Inground pool crack repairs are one of those things that make you groan when you see them. They’re a hassle to repair, and you know they’re only going to get worse if you don’t deal with them quickly.
The good news is that if you catch them early enough, you may get away with a minor pool repair, and you won’t have to call in reinforcements from professionals. In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix pool cracks, how the pros do it, and when it’s time to admit a pool’s crack problem is too far gone and needs to be resurfaced.
Let’s dive right in!
Swimming Pool Crack Repair For Simple Cracks
Minor cracks that are no longer than a few inches on a pool’s lining can be repaired relatively easily. All you’ll need is some diving goggles, a steel brush, and some pool putty. You can find pool putty in just about any pool supply store or purchase it online. It’s usually a two-part compound that sets quickly.
When you identify the crack, make sure you see where it starts and ends. Next, dive into the pool and scrape out the more significant loose bits around it with a screwdriver or even a butter knife. Then, follow the instructions on the pool package to prepare the pool putty and roll it into a long cylinder about the length and width of the crack.
Again, enter the pool and press the putty into the crack with your fingers. Take as long as you need and push it all the way into the crack, making sure that it has adhered as much as possible. Once finished, smooth the putty to be flush with the pool’s lining.
Moderate: How to fix Pool Cracks
The process above works for small cracks, but if a break is longer than a few inches, it will just fall out once the crack continues to widen. If you have a more substantial break, you’ll need to make a more significant pool crack repair.
Moderate swimming pool crack repairs are the kind we’re going to describe that requires you drain your pool. Unfortunately, you can’t get away with draining the pool only until the water level is below the crack. The remaining water will only make it more challenging to clean up the dust and debris that fall into the water.
If you don’t want to deal with this sort of large-scale swimming pool crack repair or don’t think you’ll reliably repair the crack, we recommend enlisting some professional assistance. Give us a call!
How to Repair the Crack
First, you’ll need to get an angle grinder to work on widening the crack. You can also work with a drill and a wide masonry drill bit. After draining the pool, clean out the crack of any loose debris and use the grinder to carve a “V” shape into the crack that gets wider as it gets deeper. This is also known as a dovetail cut.
There’s going to be a lot of dust and flying debris, so you should wear adequate protection, including a dust mask and goggles. Once the dovetail cut is done, remove any excess dust and use a garden hose to spray water into the cut to clean it thoroughly. After it dries, you’ll complete the pool repair with a pool plaster mix.
As with pool putty, you can find pool plaster mix at most pool supply stores. Mix up enough plaster to fill in the crack in its entirety. Use a sponge to ensure the crack and surrounding area is moist before you start applying the plaster. After you’ve filled the crack, smooth the plaster flush with the pool shell. The plaster is meant to cure underwater, so you can start refilling the pool immediately.
If the crack is high up on the pool shell wall, make sure to keep it moist until the pool is refilled. If it dries out too quickly, it may start to crack, and you’ll have to clean it out and start all over again. As soon as it’s refilled, the pool is ready for use.
How to Repair Severe Pool Cracks
Before getting into this section, it’s worth noting again that some cracks are beyond repair. If your cracks run across the entire pool, it’s probably time to redo the pool shell. That said, one of our fantastic pool repair professionals can work some magic that you won’t get anywhere else. For large cracks, give us a call, and we’d be happy to provide you with an estimate for repairs or let you know if it’s a better plan to renovate the pool.
If you want to tackle severe pool crack repairs yourself, arm yourself with patience and the right equipment. The process is similar to the one we describe for repairing moderate cracks, but you’ll also have to use “staples” along the crack to make sure it doesn’t continue to expand in the future.
Follow the same steps as you would for a moderate crack, except you’re also going to carve out a rectangular slot every 10 to 12 inches perpendicular to the crack. In those slots, you’ll install steel staples, such as the ones supplied by Torque Lock. Carbon fiber staples are an alternative but more challenging to come by.
After the staples are epoxied into place, cover up the crack with pool plaster mix just as you would with a moderate crack and refill your pool. If performed correctly, this type of repair should give you another few years of pool use, but severe cracks are a sign that the pool shell doesn’t have a stable foundation, and that will eventually end up causing it to collapse.
The takeaway is that you should renovate the pool and replace the shell as soon as you’re able to.
Why Do Pool Cracks Form?
If a pool is planned and installed correctly, it should last decades without showing severe cracking. Unfortunately, however, many pool installers don’t have the know-how or the ability to perform such quality work.
Small spiderweb cracks in the pool’s coating aren’t usually a cause for concern. But large cracks, especially on a concrete shell, are usually the result of an unstable foundation. Another culprit can be the weather. If you live in an area that regularly sees drastic and sudden temperature changes, that causes the pool shell to contract and expand, eventually forming cracks that become larger with time.
Typically, the least concerning types of cracks are those made by direct damage to the structure. If something heavy hits the pool shell, it can create a crack but probably won’t develop substantial structural damage. You can expect repairs on such cracks to be long-lasting and reliable.
Why Replace When You Can Repair?
You can use the methods described above to deal with all but the most severe pool cracks. Even those severe damages can sometimes be salvaged by experienced pool construction experts.
But don’t leave anything to chance. If you notice your pool is starting to crack, it’s always a good idea to get a second pair of experienced eyes on it to let you know if it may become an issue in the future. A crack that may seem meaningless to you could be a sign that your pool’s structure is dangerously compromised.
Call us today at Florida Pool and Patio, and one of our pool installation pros will be happy to help you identify the best way to deal with your cracks.