Swimming Pool Caulking Protects Your Investment

by Pool Builders on 05-31-2009 in Articles

Caulking the perimeter of your swimming pool (where the coping meets the decking) is the single most important step you can take in protecting your tile and coping from water damage. Typically, pool companies will not get involved with doing this work because it relieves them of the liability of having to repair damaged tile and coping, which can be extremely costly.

In checking your warranty information in your pool contract, you will probably notice that you are responsible for caulking this joint and in failing to do so, your warranty is void. New pools with concrete decking should be caulked between 30 and 60 days after the concrete was poured. This allows the concrete time to cure.

Be careful when selecting a company to do this work, as most companies associated with caulking pools employ mechanics that are trained in repairing tile, coping and plaster. Russell Caulking Company does not repair tile, coping or plaster. We are strictly caulking contractors with over 20 years of experience in the trade.

Preparing the perimeter joint for caulk is very labor intensive. Generally, 80% of the time spent caulking this joint will be spent on preparing the joint for the caulk. The only way to properly prepare the joint is to mechanically grind both sides of the joint.

Dirt, cement and laitance will accumulate on the joint surface during the construction process and must be completely removed in order for the caulk to securely bond to the surface of the masonry.

In older pools, 100% of the existing caulk must also be removed. Closed cell backer rod must be installed at the proper depth. A bonding agent primer must be applied to both sides of the joint. Only after all this work has been completed is the joint ready to be caulked.

Caulk is then applied and tooled to a nice flat finish. A great deal of skill is involved in tooling the caulk to a perfect finish. Some contractors will use one part material or self leveling material because it is easier for their mechanics to use. Self leveling material should be avoided because it will leave tiny air bubbles below the caulk surface which result in an inferior, weak caulk joint.

Tooling the caulk removes these air bubbles resulting in a strong, sound caulk joint. Only use state-of-the-art materials that will withstand the harsh elements associated with swimming pools. All of our materials should be mixed on-site with custom colors to match your existing coping and/or decking.

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