Question No. 1
My son had a pool built about 15 years ago and, currently, the deck has rust coming up through the concrete in several areas. Do you have any insight as to what this could be and what they could do to fix this if it is needed, or camouflage it so it looks nicer? Any help you could give would be great, thank you.
— Roger W.
Answer No. 1
Before the concrete deck is poured, they reinforce the area with rebar. You may already be familiar with this process. The whole area is set with rebar, which is secured together, then the concrete is poured. This gives the concrete something to grab on to, which creates greater strength. What you’re describing sounds like the rebar is rusting. My guess is, these areas of rust are at the typical climb-out areas of your son’s pool?
Generally, these are the trouble areas because concrete is porous so when the chemically treated water is introduced as swimmers exit the pool, the water is absorbed into the concrete and eventually that water rusts the rebar and it then will bleed through the surface.
The only preventative measure would have been to use a scotch-coated or fiberglass-coated rebar during installation.
At this point you would have to do a complete tear-out of the deck with a new one installed, using better materials. If that is not an option, you could call on a contractor to resurface the deck for you, but note that this is not only costly, but it also requires maintenance, because the chemically treated water will affect a new decking surface, also.
If your son does decide to install a new deck, be sure he hires a licensed and insured contractor and reads his contract thoroughly. There is much to determine about what is included in a contract of this type.
You could check with the contractor about newer techniques also, which could help prevent the chemical damage to the new concrete, but go over anything offered thoroughly, including warrantees.
Good luck to your son.
Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].