When you become a pool owner whether you have had on installed or you have purchased a home with a pool there is so much to learn in regards to the upkeep. There will be many new terms to learn about, one in particular is pool coping. The swimming pools coping in basic terms is the buffer between the deck of the in ground pool and the pools beams.
It is particularly important in new gunite swimming pool construction that the coping is kept up on. You will find major settling in the pool over the first year or two. This is when changes in the ground as it shifts and settles can cause cracks in the pools tile, coping and joints. If the cracks are left and are not repaired water is allowed to seep in between the pools plaster walls and the soil supporting the pool as a whole.
When fixing the damaged swimming pool coping you find the hardest part is finding coping stones to match the areas that are broken. Below you will find steps to help do your coping repair on your own. Most homeowners find that since the coping is such an aesthetic part of the pool that a swimming pool contractor is much better suited to handle the detailed repair.
Step by Step Swimming Pool Coping Repair
1) To begin your coping repair you will need to remove the old mortar that is holding the stones/tile in place. Most of the time for small swimming pool coping repairs you can use a hammer and a chisel to get into the area that is damaged. When the repair is larger the mortar can be removed using a saw. Be so careful not to damage areas around the original area of damage.
2) Remove the coping stones that are damaged and in need of replacement until you see the exposed beam below. You need to thoroughly clean out the old mortar that is left within the hole. Use the chisel and hammer to get off all of the mortar and a shop vacuum to help get even the smallest bits of mortar cleaned up.
3) The next step involves mixing the coping repair product in a work bucket. This will be used as your mortar and grout for the coping repair job. Every material that is being used will have directions specific to prepare it. The basic consistency will be mashed potatoes.
4) With a trowel you will add the mixture to the beam and create a space to set the replacement coping stones in. The bed will be just deep enough for the new stones to be level to the surrounding stone. If the area is uneven it leaves room for stubbed toes and the look of the pool being off.
5) Using the trowel you need to add a layer of the mortar to the sides and back of the coping and set the stone in place. The stone should fit firmly into the mortar bed laid in step 4.
6) This process will be continued until the entire area that had been damaged is replaced with new coping and mortar. It is crucial to make sure the spacing is even throughout the process. Any gaps can be filled in with any additional mixture.
7) Before the mixture dries on the surface of the coping use a clean damp sponge to clean the area. The grooves between the copings can be created using the handle of the trowel once the mortar has begun to set up.
Coping repair can be complex and should be done with great care. If there is color in your existing mortar make sure you add the color to the mix before you add water. These little things are what make this job an easy one to hand off to professional pool contractors. The match must be spot on otherwise the repair will be evident and this is what is to be avoided anytime a repair is needed.