As our plaster gets older, we may notice some unsightly cracks on our swimming pool’s surface. Please note that severe cracks or cracks around your skimmer that are causing you to lose water most likely will need to be done by a professional. Here are some products you can use for just superficial cracks.
E-Z Patch Pool & Tile Repair Supplies: Pool Plaster
This product can be used for underwater, or above water, fast set repairs. Believe it or not, we are often required to make the crack bigger. This is so the product has room to expand and won’t just fall right off. For underwater repair you’ll want to remove any loose cement. Then chip the area you want to plaster at least ⅜” of an inch deep. You’ll need to sparingly add water to your cement mix. We are looking for a very thick consistency. Don’t mix more than you can use in 5 minutes because it sets quickly. They recommend using warm water for a faster set. Cold water can be used for a slower set.
Wait for your mixture to harden, then put a bit more than needed in your hand covering it with your fist. You may also use a plastic bag. Immediately apply at the repair area pressing the product firmly with a trowel. Then slowly flatten it to a smooth finish and use your trowel to make it smooth. Clean off the edges. Slowly back away from the repair so the turbulence of the water won’t affect the treated area. You’ll want to let the mixture harden before any swimming.
For above the water line repairs you’ll repeat the first 2 steps above, but don’t wait and add a bit more water. For crack repairs it should be saw-cut and also cleaned if not a minimum of ⅛” wide and ¼” deep. Rub your mixture deep into the crack and use a moist sponge to remove any excess.
For larger areas and chips you’ll want to firmly trowel the patch, filling the area. Use your trowell to flatten and smooth. Grab your moist sponge to remove the excess from the edges. Trowell one more time and allow repair to set and harden before adding water. This product can be made into any custom color using cement dye!
Epoxybond Pool Putty
This one is a two part catalyst that includes the resin and the hardener. The product boasts that for the best result, you’ll want to sandpaper or wire brush the area first. The area must be clear of loose particles, slime and algae. Slime is actually the beginning stages of algae, but that is another topic. You’ll want to wear gloves when using this product.
For underwater repair mix equal parts of the resin and the hardener. This is SUPER important or it will not harden properly. Mix it until it is uniform in color. It says to press firmly on the area you are treating. If you need help getting the hardener out of the tube they suggest using a putty knife. Then use an equal amount of resin. Re-cap the tubes.
For above water repairs the area must be free of grease, loose particles and rust so clean the area thoroughly. Bust out those gloves and mix equal parts of the hardener and the resin. You can actually smooth or contour the putty with a wet sponge. Let dry.
A + B epoxy putty
This product can be used to do lots of stuff around the swimming pool. You can repair cracks or holes in your deck, you can repair broken tiles. You can fill cracks and holes in your pool or spa above, or below the waterline. You can also use it as a caulk between tiles and joints. This is a two part catalyst as well. Never cut off more than you can use in a few minutes.
First, you’ll want to clean and roughen the surface that you will be bonding with. Cut off the equal parts of (A) resin and (B) Hardener. Like the other product, mix until the putty is uniform in color. After you have your mixture, apply it to the surface and let it cure and harden. It typically takes about one hour. Make sure you wash your hands really well with soap and water afterwards.
I was chatting with my friend, Chris Fellmer from Pacific Paradise Pools here in SoCal. He said some cracks are unfortunately the result of the builder cutting corners. Remember that bid that was $20k less? Ever wonder why? He gave me an example of a crack in the surface of a baja shelf. “It means the builder just slapped it on and did not tie into the existing rebar.” Premature cracking may have you giving your builder a call. See you poolside!