How to Repair a Crack in a Swimming Pool

At Hilltop Pools and Spas, Inc., we have been designing and building stunning, award-winning swimming pools in Atlanta since 1976. We pride ourselves on our steadfast dedication to quality, underscored by our unchanged name, consistent location, and enduring family ownership. As industry experts, we are here to guide you through the process of repairing a crack in your swimming pool.

Step One:

Identifying and Preparing the Cracked Area

A swimming pool is not just a source of fun and relaxation but also a significant component of your property’s aesthetics and value. However, cracks can mar its beauty and functionality. 

More than just an eyesore, these flaws can escalate into more severe structural issues if left unattended.

Locating the Crack

The first step towards a successful pool crack repair is accurately identifying the location of the crack. It may seem obvious but remember that not all cracks are easily visible. 

Some may be hidden by murkiness in the water, pool toys, or even under pool fixtures and fittings. Check the entire pool thoroughly, paying particular attention to areas around drains, returns, and stairs where stress cracks are likely to occur.

Draining the Pool

Draining the pool is necessary for most crack repair procedures. But pool draining must be conducted with due caution, preferably under expert supervision, as it could result in damaging the pool structure or liner due to changes in hydrostatic pressure.

Preparing the Crack

Once the crack is exposed, the next step is to clean and prepare it for the repair process. This is a critical step often overlooked in the rush to fix the problem.

We recommend thoroughly cleaning to remove any algae, pool chemicals, or loose plaster that might hinder the bond with the repair material.

Widening and Shaping the Crack

To ensure the repair material bonds effectively, it’s beneficial to widen the crack slightly. This can be done using a grinder or a chisel. The idea is to provide better access and a greater surface area for the patching material to bond with.

Some suggest shaping the crack into a reverse ‘V’. This shape makes the base of the crack wider than the top, providing increased surface area for the bonding material, which helps create a more durable repair.

While these steps offer a more detailed walkthrough of the process, remember that every pool and every crack is unique. What works for one situation may not work for another. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with professionals to prevent any further damage to your pool.

Step Two: Selecting and Applying the Repair Material

There are various types of pool repair materials available on the market. Understanding the difference between these options and choosing the right one for your specific circumstances is vital. 

Whether it’s an epoxy paste, a pool plaster mix, or a waterproof hydraulic cement, the material should be suitable for your pool type (concrete, fiberglass, vinyl), the extent of the damage, and underwater application if necessary.

Applying Epoxy Paste

Try using a high-strength epoxy paste, a robust material that can effectively fill in the crack. Epoxy pastes are typically resistant to chipping, cracking, and peeling, making it a potent solution for pool cracks. 

After filling the crack, the epoxy should be allowed to set and cure for the time specified by the manufacturer.

Coating Application

Following the application of the epoxy paste, apply a pool coating. The coating works twofold – promoting additional bonding and providing a smooth and appealing finish that matches the rest of the pool surface.

Pool Plaster Mix and Bonders

It would be best to use a high-quality pool plaster mix for crack repairs. Pool plaster mixes often contain a blend of cement, sand, and other additives designed to create a durable and water-resistant patch. To improve the bond between the old and new plaster, a bonder can be utilized.

Using Waterproof Hydraulic Cement

For a different approach, you could use waterproof hydraulic cement. This kind of cement is quick-setting and hardens even under water, making it a viable option for underwater crack repairs. 

After applying the hydraulic cement, a waterproof sealer can be applied over the repair to create an effective waterproof barrier and protect the newly applied material from pool chemicals.

Each type of repair material has its own application process, which should be followed precisely for the best results. Do remember, though, that while DIY repairs can address minor cracks, professional help should be sought for severe or complex damage. A professional pool repair service, like Hilltop Pools and Spa, will have the requisite knowledge, tools, and materials to ensure a durable and effective crack repair.

Step Three: Finishing the Repair

Once the repair material has been applied, it’s crucial to give it ample time to cure. This curing time can vary depending on the specific product used and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. 

It’s typically recommended to wait at least 24 hours before proceeding to the next step, but it could be longer in some cases.After the curing period, the next step is to sand and buff the repair to ensure a smooth and seamless finish. This not only improves the aesthetics but also prevents rough spots that could cause potential injury to swimmers.

There are instances where the repaired area might not perfectly match the rest of the pool surface. In such cases, additional procedures might be needed. This could involve painting the repaired area with a color-matching pool paint or applying a new layer of plaster to better blend the repair with the surrounding surface.

Ensuring the Longevity of Your Swimming Pool

Crack repair is an integral part of maintaining the beauty and functionality of your swimming pool. By correctly identifying, preparing, and applying the right repair material, you can manage minor cracks and prevent them from turning into more serious problems.

However, it’s important to remember that every crack is unique. Factors such as the size, depth, and location of the crack, as well as the overall condition of the pool, matter when it comes to repairs. Large, deep, or expanding cracks could indicate serious structural issues that require professional intervention.

Whether you’re dealing with a minor surface crack or suspect a more significant issue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hilltop Pools and Spa. We’re here to help you navigate the challenges of pool maintenance, so you and your family can continue to enjoy your pool to the fullest.

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