Problem Solver - August 2007
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Restoring Pool Decks

Our pool deck is deteriorating and needs restoration. What are our options?

Your choices are to completely rip out and replace your deck, or to do an overlayment on the existing surface. An overlayment will be much simpler, and can help prevent damage to your pool. But before making any decision, you should look at the structural stability of the surface. How many cracks are there in your pool deck? Are the cracks due to problems of runoff affecting your subsoil? Is the concrete just deteriorated? If you just have a few cracks, you can go with an overlayment. The cracks can be fixed and worked into your pattern.

The pool environment can be very damaging to various kinds of surfaces. Whether it's UV rays from the sun, harsh chemicals and hard water from the pool or soda and gum dropped by your guests, your pool deck has to stand up to a lot of abuse. An overlayment can protect the surface from that abuse. To get the best out of the surface, use a good sealer. Go with a high solids acrylic sealer—it will last longest—and remember that you'll need to reseal the deck every three to five years.

One great attribute of an overlayment—especially in hot and desert climates—is its cool feel underfoot. Because it reflects the sun rather than soaking it up, an overlayment can be as much as 35 percent cooler to the foot than concrete.

Choose an overlayment that has some permeability, or breathability. Otherwise, moisture in the form of condensation can get trapped beneath the overlayment and cause further damage to the decking you're trying so hard to protect.

An overlayment can come in many different textures. It can be a cool deck look with a knock-down texture for slip resistance. You could also do a broomed finish, or a stencil technique that can provide an aesthetically pleasing surface with the look of faux stone, brick or tile. You can also use a stampable overlay that looks like concrete.

All in all, you'll be able to provide your guests with a cool, slip-resistant, aesthetically pleasing surface that can pay off for your facility's budget by providing a durable, long-term solution.

Miracote by Crossfield Products Corp.: