Backyard swimming pools, like driveways, periodically need to be resurfaced. The need to resurface a pool is driven by many of the same factors too, such as the passage of time and freeze-thaw cycles. Pool surfaces are further eroded by exposure to the chemicals we use to clean pools, as well as water pressure. Here are six signs your pool needs to be resurfaced.
Pool stains may be caused by algae, natural debris like leaves, chemicals, and minerals. For example, you could get discoloration because of metal particles coming from an old pool heater, or blueish-gray stains from copper in the pipes. You can get stains in the pool liner because you didn’t clean the leaves out soon enough. An excess of certain chemicals can cause staining as well. High mineral content or poor water chemistry can give you crystal deposits on the pool surface, throwing off the smooth, even look. Stains resolved by cleaning the pool surface don’t mean you need to resurface the pool. However, if the stains keep coming back – whether it is algae or something else – then you probably should. The same goes if cleaning the stains doesn’t completely eliminate them or the number of stains is growing. If you need to clean the pool more often, if an acid wash doesn’t clear all the stains, or it comes back almost immediately, this is generally a sign, too.
Corroded Tile Grout
Tile grout can age and corrode. Pool tiles can pop off if the grout is corroding, and it will happen at an accelerated rate for a number of reasons. Poor installation or corrosion of the pool surface can cause this. If you want to change the material used for the surface of the pool, such as replacing unattractive tile installed by the previous owners with classic fiberglass, you can contact a service like Texas Fiberglass Pools. Note that the same is true if the pebbles in your aggregate surface are coming off. If you’ve acid washed the pool too often, the cement between the stones can leach away until it starts coming apart. The solution is to resurface the pool.
Pool Chemistry Problems
If the pool pH is continuously unbalanced, the reason could be that the pool surface is pitting. However, unbalanced pH levels will also cause the surface to pit. Adding calcium to the pool can help protect surfaces like plaster and concrete, but you can’t fix surface erosion with water chemistry once it has happened. If the pool has had sustained low pH or low calcium for an extended period, the plaster could start to come off. The only way to repair it is to resurface or replaster the area. Note that this can happen in a particular spot, such as the pool surface deteriorating right under the floating chlorinator that tends to get stuck by the top step of the swimming pool. Conversely, too much chlorine can cause the color to get bleached out of the pool surface; the solution again is resurfacing. Sometimes the issue is really due to pool paint put over a fiberglass pool surface because the homeowner didn’t want to pay for proper resurfacing. This will eventually chalk up the water. The solution is removing the paint and properly resurfacing the pool.
Pool surfaces feel rather smooth when they’re new. As the pool surface wears down, it starts to feel rougher. This is a sign the pool needs to be resurfaced. If the gunite is starting to show, it's time to resurface the pool. You can choose between several pool surfacing options. Marcite creates a watertight seal over the porous gunite while creating the classic, smooth surface expected in a pool. A popular alternative is quartz aggregate. It is harder and more durable than marcite, it resists staining, and it gives the pool a unique appearance since you can customize the aggregate to get the look you want. Resurfacing may or may not address the accelerated wear and tear on the surface of a pool due to poor workmanship. However, if you have rough spots in the pool already, have it checked out. If the rough spots are spreading or popping up in other areas, the pool needs to be resurfaced. The same is true if the plaster is flaking or peeling. The technical term for this is spalling. If the plaster is peeling in the spa or pool, you probably need to have the area resurfaced.
If you’re constantly having to refill the pool, this is an indication that there is a leak. If there isn’t an obvious crack, then the other explanation is a worn out or damaged pool surface. You’re essentially losing water through a lot of little cracks and gaps in the pool surface. The solution is resurfacing the pool. If you’re put off by the price of pool resurfacing, consider the cost of your water bill and how fast it is going to go up as you try to keep the pool full. If your pool has developed cracks due to shifting soil or poor construction, you’ll need to have these leaks repaired. Do not resurface the pool until the crack is filled with epoxy and steel staples. The next step may be resurfacing the pool so that the repairs aren’t so obvious. If you have a fine network of cracks that resemble a spider-web, you simply need to resurface the pool.
Sometimes we think that the pool has a stain that just won’t go away, but it is really an erosion mark. Erosion marks are caused by the continual flow of water over a particular spot. You’ve probably felt them before you saw them in the form of rough spots. If you can scuff your feet on them, you probably need to resurface the pool if only for the safety of the swimmers. If you can see erosion marks, you need to resurface. Unexpected damage can create similar rough spots, and you can address that with resurfacing as well.
The breakdown of the surface of a pool causes a surprising number of problems. And resurfacing of the pool is necessary in many cases, whether you want to hide the structural repairs or refresh its appearance.