How to Find and Fix Pool Cracks
How to Find and Fix Pool Cracks
Swimming pool cracks are stressful for any pool owner. Not only is it tricky to identify the location of the crack, but also difficult to ascertain if it caused any structural damage.
It’s normal to lose some water to backflush, evaporation, and spill over as normal usage. However, if you have been adding two or more inches of water to your pool every week, then you may have a significant pool crack. Big cracks may be as a result of many factors including earth contraction, poor installation, uneven pressure distribution and so forth.
“If you’re constantly adding water to the pool, it means you may have a major leak.”
Don’t panic! A professional pool plaster company can help you find and fix any cracks. They have specialized equipment and the necessary experience to plug just about any leak. They can also help you prevent future water loss and wastage.
Types of Cracks
Finding hairline cracks on the top step of plaster pools can occur due to sun, rain, or other natural factors. These are not particularly detrimental to the structure of the pool immediately. However, if left unchecked, they can quickly become a significant leak in the long run.
You could try one of the simple DIYs to find the pool cracks. For a surface scratch or a minor break, you could fix it yourself. Otherwise, it is recommended to get your pool inspected through a professional pool contractor.
Let’s try to understand the different kinds of cracks you find in swimming pools.
1. Minor Cracks
Minor cracks are hairline cracks you see on the surface of the pool. Such cracks usually occur as a result of natural shrinkage during the pools curing process. These cracks are visible on the tiles and may need just a simple adhesive to fix. In general, minor surface cracks don’t need professional services.
2. Major Cracks
Major pool cracks are those that run deep through the plaster of the pool and exhibit signs of structural damage. These are very worrisome, especially if you have a concrete or a Gunite swimming pool. You can find most deep cracks at the corners and joints where the tile line of the wall meets the floor of the pool. The leak may also sometimes develop unforeseen behind the tiles and the bond beam. We recommend calling in a pool plaster specialist to fix this at the earliest possible.
How to Find the Leak
a. Bucket test
Place an empty bucket on a pool step. Fill it with water up to the level of water in the pool. Mark this level with a marker. Switch off the water pump and leave it for a day. Compare the level of water in the bucket to that in the pool.
Repeat this test with the pump turned on. If there is less difference in the level of the water with the pump on and off, the problem is likely in the plumbing system. If not, don’t lose hope. You can still try to identify the pool cracks by using a dye in the following manner.
b. Dye method
Since both the bucket and the pool are in the same environment, it cancels out any difference due to evaporation. However, a difference in water level indicates you have a leak. Now, carefully examine the floor and walls of the pool.
Identify any cracks you suspect. Once you have narrowed down the area. Without disturbing the water, place a drop of dye in the water as close to the suspected crack. If the color moves towards the crack, you will have found the exact location of the leak.
c. Consult a specialist
If you fail to see the leak, it’s time to call in a professional pool specialist. They use high-tech equipment like specialized cameras, microphones, and compressed air to identify the problem area.
The camera is gently pushed into the plumbing pipes to spot the leak. A pool leak specialist also listens to the sound of the air escaping using electronic equipment to identify any leaks. Further, they pass compressed air through a pipe until bubbles escape from a pool crack and reveal the exact location of the leak.
How to Fix the Pool Cracks
Fixing pool cracks depends on the nature of the leak and its location. If you want a quick fix for the crack, only scrape it with a screwdriver and seal it closed with pool putty. This way is perfect for skimmer leaks and minor cracks. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, read on.
If you don’t want the putty to spoil the aesthetic appeal of your pool, you might consider a plaster replacement. For this, you’ll have to begin by draining the pool.
Tip: Make sure the drained water does not run under the pool as it might cause costly damage to your in-ground pool.
For Gunite Pools
After draining the swimming pool, remove any loose and chipped plaster around the crack. Rinse with an acid to help the new plaster to bond better with the pool surface.
Take cement and white sand in a ratio of 1:2. Blend with an acrylic bonding agent. Add water to make a thick paste. Put in the dye to match the plaster to your existing plaster’s color.
Using a trowel, apply the paste to the pool cracks and apply pressure to ensure a good bond. Smooth the surface and check for any slumps. Once done, the plaster cures underwater, and you can immediately fill the pool with water.
For Vinyl Liner Pools
Remember, if you have a vinyl liner pool, never drain it completely. The vinyl dries up and becomes brittle. This drying up may become an even bigger problem than the leak. Merely use a vinyl liner patch kit to fix the pool leak.
“Never drain a vinyl liner pool completely.”
For Fiberglass Pools
You can buy a fiberglass pool repair kit when visiting a pool store. Just follow the instructions to fix any cracks in your pool.
However, plaster replacement and DIYs are not for everyone. If you can’t identify the leak or find pool repair work a daunting task, don’t worry. You can easily find a professional pool plaster company near you.
Got Pool Cracks? Hire a Professional Pool Plaster Company Today!
Need professional advice on how to maintain your swimming pool crack free? Call today to speak to our pool specialists today.