Leaking swimming pools can lead to costly repairs and you should try to get the crack examined by a professional as soon as possible. Structural cracks often originate from the improper installation of a gunite pool. This is why it’s so vital to hire a professional pool builder for gunite pool installation.
Causes of a Cracked Swimming Pool
A common cause with pool cracks is from too-thin gunite used during the installation process. During the construction process, the gunite might not adhere properly to the steel framework. When this occurs, the gunite “rebounds,” or bounces back after application. Rebound gunite should be removed and thrown away. Some unprofessional pool contractors will instead pack it back in and continue building the gunite pool shell. Rebound gunite is very weak and it lacks the structural integrity of regular gunite. It’s more susceptible to cracks.
Another cause for a gunite pool crack involves the soil present in the pool area. When a pool contractor installs the pool, they must first dig a hole. Before the gunite pool can be built properly, the soil must be compacted to be even and smooth. This will present a good foundation for the gunite pool to sit. Un-compacted soil underneath the pool shell may cause the pool to shift, sag, and even crack as the soil moves over time. Even the smallest soil movement will make a pool shell prone to cracking. Afterwards we install a 8 inch thick stone bed to create the ideal swimming pool foundation.
Poor Pool Design and Installation
Swimming pool design should always use professional pool engineers to ensure that the pool’s design is structurally sound. When a pool is installed without proper design and engineering, it runs the risk of cracking. Faulty engineering can involve factors such as poor design around the deck and walls of the pool or failure to test the soil load.
Even the best-engineered pool may be subject to poor workmanship. This can involve skipping the soil compacting, as we said above, or incorrectly mixing the gunite before spraying it to form the gunite shell. The rebar may be installed poorly or not in the right areas. These errors can lead to significant cracking in a swimming pool.
Repairing Your Concrete Pool
Swimming pool repair isn’t an easy process and should be performed by a professional. Any repairs made by a pool owner may just be a temporary band-aid for the problem. When you spot a crack in your gunite pool, you need to contact a pool repair service for help immediately. Eastern Aquatics offers pool repair services for gunite pools throughout the Northeast including Albany, Saratoga, and the surrounding areas.