Swimming Pool Repair Tips
SWIMMING POOL COPING
The pool coping is the capstone for the beam, and is used to finish the pools edge and bring it up flush with the pool deck. Pre-cast concrete pool coping with a bullnose front edge has been the standard for many years. Modern designs are making use of bullnose brick coping in many colors and textures. Flagstone is also a popular choice. The pool without coping has been accomplished with the cantilever deck. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's designs, the cantilever deck extends over the edge of the pool, and is free-floating over the pool. Pools with cantilever decks do not have coping stones.
Vinyl Liner pools have their coping attached to the wall, and is usually C - shaped, such that the pool deck is poured into the coping. A typical vinyl liner pool, or a pool with a cantilever deck do not require caulking of an expansion joint, because, there is none. Replacement of pool coping on a vinyl liner pool can be complicated, as the concrete deck is usually poured into the coping, and the liner may be attached to the track which may be part of the plastic coping.
Loose Pool Coping? First question to be asked is "have you caulked your expansion joint?" Freezing water in the pool expansion joint between the deck and the pool coping, will put pressure on the coping, breaking the mortar that attaches it to the beam. Second question will be "Is the expansion joint true, (straight through to the earth) or does the pool deck touch the coping or the beam at some area?" If the pool deck and the pool wall (or coping) are allowed to contact each other, then damage can slowly occur to the coping (and the beam) every time the deck and / or the pool expands and contracts with temperature changes.
Crumbling mortar joints between pool coping stones? If there is only a small check crack, it's probably not a problem. Cracking large enough to allow water to seep in will create havoc. We also want to note the possible reasons for this mortar joint to be crumbling. It could be just chemical breakdown or a bad mix, or there could be a directional force applying pressure to the area.
Pool Coping Stones dirty? Concrete coping stones can be cleaned with a solution of acid and water, applied sparingly with a hand brush. Wear personal safety gear and follow acid manufacturer guidelines for application. Be careful not to spill it on the pool deck, or it will acid wash just the areas that the acid makes contact, producing undesirable effects. Pressure washing coping stones is another way to give your pool coping a near new appearance.
Pool Coping replacement: Typical costs for removal and replacement of pre-cast coping average $25 per linear foot. Add a few more $ for bullnose brick, and a few more than that for custom cut flagstone coping. To repair yourself, use a chisel and hammer and perhaps a cut saw to carefully pull up the loose stone. Carefully chip old mud off of it, and off of the beam, and reset it in a new bed of mortar. Once set, fill in the mortar joints between the stones. Use care when handling the stone so as not to break it, which happens easily sometimes. Remove enough of the old mortar bed to be able to set the new coping stone level with adjacent coping stones. If you do replace the coping stone with a new coping stone, bear in mind that the colors, size, texture and shape may not exactly match, even if the same coping stone type was purchased.
Anthony Pool Coping Replacement: Anthony pools of the 70's, 80's and the early 90's used a proprietary coping stone that is no longer available. They also had a style of building the pool where the top row of pool tile was set onto the mortar bed of the coping stone. When movement occurs from an expansive pool deck, the top row of the tiles would crack in typical fashion. The solution is not cheap. Replacing all of the coping stones and tile, and sawcutting a true expansion joint. Average size Anthony pools would see costs of over $10,000 for this pool coping repair.
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