Pool Deck Resurfacing
There’s nothing worse than getting all excited about enjoying your swimming pool – especially early in the season – just to discover that your pool deck is anything but in tip-top condition, tearing up your feet and in desperate need of resurfacing.
Far too many otherwise responsible pool owners look at a pool deck that is less than picture-perfect as little more than a cosmetic issue that can be addressed when they have free time (which usually means never).
Unfortunately, your pool deck is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to overall pool maintenance. Not only does it help your pool from an aesthetic standpoint, but it also boosts the safety of the people that are using your pool and helps to prolong the overall health and wellness of your pool structure, too.
Below we highlight just a couple of things you want to think about when it comes time to do a bit of pool deck resurfacing.
By the time you’re done with the inside information that we go over below, you’ll know exactly why it’s so important to resurface your deck as necessary, but you’ll also know how to go about this process so that you can tackle it in no time at all.
Shall we get right to it?
The Importance of Pool Deck Resurfacing
Regardless of whether or not you have a concrete pool deck that is starting to pit, starting to chip, and starting to have quite a few cracks in it or a wooden pool deck that is showing signs of wear and tear (and maybe even rot), there’s real value in knocking out pool deck resurfacing at the first sign of something going wrong.
Obviously, sharp concrete edges aren’t going to do any favors to bare feet – especially when you are running alongside your pool and getting ready to dive in. Unfinished or poorly finished wood is going to cause all kinds of splinters as well and that’s going to dramatically drop the level of enjoyment you get out of your pool pretty quickly.
Of course, anytime water as an opportunity to splash out of your pool and drip in between the cracks of your concrete pool deck or your wooden pool deck it’s going to do a number on those structures as well.
It isn’t going to take long until water starts to shift things around beneath your pool deck, causing expansion and contraction, and destroying your pool deck from the inside out.
Getting out ahead of this issue before becomes a major emergency won’t just save you a lot of headaches and hassle but can also save you a lot of money. Repairing and patching these issues before they become widespread can guarantee that you aren’t dealing with serious catastrophes that necessitate a total tear-down and rebuild of your pool deck in the future.
Understanding the Source of These Issues
Concrete and wooden construction materials are generally pretty durable, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to break down or show signs of wear and tear over time – particularly when they are as exposed to the weather and the elements as they are going to be on a pool deck.
Combine that with wild swings in temperature (especially for those that have pools in climates that enjoy all four seasons) can cause major shifts and changes in the materials themselves.
Even just a 40°F drop in temperature (80°F in the summer to 40°F in the fall) can cause some pretty significant shifting and contraction, enough so that over time your country or wooden deck is really looking worse for wear.
Add in the fact that sometimes our concrete or wooden pool decks aren’t made with the most attention to detail for the greatest care and all of a sudden you can be looking at a real serious issue sooner than you ever would have thought possible.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your fault that you are dealing with issues plaguing your pool deck. There is a myriad of different factors that can be contributing to this headache.
Tackling Common Pool Deck Issues
Below we are going to highlight just a couple of solutions you want to consider when it comes time to tackle pool deck issues you may be dealing with.
If you live in colder climates, in particular, these first few tips are going to be incredibly important to zero in on. The odds are good that in these colder regions you’re going to have below-freezing temperatures for at least half the year – and that means the odds of cracking, contraction, and shifting are going to go up exponentially.
Right out of the gate, you’re going to want to have a look at your pool deck pretty closely every single season in the beginning, in the middle, and just before you think about closing your pool for the year.
This allows you to get ahead of cracks when they first start to establish themselves. The smaller the crack is the easier it is going to be to prepare – and if you work fast enough you can even get out ahead of these issues way before they become major emergencies and prevent them from wrecking your pool permanently.
Invisible to the naked eye cracks are difficult to spot on your own which is why you’ll want to get a garden hose and gently spray down the pool deck area you are having a look at. Cracks in concrete and in wooden materials are going to be immediately apparent with this approach, and as soon as you have identified them you’ll be able to solve the issue.
Premixed concrete patch materials are available at any major home improvement store (and even most smaller hardware stores), giving you every opportunity to patch these issues up pretty quickly after you have cleaned away the impacted area.
Depending on the size of the crack in the wooden construction materials you are dealing with you might want to use epoxy or wood filler, solving the same situation by filling the crack with the synthetic compounds and allowing them plenty of time to dry and bind in place.
If you are dealing with leveling issues caused by the ground shifting underneath your pool deck you’ll want to consider a couple of different options to get everything back to where it belongs.
With concrete, you can choose to tear everything out and replace it completely or just level the slab all on your own. This process is oftentimes called slab jacking – and sometimes mud jacking – and there are plenty of detailed video tutorials available free online you’ll want to have a look at.
If you’re going to be leveling a wood construction pool deck, though, you’re probably going to have to tear the decking off, shimmer everything up, and then re-level with the decking that you just pulled off (or new decking). This might be the perfect opportunity to switch to a synthetic material that isn’t going to have these leveling issues later down the line if your budget allows.
How to Prevent Repairs Going Forward
If you are able to get out in front of these issues and stop them dead in their tracks you’ll find you spend a lot less time, a lot less money, and a lot less energy worrying about your pool deck and more time enjoying the pool itself.
For starters, it’s a good idea to keep your swimming pool in picture-perfect conditions for as much of the year as humanly possible.
A filthy pool is going to be filled with weeds, dirt and debris, algae, and all kinds of fungus that aren’t just going to establish themselves in the pool but are going to start to spread out into the pool deck itself. It doesn’t take long for all of this to generate havoc, work its way into those cracks and crevices, and really start to slip things apart from the inside out just the way that water would.
A regular pressure washing of your deck (and proper pool maintenance) will guarantee that this risk is minimized as much as possible. You don’t necessarily have to purchase a pressure washer to knockout this maintenance yourself – though they are handy to have on hand – but can even rent them from your local hardware store to give your deck a good rinse down two or three times a year.
Combine this with regular inspections and aggressive maintenance on any of the cracks or issues you find and you’ll be able to stay out ahead of these issues pretty easily.
Sealing your deck is critically important as well (as is resealing every couple of years) regardless of whether or not you have a concrete or wooden pool deck. The right sealant is going to fill in cracks, protect the surface from getting destroyed later down the line, and sort of hold everything together – and it isn’t hard to apply (or expensive to invest in, either).
Pay attention to the tips and tricks we highlighted above and you won’t have any problem at all with pool deck resurfacing!