Pool Repairs—what can be done and when?

Pool Repairs—what can be done and when?

So, you’ve got a rust spot in your pool finish…or an area of the pool finish that is lifting up and delaminating…or you have glass block at your spa that is cracked: maybe your pool isn’t quite ready for a total remodel or you aren’t quite ready to undertake a major renovation project….

Instead of staring at the rust spot or the mildew and algae filled glass block for the indefinite future, some of these issues can be addressed with a minor (most often same day) repair. Some of the items we can assist you with, to try to bridge the gap between needing the repair and needing an entire remodel include:

  1. Glass block repair

    If you have a broken glass block in the area between your pool and spa, you know how unsightly it can become. Glass block walls at the pool and spa are a frequently needed repair item we see because the block is unable to properly handle the thermal expansion and contraction that occurs where the cool pool water and hot spa water meet. This thermal expansion and contraction often leads to cracks in the blocks over time. The blocks then often either become partially or completely filled with water or condensation which then can result in algae or mildew growth inside of the block, or a cloudy appearance. Other times, the cracks may be due to settling or structural movement in the pool.

    Glass blocks were very popular in the pool and spa application for some time, but many homeowners and almost all pool builders are moving away from glass block because of these common issues.

    Glass block can be removed entirely at the time the pool is resurfaced, however, because removal of the glass block requires concrete and rebar construction to fill in the area where the glass block once occupied, removal of glass block can’t be done without resurfacing. If you have a broken glass block but are not ready to resurface your pool, we can remove and replace the existing glass blocks with new ones to take care of the eyesore in the interim period.

  2. Dive and Patch

    Dive and patches are used to temporarily repair a pool finish where delamination has occurred. Delamination is a process where the existing pool finish begins to lift off and separate from the underlying layer. It can occur to a pool surface for a variety of reasons. Depending on the size of the repair, a dive and patch may be an option to address the hole in your pool finish until you are ready for resurfacing. Dive and patches are only available if the area needed to be repaired is small. If the area is too large, it may be an indicator that your pool surface is failing and needs to be resurfaced. In most cases, our team will dive into the pool, remove the areas of delamination to prevent further delamination from occurring, and then patch the surface with pool finish in the same color as the existing surface to make the repair less noticeable. Certainly, the patch will be visible—especially if your pool has any type of metal staining—however, the patch typically will blend in over time and may help you get a couple years of extra life out of your surface.

  3. Rusting Rebar Patch/Removal

    The best time to eliminate glass block is when you are ready to resurface your swimming pool.

    Have you ever noticed a deep brown or orange stain on your surface? Most often rusting rebar is present at the tile line, or in the walls of your pool but it can occur anywhere. This happens when a small piece of rebar works its way up through the pool shell and to the surface of the pool (most often, this is the result of micro movements between the pool and the Earth over time). Depending on the location of the rusting rebar, these repairs often involve cutting into the pool surface and removing the rusting area, sealing the area, and then patching the area with pool finish or replacing the tile if the rebar was rusting at the tile line. These types of repairs can make a huge visual impact and eliminate an eyesore on your swimming pool.

Certain pool features tend to be problematic for pool owners long term and are best to eliminate or repair at the time of resurfacing. Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but are items we see most frequently in the remodeling world: some of these items include:

  1. Glass block elimination

    As mentioned, glass block is a trend that in large part, most pool builders and owners are moving away from because of the tendency for the blocks to break. Glass block was not manufactured for use in the pool/spa application which is why there is such a high failure rate.

    For pool owners wanting to eliminate their glass block, it can be done at the time of resurfacing. We remove the glass block, form a wall where the glass block once was and fill it in using concrete and rebar. The new face of the spa then can be tiled either using an accent tile or to match the rest of the pool and is topped with a spillway.

  2. Pop-up Pool Cleaning Systems (Floor Head Cleaning Systems)

    Pool cleaning systems also tend to be problematic. Many times, they are difficult to find replacement parts for and few pool service companies work on them. At the time of resurfacing, many of our customers ask for the pool cleaning heads to be covered and/or eliminated.

  3. Structural issues at the tile beam (broken/falling out tile and grout)

    Structural cracks at the tile beam can often be addressed, but due to the scale of this repair, it must be done in conjunction with resurfacing the pool.

    Florida is been built on sand and limestone. Many of the pools we encounter have some sort of structural issue from the soft Earth they are built in. Settling and or cracking is common. One of the most common areas in the pool where structural issues present is at the tile beam. This is because during pool construction, the pool shell is typically poured first, then the deck is poured later to overhang the top of the pool shell. This results in a joint at the tile beam which is then a point of movement within the pool. If a homeowner has structural issues at their tile beam, it almost always results in broken tiles or, if the pool has mosaic or glass tile, tile pieces cracking and falling out. We often recommend pool owners utilize a 6×6 porcelain tile because using a large, solid tile (as opposed to glass or mosaic tile) is stronger and typically resists cracking or failing; but another option is to correct the structural issue by repouring the tile beam itself. This is an intensive repair but is something Advanced Pool & Spa has experience in handling.

The above listed repairs are not an exhaustive list of things you may encounter in your residential or commercial pool; however, they are a few of the items we most commonly see in the field. As mentioned, some repairs can be done before you are ready to resurface your swimming pool and can help extend the life of your surface or improve the aesthetics until you are ready to take on a remodeling project. Other repairs are much more in-depth and require additional time or complete draining of the pool.
If you find yourself with a need for pool repair, big or small, reach out to see if it is something we can assist you with. Advanced Pool & Spa is family owned and operated and has served the Tampa Bay area for 38 years and is ready to assist you with your pool resurfacing and remodeling needs. We work on both residential and commercial swimming pools and decks, are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are glad to answer any questions you may have. Please feel welcomed to call us in the office at 813-995-2939 or email us at aps59246@gmail.com for an estimate!

Happy Swimming!

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