Can a Cracked Gunite Pool Be Repaired?

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Gunite pools are similar in quality to concrete pools. However, workers install gunite pools by spraying a pressurized mixture of sand, cement and water out of a hose or gun and onto a metal frame, as opposed the pouring the mixture into a frame. Hardened gunite is porous -- making it prone to absorbing water -- and workers always coat the interiors of gunite pools with a layer of plaster. When cracking occurs in gunite pools, it can affect both the gunite itself and this plaster coating.

Background

  • As a gunite pool ages, the plaster coating on its interior will degrade as a result of user wear and tear as well as water exposure. According to Poolcenter.com, in addition to chipping and the formation of hollow spots, known as pop-ups, cracking is a common plaster affliction. If you do not repair cracks in the plaster coating of your gunite pool's interior, they could potentially lead to cracking in the underlying gunite material. As American Leak Detection notes, if water is able to seep into the gunite, it will expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature, putting stress on the gunite. Apart from water exposure, the gunite sub-structures can also crack as the result of ground movements. These can include earthquakes as well as the freezing and thawing of groundwater.

Repairing Plaster Coating Cracks

  • Repairing a crack in a gunite pool's plaster interior coating first requires that you drain the pool. Remove any loose pieces of plaster that are adjacent to the crack and treat the affected surface area with an acid rinse. Once the rinse dries, mix a batch of commercial pool patching material or mix your own by combining two parts white sand with one part white Portland cement. As Poolcenter.com recommends, add water and some acrylic bonding agent to the mixture until it reaches a peanut butter-like consistency. When your patching material is ready, apply it to the crack, smooth it out and fill the pool immediately. Do not allow the patch to dry.

Repairing Gunite Cracks

  • As with repairing plaster cracks, you will need to drain the pool to repair gunite cracks. The next step is cutting into the crack, with the goal being to lengthen and widen that crack so that it can more easily receive a patching material. Brush away any debris following cutting and apply a bead of caulk along the interior of the gunite crack. Once the gunite caulk dries, fill the crack using a commercial pool patching material or a homemade patching material. As with plaster-patching, do not allow the gunite patch to dry: fill the pool immediately after making the repair.

Tool Requirements

  • Clearing away the loose fragments of plaster surrounding a plaster crack requires the use of a hammer and chisel. In contrast, prepping a gunite crack requires either a power saw with a diamond blade or grinder. Both gunite pool crack repair projects require a trowel for applying, spreading and smoothing patching materials.

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