The Expansion Joint - Or, Why Is My Swimming Pool Tile Falling Off?

swimming pool expansion join maintenance Well, folks, the weather is changing and you know what that means.  It’s that time of year….. time to look at the expansion joint around your swimming pool.

What is the Expansion Joint?

Most people don’t ever notice the expansion joint around their pool or think about it, however the expansion joint is one of the most important things to maintain on your pool. The expansion joint's job is to absorb the movement from natural expanding and contracting of concrete (or other building materials) during changing temperatures. It is used universally in building construction, and that absolutely includes in the swimming pool installer business.

What Does the Expansion Joint Do for the Pool?

In pool terms, the expansion joint runs between the pool coping and concrete decking. It serves to cushion movement between the pool and deck, as well as keeps moisture from going underneath the coping. If you have worn and cracked caulking, rain and snow will seep through and collect underneath the coping. When temperatures drop below freezing the ice will break the bond between the mortar and coping. If left unattended, this can cause the pool tile to fall off! Since this is a gradual process, most people don’t see a problem until they notice tile in the bottom of their pool. At that point, the tile and coping will most likely need to be replaced. See how easily a few hundred bucks can turn into a few thousand? OUCH!!

Preventive Maintenance For Your Pool

Since the damage occurs in winter, now is the time to stop the damage before it starts. You can do this yourself, but it is very tedious and unforgiving if you make a mistake. It might be more worthwhile to you to hire a professional to come out and take care of this. A professional will likely charge around $5.00 to $8.00 per linear foot, and the process generally takes a day to complete. It is also very important to keep the dogs, cats and kids off it for about 24 hours while it dries.

Take Care of the Small Things on Your Pool Now Before They Become Big Headaches

Keeping up with small things like your expansion joint pay off in the long run. Consistent maintenance can save you a lot of money over time and your pool will love you for it.

If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear them!  If we can help with any repairs or referrals for service professionals, just let us know.