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Help! My Concrete Pool Shell is Cracked!

On Sep 7, 2023

Aquaman Leak Detection - Help! My Concrete Pool Shell is Cracked!

You may have noticed a hairline crack when performing routine maintenance in a concrete swimming pool near the corner of a step. There may be a slight crack where a spa tub meets the pool. These are small cracks in the plaster that is part of the concrete shell. The cracks are easy to repair, but they must be fixed immediately to avoid further damage that can cause leaks.

Why Do Concrete Cracks Develop?

As a pool owner, you've likely discovered small cracks in your inground pool. Swimming pool cracks are a common occurrence, just as it is with driveways and sidewalks. This happens because the ground moves and shifts over time, even though we may not really feel or be aware of it. These subtle changes can eventually lead to cracks forming on the concrete surface. There are several causes for this, including the type of soil your pool is built on or in. Poor compacting during installation is one of the main contributing factors.

The soil beneath swimming pools needs to be firm so that it can provide adequate support for the structure, and when it’s not compacted correctly, this can lead to buckling and gaps. Poor installation can cause fractures in the pool walls or surface that gradually expand until a full-on crack appears. Likewise, if an area around your pool suddenly sinks or shifts due to some form of subsidence, this will also disrupt whatever surface overlies it, which could also result in a crack developing. In either case, proper attention must be paid when building any kind of permanent structure over soil or very uneven surfaces so as to prevent potential severe damage from occurring down the line.

Where Swimming Pool Cracks Appear

Small hairline concrete cracks and fissures are easy to spot at the top of the pool surface or spa tub by the steps. Small cracks in the plaster occur when a heavy object comes into contact with the pool shell.

Deeper structural cracks can occur in corners of the pool or beneath tiles. Cracks can develop in the tile caulking, or a tile may become loose. A loose tile is an indication that the bond seam is not holding.

The pool may require careful draining to just below the tile line. Often tiles are on the upper walls of the pool just below the deck. Water loss will be minimal if draining is necessary. Before refilling the pool inspect all of the tiles lining the edge of the pool.

You may also find a crack in a concrete pool under the tile and waterline. A professional pool leak repair service will be able to repair pool cracks without draining the pool to repair this type of crack.

Finding the Crack in a Concrete Pool

A red dye is used to locate a crack beneath the waterline. The crack will suck in dye, especially if there is a leak. A special epoxy sealer is injected to fill the crack. The sealer adheres under the water to the wall.

Most crack repairs are possible underwater. Don’t drain the pool unless the plaster is completely gone. In that case, water must be removed from the pool while a new coat of plaster is applied.

The best solution to avoid plaster cracks is to keep hard objects out of the pool. Check the surface of the pool frequently with your hands. Look for rough patches where the plaster over the concrete or gunite might have a small crack. (Gunite is a mixture of sand and concrete.)

Always check corners, especially by steps. Also, check the fittings by the ladders. Cracks and leaks can occur where metal fittings meet the concrete pool shell. This includes the underwater light.

Call Aquaman Leak Detection if you find a crack in your concrete pool. Catching cracks as soon as possible ensures the least amount of disruption to plaster. Although there are do-it-yourself kits and materials, a professional repair will last longer. We guarantee our work in repairing leaks. Aquaman serves Brevard County, FL, and all of Florida.

This article was originally published in December 2017 but has been updated for accuracy and freshness.

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