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Caulking a Pool’s Expansion Joints

Back in the day just about every pool was built with expansion joints between the coping in the pool deck, which was filled with caulking – an elastomeric sealant – roughly 30 days after the concrete was poured. Your expansion joints are important aspects of the pool’s design and integrity. It’s important to keep debris out of these joints to ensure that you have true separation between the two structures.

If the joint fails and the two structures connect, there is a likeliness in the crack will develop, which can even ruin the tile finish. If this happens, there is a very good chance that the beam has cracked all the way through. The beam is the top 6 to 8 inches of the pool wall which holds together the coping and the tile. Being reconstruction can be quite expensive, so to avoid this costly expense, be sure that you caulk your pool expansion joint property.

To ensure that you have a good caulking job, you also must have a good surface preparation. The side of your joints have to be kept clean, solid, dry, and rough with some pools requiring a backer rod to be placed in the joint. Sometimes sand is used to fill the joint, but this isn’t often recommended by pool builders.

To keep things tidy, the joint is taped off prior to pool caulk being inserted with a trowel. The pool caulk then you use should be an elastomeric sealant applied 3/8-1/2-inch thick. Two popular brands are Deck-o-Seal and Vulkem, both designed for outdoor pool use and come in tubes that fits standard caulking guns. There is also self leveling pool caulk, however this can be a bit runny and it can seek to lower level than what is required. Before the caulking is fully set, it’s a good idea to remove the tape. If you see that your caulking has cracked in the future, be sure to fix that crack as soon as possible.


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