Swimming Pool Steps Cracking and repairs

The entryway to your plaster covered swimming pool is the visual reference for your pool.  People pay attention to steps, and if they are cracking or delaminating, people will think that your pool might not be well cared for.  This may influence buyers of your home that your pool is not strong or quality either. Do you have an older public pool? Are you missing step markers?  Many pools do not have this strip of tile on them and it can make it difficult for a bather to see where the changes in depth are without.

The excellent thing about plaster and concrete pools is that repairs to concrete is possible. Pool Envy performs pool step repair on existing inground pools.  Due to improper winterizing, many type of pool step repairs are necessary.  The main one is delaminating plaster, or plaster that has become detached from the pool shell.  One of the most critical safety things we do is adding tiles to the pool step edge.  These are required by pool codes to ensure swimmers can judge depth and perception before entering the pool basin.

Plaster Pool Step Repair

Pool steps are quite often the victim of harsh winters.  Steps go in last, and may be shot with pool quality material, or left over material from the pool shell.  A rebound hammer test should be conducted to determine the quality of the step concrete first.  After the steps are determined to be of quality concrete, the repair work can continue.  Pool stairs should be flat and smooth to help people get into the pool without worrying about cutting their feet.  One item that we can add to your pool steps during repair is pool step tile.  Creating visible interest when replastering or resurfacing.  The investment is worth the looks!

Waterproofing Pool Line Tiles

A correctly cured cementitious water proofing membrane must be applied to any pool steps.  This is insurance against water intrusion in the material.  If steps previously de-bonded, it is likely water penetration is a serious concern.  Always refer to the product guidelines for your particular application.

Tile for pool steps

Especially in Wisconsin, steps should be fully tiled and include step markers.  Porcelain tiles provide protection against water damage on steps.  Plaster on steps are exposed during winter months to freezing weather and can suffer from damage by virtue of the environment.  You must use a thin set approved for direct submersion. Many contractors cut corners and use products off the shelf at the local home center.  Pool Envy utilizes only Laticrete® products intended for pools. Having step markers makes it clear to bathers that there is a change in height from one step to the next that helps prevent tripping.

Glass Accent step tiles look amazing

Have a set of steps without accent tiles and really want them?  When plaster step repair is done, tiles can be added to your project.  This will increase your installation time for correct curing of substrates, but they look amazing! Pool Envy can install Lightstreams glass accent tiles on step repairs.  Lightstreams are made in the US, tested to standards, and will work well on pools steps. No, we will not install them on your pool coping.

Pool wash makes all the difference

After plastering a pool, the remaining residue on the pool should be washed off.  This should NOT be done with Muriatic acid.  Many plaster maufacturers will void your warranty if you do.  Pool wash helps to normalize the look of the finish, creating uniformity.  You can view us applying it in the plaster pool repair video here.

Pool Envy can installed glass tiles to help your pool surfaces look shiny and colorful.  Caution must be used with glass tiles though because they expand in sunlight and can crack and become sharp.  Rubber gloves are recommended anytime you are doing worth with glass tiles in your pool for this very reason.

Repairs and resurfacing plaster surfaces

Plaster repairs involve mixing and applying hydrated pool plaster to larger areas within your swimming pool to resolve defects in the surface.  Pool plaster is normally applied less than an inch deep.  These repairs are done to dry pools and not under water for the best results.  Repair areas should not be done any larger than a 50 lb bag worth of plaster at a time as dye lots can change and you can create too much inconsistency of repairs.  Once the repairs are complete you then start filling the pool again.

The best advice we have is to avoid repair kits.  It may be tempting to get a kit from online and try your own plaster repair, but many of these products contain acrylics that are not long term compatble with swimming pool concrete.  As a result, they fall off and look even worse than before.  There is no substitute for a good bond kote and a good mechanical bond when dealing with concrete.

Pool Plaster Surfacing 

Pool Envy utilizes appropriate mixers and spray application for all plaster finish repairs. Many of our local competitors mix plaster by hand resulting in burning or color issues with the finished product.